February 21, 2017


My heart warms like a bonfire when I see log cabins, dry pine forests, and moose wandering about.


There is an absolute bonfire in my heart for the rustic wooded forests of inner North America.  Banff, Montana, Yellowstone, Northern Saskatchewan (Waskesiu) were places I unleashed as a kid; places that I camped and skied, got dirty, lit fires and built tepees with friends.  My favourite things in these places are:  lodgepole pines, the huge smell of dry forest pine needles, moose, squirrels, thin barked trees, and mosquitos – ha ha….not.

When I was 2 years old, my parents took a trip from Saskatchewan all the way to Florida in a Ford Econoline Van.  In just 2 months we covered a lot of ground.  Recently Tim, Rocco and I’s mimicked a portion of this journey, and went to Yellowstone in our van, I was once again immersed in my warm memories surrounded by log houses, smoking chimneys, wool blankets, red and black plaid, pine smells and Smores roasting over the fire. Awesome indeed, but what was even more special was that I wanted to recreate some of the memories for him, and try to recreate the same photos that my parents took of me on that trip when I was 2.  Here’s the best I could do:



TOP: ME 1978



I was blown away by this National Park, Yellowstone is huge, we drove for an hour in all directions, and we were still within it boundaries. Bison roamed freely, vegetation grew wildly, geysers pumped hourly…oh the geysers. This earth is unreal. The rustic hotels within the park, the campsites that were filled with people from all over to experience one thing, the gobsmacking beauty of this raw earth. What a place to take your kids.



We walked down to the river one day and dipped our feet and took in the cool air coming off the water.  When I scrambled up to get back onto the path – it was rocky.  There I spotted a unique stone – one side of it stained with yellow.  I picked it up and smelled it to give me a clue to what it might be…it smelled a bit like sulphur.  Then it dawned on me! A yellow stone! Hence the name of the park!

A hidden lake that we found. A few other people were around, but it was pure serenity.

Rocco is taken paddle boarding by a Spanish professor from New York.

Mom doing a cartwheel!















Fond images of rustic-ness.

1990 “Why?” by Rudy Wendelin.
PR Image for “Celebrating Smokey Bear: Rudy Wendelin and the Creation of an Icon” exhibition, August 9, 2014 – February 1, 2015. Organized by the Virginia Department of Forestry, to celebrate its 100th anniversary. Image courtesy of the National Agricultural Library, U.S. Department of Agriculture.


If ever in this world – you wonder if travel is good for you or your kids – it is. It opens up the mind and paints a big picture where we are a mere speck of something – it can make problems disappear from mundane lifestyles.