Life is a Highway

Mountain Mama

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” 
-John Muir   

I’m a late bloomer. Although I began college at eighteen, I quit after three semesters and didn’t go back until I was twenty-seven, but even then I still had NO idea what my major should be. I knew I liked animals, but couldn’t find an animal-centered occupation I was interested in. I enjoyed the outdoors, but camping really isn’t a career choice unless you’re from the Alaskan Bush or willing to be naked and afraid.

I lacked passion. About anything. I was floating through life, waiting tables, bartending, partying, etc. with no clear goal or direction because nothing had sparked my imagination. Nothing screamed, THIS! This is you, Beth!

Most things barely whispered, meh.

My favorite classes were the sciences, particularly geology, but I didn’t want to be a geologist, biologist, or any kind of “ologist” for that matter.

Around this time, my best friend (Bean) and her family were taking a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and were sweet/kind/amazing/wonderful enough to invite me along.

Let me insert this little bit of detail. I hadn’t travelled much at this point in my life. I’d been to New York twice, but not since I was fifteen. I’d been to Florida three or four times to visit my Grandparents. Aaaaaand that about covers it. Now back to the regularly scheduled program…

We landed in Wyoming. Two words:

Mind. Blown.

grand teton national park photo: Grand Teton National Park Day7_42_zps18a555ac.jpg
Grand Tetons

Ten days in the mountains. We hiked, whitewater rafted, saw Yellowstone, canoed, hiked some more, rode horses….every single thing (aside from the horses) was a new experience. That trip changed everything for me. My eyes were finally open. It’s like I was finally breathing the same oxygen as everyone else. Better yet….

I was inspired.

Two years later, I graduated with a degree in Environmental Science. This was an ideal major because it didn’t limit me to one field of science.  I got to take them all.

Science is woven into my fibers, and even plays a major role in my fiction writing. (all my beta readers are nodding their heads right now)

The same year I graduated, my boyfriend of five years proposed. He was well aware I didn’t want a wedding. When he asked me how I wanted to do it, I answered, “I want to elope…to the mountains.”

We did. August, 2001, amongst the mountains, beneath the pine trees, at the foot of lake.

Mr. and Mrs. Writer B

That was nearly thirteen years ago. We’ve been back a few times since we tied the knot – one trip Mr. Writer B even summited 13, 776 ft. Grand Teton! But it’s been a while…

A few months from now, we’ll be doing something we’ve fantasized about for nearly ten years: returning to Wyoming as a family with our sons. It means everything to be able to introduce them to the magic and drama of that area. We want to show them home, not in a geographical sense, but in a spiritual one.

We’ve raised them amongst nature. They both camped before they could walk. We frequent Colorado, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, and they’ve done everything outdoorsy you can think of.

But they ain’t seen nothin’ yet….

The mountains are calling and I must go.”
(John Muir)


Beth is a day dreaming introvert who managed to acquire an amazing husband and co-create two lunatic boys. She’s a writer, artist, and recovering crazy cat lady who probably doesn’t day drink at all. Writer B is Me is where she unleashes all the shiz in her brain. Consider yourself warned.



Twitter: @beth_teliho


70 thoughts on “Mountain Mama

  1. Oh Beth! Wow. Just wow.
    Reading your post was like a beautifully wrapped present this morning and I wasn’t expecting it until tomorrow!!
    I ripped through the paper, dove into the box and now I’m going back through and looking at all of the pretty little gifts inside.
    I’m so humbled that you shared this piece of your life with us and allowed us to travel along the Wyoming roads with you. Thank you SO much. I’ll be back later when I recovered from that mountain photo. Sigh….


    1. No the honor is ALL mine, Michelle! I’m so grateful for this prompt; it was really timely considering 1) this really is the most important thing I can write about concerning home, travel, and my life, and 2) We’re returning in August right around our 13th anniversary. This story was in my soul and I loved writing about it. xo


      1. I’m so glad it was a good experience. I hopped in and told Jennie that I’ve had so much fun reading all of the comments and feeling the warmth and welcome in your story and home. PLUS…I’m psyched to know we have so many rockin’ adventurous ladies here. I’m retired now, but I used to run 60 mile adventure races “for fun.” My last was on my 46th birthday…thus the retirement 🙂
        Thank you just doesn’t seem to be enough–I’m so happy you camped out here this week. xo


  2. OH EM GEE! We really ARE sisters!

    See, I was raised in the mountains of Idaho. I loved on a mountain in Utah. They actually form part of my identity. The hardest thing bout being married was moving to the South for a few years. Even so, all of our trips revolve around finding a friggin mountain somewhere and getting on top. My husband and I’s favorite date? Trail running.

    We are moving back to Colorado in two weeks and I could NOT be more excited. Oh, and where are you going in Wyoming? Don’t worry, we own a cabin outside Jackson Hole, so you should let me know if you want to stay for free.

    Cuz for real. For free.

    PM me, Beth, my heart. I just fell in love with you EVEN MORE because you GET IT. So few people get it.


    1. I do get it, so so hard! (oh shiz, that sounded like it should be followed with “that’s what she said last night”)

      I love that we have the mountains in common, Katie, and I’m THRILLED you’ll be moving to Colorado!! That’s so exciting, and I know you’ll be immersed in your element. You can trail run every day! where in Colorado are you moving? You can just tell me an area if you don’t want to say the city…..just curious if you’ll be in a ski-town, or the city, or what.

      love you like chocolate and wine!


    1. awww, Family B, I adore that! The hubs laughed at my caption “Mr. and Mrs. Writer B” so I know he’ll love Family B. 🙂

      Thanks, Nancy. I know you’re an outdoorsy gal yourself so I’m happy you read this post, 🙂


    1. I think the Tetons are the most beautiful mountains ever. CO Rockies are great, too (Pikes Peak rocks)…but I wanna be buried at the foot of the Tetons by Jackson Lake.
      Put it on your bucket list, TD!


      1. They really are! The drama comes from their lack of foothills, so (unlike the Colorado Rockies and other ranges) you see them burst from the ground all the way at their base, instead of only seeing them 2/3 of them.


      2. Sigh…
        Ironically, my time in the mountains were when I didn’t have a penny to my name. I didn’t have the $$ to go party with the other college students, so I spent my non-working/non-school moments hiking up the mountain. I walked from the dorms to the pass so that I didn’t have to buy gas 🙂


  3. Oh, oh, oh, I’m swooning!

    Did you know I worked as a wilderness instructor for four years because of this exact same undying love for the mountains? They are home like no place else will ever be. I love that you got married where you found yourself. we just have to plan a SW expedition! Samara says she’ll die before she camps, but I think we can convince her if we reference all the tent snuggles she’d miss out on. 😉


    1. WILDERNESS INSTRUCTOR IS A DREAM JOB!!!! Where did you do this?? I love it.

      And hell-to-the-yes on a SW expedition. you know, we could stay in a cabin and then Samara won’t get hives. And there’d still be snuggles. 🙂


      1. In college! We ran week-long summer trips and then shorter weekend trips during the semesters. I took people hiking, kayaking, climbing… It was amazing, and one of my majors was actually in (don’t laugh) recreation & leisure studies, because if wanted to worked for Outward Bound when I grew up. But then… I fell in love and moved to Mexico, you know. Like you do.

        Hell to the yes squared for a cabin… One with a hot tub!


    2. Get OUT!!! I wanna be a wilderness instructor when I grow up, too.
      I was so psyched to see Beth’s Mountain picture hop across my reader this morning. I live in the plains of Kansas, but get to work in CO and WY every 4-6 weeks. I don’t even complain about traveling when I get to land in paradise.
      I’ve had so much fun reading all of the comments today…it feels like one big camp out with tons of marshmallows and chocolate 🙂
      Always good to see you Jennie!


    3. I would never laugh at that major or career goal -I think it’s the coolest! wow, great summer job. I can’t imagine anything better. Beats slinging drinks fo sho!


  4. All this time I thought it was trees – really it was just ‘up!’

    Beautifully written and explained. I loved learning more about how come you’re so passionate about outdoorsy things.

    ‘Climb a mountain’ is on my bucket list, but adunno – they don’t speak to me the way they speak to you. I’m glad you get to take the boys to Wyoming. It’s going to be magical 🙂


    1. ooohhh trees….le sigh. I do love trees, but in a different way. Mountainous regions feel like home and are cathartic to my soul. The nature of the area is soooo “me”. Trees feel like….power, enlightenment, awe, roots, stability, friendship, chaotic beauty….more le sigh.


      1. Oh and I’m not climbing any mountains…that’s all Jim. He’s not right in the head, but he sure loved that summit. We have photos of the view from up there around the house still. He’d do it again in a heartbeat.


      2. Your mountains are my beach, I think 🙂 Perfect. I get it 😀

        And Jim also does triathlons and things doesn’t he? Madman. I want to climb a mountain just to have managed to haul my ass up over 1000ft and see the view 😀


  5. I love that I get to know you even better with every post. Of course, I know your science obsession, and yes, I was nodding along. I’m having a hard time expressing this. I feel like I’m always welcome in your home, the real one where we sit in your living room and talk about this and that and everything else under the sun, but when I read your words, it’s as if I’m welcomed into your heart, your soul, and it’s warm and loving and perfect.

    I can’t wait to hear what those beautiful boys think of their “home.”


    1. How do you do that? How do you leave comments that literally *feel* like a hug? Thank you for your words.

      We can’t to see their faces when that plane lands at the foot of those freakin’ majestic mountains. No one can land there and not have their jaw fall in their lap!


  6. I loooove the mountains. I went to college in the mountains of N.C. Nothing like your mountains, but they are magnificent. I fell in love with it and still feel like I left a part of my soul there. We hiked and camped, we would sit on a giant rock on the side of the mountain range and study or read. I even tried rock climbing once. Alas, my husband does not share in my love. He thinks they’re beautiful, but his idea of camping is staying in a cute log cabin with all the comforts of home. Sigh… I love him anyways…

    I love that you take your boys camping, and that you and your husband share this passion. And I love that every time I read something you’ve written, you become even more awesome to me. And I love that idea, showing them home “in a spiritual sense.” How beautiful.


    1. *BIGTIGHTHUG* Thanks, Gretchen. This comment made me smile so huge. You’re so sweet.

      I’ve heard so much about the Carolinas and how AMAZING and beautiful that area is. My mom even graduated from Catawba college in South Carolina….or was it North….?? hell I don’t remember, but she always talked about how utterly stunning it was.


  7. That’s so cool you can share this love of nature with your kids. As I read your quotes from John Muir, I realize I want to go to Muir Woods! I’ve been wanting to go to that place. And that’s great you found your calling. Science is fascinating. I kind of wish I went in that direction.


    1. Amy! Hi there! When I was 5mo preggers with my first, we went on a “pre kids” trip to San Fran, and drove to the Muir Woods. It was so special because I have a special place in my heart for trees, so to see them SO BIG AND MAJESTIC was astounding and I’ll never forget it! I’d still like to see the Sequoias too. I hear they’re even bigger and taller!


    1. Oh lord, Manal, don’t even bring up bears!!! I have a post titled, “that time a bear ruined my honeymoon” that should explain why I’m VERY careful! 🙂

      Oh and the Mountain Mama was just the name of this post. I’m still Writer B. 🙂


  8. “Nothing screamed, THIS! This is you, Beth! Most things barely whispered, meh.” Beth, this made me snort-laugh at my desk today! I can SO relate to that feeling – I’m still trying to find my groove.

    PS – I think you already know that I grew up in Utah, spent a lot of time in Driggs, Idaho (just on the other side of the Tetons) with my grandmother, and hiked in the Tetons several times. That area is beautiful and awe-inspiring (and so is Mr. B – for summiting the Grand Teton! That would have scared the piss out of me – my dad used to tell me all of the stories of climbers who fell to their death. He was warm and cuddly like that J)


    1. Wait….did I know that??? I’ve been to Driggs! We were driving around on one of our JH trips and made the trek to Driggs while looking for possible “less expensive hello I’m not a movie star” place to live other than JH. Driggs was so cute, but obvs we ended up staying in Texas. You know, family and all. pfft. 🙂

      The week (THE WEEK) before he climbed Grand Teton, a bunch of climbers (same route) were killed by lightening. I have never worried for his safety like I did those two days he was on the mountain!


  9. I can completely relate to the sense of aimlessly wandering around, thinking “meh” about most things you come across. That’s me. Pre kids and pre writing. 🙂 I’m so happy you’ve found your direction in life. I look forward to reading about your return to Wyoming with the boys!


    1. Aw, thanks Katia! I’m glad I’m not alone in the “late bloomer” thing. I was always so jealous of people in high school (or their twenties even?) who knew exactly what they wanted to do in life. They had passion for something. I’m passionate about writing and nature now, so it’s all good!

      The writing passion came around my senior year in college. It wasn’t’ so much passion as a seed planted that exploded into a passion within a year two…..then went dormant….then grew into the giant blossom it is today back in 2009. Been writing ever since. 🙂

      Yes, I hope to do a post about our trip with lots of photos!


  10. Well, I too enjoy mountans but not so much camping.Great post Beth. I love your enthusiasm. I used to truck coast to coast in the US and Canada and have driven the Rockies many times. Also tangled with many other mountain ranges including the Appalachians (in westen N.C., they are scary\). I haven’t done any touring off the main highways, so I can’t say I’ve experienced them like you have. Now camping – yechk. ha! My idea of roughing it is a 40 foot motorhome. They come with hydaulic levelling jacks that can be controlled from a panel next to the driver’s seat. With a bit of practice, when stopped, you can adjust the level so that a full can of cold beer will roll all the way from the back right up to the driver’s seat. Ha! Keep on Camping!


    1. hahahaha now that’s genius, Paul! Nothing like a cold brewsky being rolled right to you. 🙂

      I will say in the past few years we haven’t camped as often as we used to. We get SO busy! Our boys are 7 and 10 now, so their weekends are full weeks in advance. And the hubs works long hours, so just having time to haul the camping gear down from the attic is an Olympic sport in itself! UGH. but we get to it at least once a year. Worst case, we’ll rent a cabin in the woods and let the kids fish and hike. As long as we’re in nature….we’re golden.


    1. Hi there LLFL! Thanks for reading. I hope you do get to see the mountains someday! It’s as important as visiting a beach. Two must-sees. Both so wondrous and soul-cleansing.


  11. I don’t consider myself outdoorsy, but the trips we’ve taken with the kids to national parks have been some of our favorites. Who knew? I’m sure sharing the experience with your boys will be amazing!


    1. Hi Dana! Yes, there’s just something about national parks….they’re protected for a reason; they’re AMAZING, stunning areas. There is so much to see and do. LOVE.


  12. Wow, just wow. Okay, so I am so happy for you that you are going to Wyoming and that you’ve fallen in love with the Tetons. I fell in love with them too when i worked three summers in Yellowstone. Gotta love those French fur trappers who were feeling lonely when they named those peaks 😉 I knew a good number of people who have climbed many of the peaks in that range, but I’m not one for heights. Soooooooo many great hikes in the area. I could (and am) writing volumes on national park type stuff.


    1. Jeri! I’m so glad to see you over here because I totally thought of you and your Yellowstone book! I remember very well that you worked there because I was all jealous!! Coolest. Job. Ever.
      We’re taking the boys to Yellowstone next month – of course! Can’t wait for them to see geysers, and mud pots, and ooohhh the grand canyon of Yellowstone….WOW. Jaw dropper!


  13. mamma-joy – enjoye this good read – Beth sounds awesome – and actually I think I have much in common with her (with the working and college degree exploring – a bit different – but I think I could take to her for hours… – and I will check out her blog later this summer)

    anyhow, great feature and your little adjectives were as usual enjoyable

    ” dreaming introvert ”

    have a good week my friend ❤ and thanks for sharing Beth's cool story.


      1. that’s so cool about how Denver was revered in Colorado. I didn’t know that, but then again it doesn’t surprise me. I love that he wouldn’t “liked” my post….sort of makes my day. 🙂


      2. wellt hanks for taking the time to reply that last tidbit – now I like you even more – ❤ – well in a sisterly blogging friend kinda way that is! ha!


      1. da nada – and you have such a cool story! and with J. Denver – when I first moved to Denver, CO there in the very early 90’s – there were all these John Denver jokes – like that people thought he was the Governor or mayor and whatnot – but he really lived in Aspen and was never around – and then he passed away in October of 1997 and well, the mourning was felt across Denver – so he may not have been the mayor – but his love for that state was felt – and this song is classic –
        and I bet John Denver would have “liked” you post and he would have said he agreed with your choice two words for soaking up the mountain view:

        Mind. Blown.



    1. Hey sweet Yvette!
      Thanks for stopping by last week…as you can see, I’ve been letting my sweet and talented guests take the reigns for a bit. Didn’t you just love Beth? Her spirit, warmth and sense of humor appealed to me right away. I loved that she shared her mountain with us and am loved that you got to connect with her, too.


  14. What an incredible place to get married! Somewhat puts out local parish church where everyone else in the family has got married in the last 200 years in the shade!


  15. Beth this post put a huge smile on my face! For starters, I’ve been to Jackson Hole many times and snowmobiled in Yellowstone for years. Our family has a family reunion every year just outside the park. I haven’t been back in several years but it’s one of my favorite spots in the U.S. that I’ve ever been to. Mind. Blown. Every time! I’m so happy for this wonderful moment you had in your life and all that you’ve had since then! That rocks that you are going back in a couple months too! 🙂


  16. B! From another Mountain Mama, I loved this post! Mountains, trees, that’s my thing. No camping here either, but the mountains are our motorcycle playground. And the Appalachians are not the Tetons, but they have their own amazing beauty. Can’t wait to read about your adventures going back with your kids. 🙂


    1. ROBY!!! Sorry I’m just getting to this; I had to unplug for a few days to get some house redecorating done while the kids are on a trip with their grandparents.

      I had a feeling you’d relate to this post. I know how much you enjoy those long, windy mountain roads on your motorcycle. 🙂


  17. Will I ever stop being so late??? I love this, Beth! I don’t think I realized how committed you are to the outdoors, You know how I feel about it, unless it’s water related, but this. This post makes me WANT to camp in the mountains. I know your family trip is going to be amazing!


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