Journeys Out Yonder for Adult Adventure, Learning and Fun

I’ve decided to move away from the idea of offering JOY to young people, and towards the idea of helping retirees custom design their Colorado-based Journeys Out Yonder. As more and more adults retire, there are more opportunities to travel and explore the country with friends and family. You may not always be able to find someone to explore with, or decide on the right trip for you and your traveling partner(s). This is where my expertise comes in.

I have traveled the country, but have developed a deep knowledge of the western US, specifically the Western Slope of Colorado, eastern Utah, and southern Wyoming. From the central Rocky Mountains, to the high desert landscapes, to the jagged mountains and raging rivers, I will turn your vacation into an adventure of mind, body and spirit. You’ll have memories, stories and photos to last a lifetime.

There are literally hundreds of natural and man-made historic and modern destinations in Colorado. I’ve journeyed to many of these places since first visiting Colorado in 1985, and moving here in 1991. Whether you’re inclined to camping  or sinking into the comfiest hotel room around, I can recommend and book your accommodations for you. If you want to climb the highest mountain, raft the roughest river, or go on a haunted hotel tour of Colorado, I will make the plans and ensure you’re confirmed for the activities and events you’re dreaming of.

Some examples of places and events you might be interested in are:

  • The Marble quarry at the headwaters of the Crystal River
  • Vineyards and Breweries in the agriculture belt
  • Museums featuring western art and dinosaur fossils
  • Music festivals and alpine skiing competitions in Colorado’s finest resort towns and ski areas
  • Federal and State Fish Hatcheries that keep our most popular recreational activity alive and well in Colorado
  • Geologic wonders in Glenwood Canyon, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Ouray and Grand Junctions Bookcliffs and Colorado National Monument, to name a few
  • Hot springs soaking in local’s favorite river holes, and in more civilized resorts
  • Men and women’s professional, amateur and college baseball, basketball, hockey and football games
  • Theatrical plays that bring the stars of the Big Apple to the stars of our small mountain town, and,
  • Much, much more. Our limited imagination is our only limitation.

In order to best serve your journey needs, I’ll need to get to know you a little better, and understand the types of activities and experiences you’d like me to plan with you. I’ve created a survey to help me get an idea of your dreams and desires. Please take time to fill it out by going to the tab titled, “Survey“.  I will contact you within 24-hours if I have any questions or comments about your answers. Otherwise, please give me 48-hours to receive and review your answers to create a a draft of your customized Journey Out Yonder.

Finally, if you don’t have a traveling companion, or don’t have the means to get yourself to the destinations you’re looking forward to exploring and experiencing, I am available to join you on your Journey Out Yonder. There are certainly many places I haven’t visited, which affords me the opportunity to  create JOY for you and me! Please use the survey to express your desire for me to join you in your JOY.

Posted in JOY for Adventure

Summer Program

Summer Program.

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There is nothing more satisfying, and professionally confirming, than having the parents of my students, and my students, take it upon themselves to promote my work! Over the past 15 years I’ve taught all grade levels, all subjects, in public and private schools, and all for one purpose: bringing fun and joy into children’s learning environment.

Below are testimonials I’ve received from students, parents and colleagues:

Mary, Thank you for a wonderful, magical year with Ella and her buddies. You are her best bud – she loved having you as her teacher! Thanks for venturing into this Waldkinder adventure with us – your generosity + creativity were greatly appreciated.” Lots of Love, The Klingelhebers.


Ella has a heart of gold!

Mary, you have been such a wonderful addition to our lives. Kinley has had an amazing time with you. Thank you for everything!” Love, Lisen, Todd, Kinley and Elleree


Kinley belts out one of her songs of joy

Mary, Not sure what we will do without you. Ashton will have so many memories from his Waldkinder days. We are so thankful for the love, energy, and commitment you have given Ashton.” Love, Lynn, Steve and Ashton


Ashton demonstrates his strength.

“Attention Carbondale Parents!! Just sharing this info about a fabulous summer camp possiblity and after school program for your kiddos. Miss Mary has been Dylans Waldkinder teacher this past year and she is beyond incredible. Kids love her and she leads the best adventures! You are the best & we love you!”                                                Donna Lambert Riley, May 2015


Dylan shows loves his love for mom on mother’s day, 2015

Friday Crew

“Thank you so very much for all you do for the kids and the school. We are all so lucky to have you as a leader here. Your teaching style and ways of inspiring adventure & learning are so valuable to us all.” 
Kristen & the rest of the ALK parents, April 2018
“It has been such a pleasure getting to know you! One of my instructors once told me – “Never work anywhere if there’s not someone there (who) you can learn from. We always have room to grow…” At ALK, you have been that person for me. I so enjoy your shared wisdom and I am grateful for your presence in my life.”
Shelby, May 2018
“You may have come into Jake (and Aiden’s) lives recently, but you have made an incredible impact. I only wish that we could have met you sooner! Jake has just blossomed with having you as a teacher — he gets all his questions answered and then keeps coming up with new ones, and you are so eager to answer! His love of the outdoors and exploration has grown 1000-told because of the curriculum you have implemented. He isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and has created such a wonderful bond with all of his friends. I cannot express enough how much your presences in our lives has enriched us. We hope that you continue to grow the school into what you envision it to be — it has already exceeded our expectations. We just want to go on Out-and-Abouts forever! 
Please stay in touch! We would love to hear how you and Jake’s friends are doing.”
Jake, Aiden, Le, and Mike,  May 2018


Posted in JOY for Adventure

Cabin Fever in Sunny Colorado!

Anyone who has ever spent time in Colorado, winter, spring, summer or fall, knows the sun shines relentlessly! It’s crazy to imagine getting cabin fever when it’s so sunny out and the temperatures hover between 30 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. But, I think I have cabin fever!


I do live in a little, cozy, fabulous bungalow with my cat Luna in the middle of a field and next to a river. I get plenty of natural light, get outside to play with my students for three days every week, and have plenty of time to spend outdoors on my days off.


I get plenty of personal time alone, reading, watching movies, listening to NPR shows, and making art. I volunteer as a DJ on my local public radio station, KDNK, and as an usher at The Wheeler Opera House in Aspen. I have a few close friends with whom I spend quality time with. So, why do I have cabin fever?

Two years ago I decided to downsize, work less, spend less, and play more. My play relies on being creative by not spending a lot of money. What I’ve realized is I am not making JOY in my life that is exciting to me. I haven’t taken a Journey Out Yonder since a short trip I took last summer, to Joyful Journey Hotsprings Resort.

Road trips bring me JOY! I’m ready for one, and know my cabin fever will disappear once I hit the road, listening to music, seeing new or familiar sites, and meeting new people.


What JOY will you add to your life to stave off cabin fever?

Posted in JOY for Adventure

Autumn in Colorado (a Vermont gal is still impressed!)

I was born and raised in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont (the NEK as we call it). I’ve lived, worked and played in Colorado and Wyoming for the past 23 years. Although I still believe no other place rivals Vermont in the fall – and in so many other ways – I do get star struck as I drive through the mountains, valleys and plains of Colorado during the fall. This scene in Vermont is astounding, it’s true. It makes me long for my home state during the fall season. 10417567_10152511920497408_6319747171422604861_n Courtesy of Marc Plourde, Vermont Instead, I take a drive to places nearby, to get my foliage fix. I recently took a Journey Out Yonder up and over Grand Mesa. She presented a spectacular display of autumn Aspen color. DSC_0022 DSC_0023 A landslide of color. DSC_0029 The Crystal River Valley has another week or two before it peaks. DSC_0027 DSC_0020 Foliage framed by dark conifers. DSC_0017 Brilliant oranges pop! DSC_0016 Grand Mesa, the largest flat top mountain in North America, exudes brilliance. DSC_0013 Reach to the sky! DSC_0010 Be like a fall Aspen tree…stand tall, and proud. DSC_0009 Aspens stand atop basalt boulders. DSC_0005 A pallet of red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. DSC_0004 A touch of dark, green pines and brilliant blue sky provides contrast. DSC_0003 Yellows dominate. DSC_0002 A touch of red reminds me of my VT home. DSC_0001 Some trees, just like people, resist change.

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Words to Inspire

I’m reading E.O. Wilson’s book, Biophilia, for the first time. I have biophilia: the innate tendency to focus on life and life-like processes.


A tide pool to explore, in San Diego, CA.

Wilson’s book are his thoughts on humans, and our connection with other life forms and each other, on Earth.





Last night I read a most inspirational quote, a memorial tribute to Hermann Minkowski, by Daivd Hilbert, about the “…perpetual cycle with gentle botanic images”. His words speak volumes about why I do what I do, why I say what I say, and why I teach the way I do.

“Our Science, which we loved above everything, had brought us together. It appeared to us as a flowering garden. In this garden there were wellworn paths where one might look around at leisure and enjoy oneself without effort, especially at the side of a congenial companion. But we also liked to seek out hidden trails and discovered many an unexpected view which was pleasing to our eyes; and when the one pointed it out to the other, and we admired it together, our JOY was complete.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Tom Wessels and Aimee Ostensen

A trail in the forest, in Vermont.

Posted in JOY for Adventure

Summertime in Colorado, and Beyond

I’ve taken some short and long journeys out yonder since my last posting. Here are a few photos of the JOY I experienced with people in special places:

Panther Creek, in Shoup, Idaho


Panther Creek Hotsprings


Two brothers heading for breakfast


My sister Marty gifting me a Mother Chuckar’s t-shirt


My traveling companion Luna


Geology of the west never disappoints




The valleys and plains are nothing but magnificent!






The wild horses of the west are a sight to be seen





Back home again

DSC_0284 DSC_0285

Sammy and I shared our love of Crested Butte and Gothic with our dear friend Diana and her new love, Ziggy!









New friends from Denver




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