Growing up in the far North of Minnesota in a small town, she grew up canoeing and fishing with Hiawatha, learning to shoot a rifle with Davy Crocket, and exploring with men like Lewis and Clark . (All the men were really her dad).
Her family moved to Colorado and lived in an abandoned gold mine at 10,000 feet in the old miner's boarding house that had been patched up to be livable for all the miners who worked there. That was where she learned how to ski, very necessary in the Colorado Mountains, as well as slaloming through spring runoff and meandering sheep, and figuring out how to drive her dad's brand new car through a steep 1-lane clay grade "road" full of water without driving off a cliff.
Is there any wonder that when she married and had 2 little boys, she was loaded with story ideas running around in her head?