This family is truly a one-of-a-kind family. There has never been a more driven, more connected, more lovable family than Heather, Bruce, Kipling, Rio, and Selkirk. Together, as well as individually, they conquer the world, literally. The children have been on countless adventures in several places around the world and have developed the greatest sense of cultural competence. Heather and Bruce have been devoted to each other in marriage and share the passion to help others and the living things on this earth. The family share an unbreakable bond and are a family to aspire to.
My husband, Bruce, and I, are serial entrepreneurs (combined with a bad real estate habit) and together we confounded a website in 2001 called BookCrossing.com, whose mission it is to make the world one big library. With over 1.8M members releasing over 11.8M books in 140 countries, the movement continues to grow exponentially. I am CFO of the company and Bruce is the CEO. I am a Lehigh University graduate, ex-stockbroker and money manager, and toil at the day-to-day operations of BookCrossing and Talus Rock Retreat. Mother to three (Kipling, Rio and Selkirk), I am also a sign language interpreter and volunteer Director of Asia for International Children’s Network. I spend my blocks of downtime auditioning children for the Matsiko World Orphan Choir in Liberia, India, Nepal and Philippines. I have co-authored The Log Home Plan Book, am the ‘Yin’ to Bruce’s ‘Yang’ and, having lost our single engine at 5,000 feet, I, unlike Bruce, no longer enjoy flying in small planes.
Bruce, BookCrossing’s CEO, is also a pilot and a licensed veterinarian who, to keep the banks away and hold on to Talus Rock Retreat through the economic downturn, has exiled himself to work in the oil fields of Watford City, North Dakota; he has valiantly succeeded in pioneering a start up practice (now thriving) veterinary hospital. He follows his father’s footsteps as a veterinarian (and our oldest son is studying to carry on the torch), yet maintains a strong passion and acumen for technology, real estate, and aviation. Bruce is a seasoned and tenacious serial entrepreneur with a contagiously positive attitude who fervently believes in the greater good.
Kipling, while eligible to graduate from Sandpoint High School at the ripe young age of 13, was too young to send off to university. Instead, he experienced 3 senior years (and proms) while attending Stanford’s online program for gifted kids. His undergraduate years were spent enjoying a full ride at Montana State University where he milked their study-abroad program for 2 years backpacking Asia and Europe on a shoestring budget (sleeping in trees, on park benches and hopping night trains) before he turned 19. He has since studied Arabic in Morocco, spayed dogs in Egypt, and bathed donkeys and worked on an elephant preserve in Thailand. After turning down Cornell and Tufts, Kipling landed at the University of London’s Royal Veterinary College to follow a career in his father’s footsteps. He will be licensed to practice veterinary medicine in four continents and has high aspirations to be a “World Vet” to enjoy his career while traveling the globe.
Rio, fluent in French (and soon to be Spanish), loves to dance, scuba dive, and surf. Mostly, she finds great joy in riding busses with chickens over bumpy roads while maneuvering through little brown countries. Our middle child is finishing her studies at Regis University in Denver (also enjoying a fat scholarship), pursuing a major in International Business with a trip minor in Programming, Communications and French. She has studied abroad in Peru, Chile and Patagonia after hoofing it around Asia with Kipling. Not to let opportunity pass her by, this ambitious and talented young woman intends to finish her pilot’s license so she can continue traveling the world faster AND make a living! She is headed to France next year for an internship.
Our “wild child” Selkirk spent his childhood tearing up Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, traveling, filming and creating terrific artistic videos. Our youngest has a bad Craigslist habit and has managed to trade donkeys, trailers and boats for snowmobiles, guns and campers. Making money seems to be one of his many talents, and this young wheel can sell ketchup popsicles to women in white gloves. He makes his family laugh as much as he makes his parent’s hair grey. After playing polo with a dead goat carcass in Kyrgyzstan and shooting drone footage with a press pass at the World Nomad Games (international sport competition dedicated to ethnic sports practiced in Central Asia), Selkirk came home to get his realtor’s license before heading to school at Boise State University in the Spring. Look for the streak across both the land and air as this boy hurricane heads for the stars!