Maine, Antarctica and Bhutan
In 1997 Gretchen was granted a Fellowship from the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program and spent six months based at McMurdo Station Antarctica, where she met lots of penguins and scientists, and her fell in love with her current life partner, musician and Renaissance woman, Ruth Hill. Off the ice, Ruth and Gretchen eventually set up house on a farm in Maine, where they raised goats and chickens and lots of their own food. Ruth and Gretchen finally got married in Vermont (because they weren’t then allowed to in Maine). Shortly afterward, they spent nearly a year in the Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan, where Gretchen taught creative writing and English as a Fulbright Scholar, and Ruth taught guitar to young Bhutanese rock stars in the making.