SunButter and the Mountain Mutts

The Pack

We are a family of three crazy kids, one forgetful mom, one sane Golden Retriever and our pup Gooch. This is our first thru hike attempt on the Eastern Continental Trail and our third try at an A.T. thru hike. We are similar to RVing homeschoolers only without the RV. No matter what we have a howling good time! 😉


It was never going to be the right time. First it was I’ll wait for the kids to grow up. Then it was I’ll wait until they are through college. There was always going to be something. Even now while I prepare for our next hike, I have six puppies five of which I need to find homes, I have to finish putting my house on the market all before December so I can visit my mom for Christmas before starting our epic adventure in January.

My life is full of love, laughter, sorrow, joy, and frustration. I feel like I went from being stuck on pause to being in perpetual fast-forward. Ever since our first thru hike attempt I have never felt more alive.

So the questions remain….Why? Why do this with your kids? Why do this with your dogs? Why do it alone? Why the ECT?

Here is the best answer I’ve got. What I am doing is easier for me then living in what I feel is the mediocrity of suburbia. What others seem to enjoy about civilization feels like a leash stuck up my ass. I can’t breath in the concrete jungle.


My oldest son is always trying to feed me weeds! He loves studying wild edibles. DuckBill struggled immensely during our first thru hike attempt. We started in early March during an especially cold year. He has always been on the underweight side and just couldn’t get warm. Despite his struggle when I finally called it quits, he cried. He has a big heart and is loyal to a fault. I love him so.

 Mountain Dude

My second son loves hiking, hippies are his tribe. One morning he woke up early and started out on the trail while we finished breakfast. An hour later as we started back on the A.T. here comes Mountain Dude from the South! He had hiked all morning the wrong way, luckily some thru hikers turned him around, lol! You can always count on a laugh and good story when he’s around.


As my youngest only girl, my daughter is a bad ass! She was eight years old when we attempted out first thru hike. Butterfly carried a 20lb pack like her brothers. She loves to fish and learned how to make a hook out of a pop tab. Her favorite subject while hiking is food. I think she spent at least two weeks talking about funnel cake.

Mountain Mutt and Gooch the Pooch

Mountain Mutt is my Golden Retriever. She is very sweet and constantly keeps an eye on all of us. That poor girl has run the whole trail at least three times!

Gooch the Pooch is our newest pup named after Gooch Gap Shelter on the A.T.  He is a sweet, cuddly, Goberian.

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Comments 4

  • MysticTies : Sep 9th

    🙂 looking forward to reading more about yall’s experience on the A.T

  • Michelle Burgroff : Sep 11th

    I am inspired by your dedication. I am also a homeschooling mom of 3 who loves hiking and feels at home on the trail. I love what you wrote about suburbia. ? I can relate. We wish you luck on your adventures. Please keep us posted.

  • 100 and More Things : Sep 12th

    This is awesome! I was homeschooled my whole life, and next year I am thru-hiking the AT SoBo with my Golden/Aussie Shep mix, Cheyenne! I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for more about your trip 🙂

  • Natalie : Mar 19th

    Yay! I’m a homeschool mom of two considering a thru hike in 2017 with my teens and our border collie. We’ll be following you!


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