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I’d like to introduce you to Boomerang, an 11-year-old going for his Triple Crown on the PCT this year. Also, he’s my second-born.

An unusual childhood

Zane has spent his entire life growing up in Chad, Africa, with some annual vacations to America thrown in. As such, he can get by in French and knows a smattering of other languages. He’s perfectly comfortable spending the day building his own shelter outdoors, fabricating whatever pleases him from mud, dirt, clay, water, sticks, and is in general a pretty inventive fella. He’s the family tinkerer. He loves to take things apart to see how they work. Putting them back together… well… nobody’s perfect, are they? Zane is most of the reason my toolbox is empty, as tools often head into the yard and never make it back inside again. He is quite the inventor and comes up with wild (and exhausting) ‘what ifs’ he loves to pose to any adult nearby willing to feign attention.

The boy has also matured quite a bit as a student. As one might guess, our homeschool regimen is a bit non-traditional. Zane started kindergarten at age six and would sit down and do thirty lessons of math homework straight. It was easy for him, and he loved to be able to do a lot quickly. However, when things became more challenging, he just did a lot, didn’t really matter if he understood or was correct. Outside was more exciting than school, and that was where he wanted to be. So we shaved off spelling and handwriting for years, and he could excel in his other subjects and still spend considerable time getting muddy daily. His showers every evening are pretty well-earned.

Continue reading about Boomerand's adventures here.


October 22, 2023

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The Family

We are The Family. In 2023, we will attempt to complete the Pacific Crest Trail. We might be wrong, and please correct us if we are, but we think this might make us the first family of seven to finish the trail. And since we did the Appalachian Trail in 2020 and the Continental Divide Trail in 2022, The Beast will become the first seven-year-old Triple Crowner (in fairness we didn't 'redline' the CDT, but we did connect a continuous and unbroken footpath from Crazy Cook to Waterton in one year). And we think we will also be the first to carry a baby on TWO long trails! And just to double-down on the weirdness of The Family, we have lived in Chad, Africa for the past 12+ years. So go ahead and subscribe to this blog if you want to know the right/wrong ways to backpack with too many kids! ;)

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