Bonnie was born in Saranac Lake, New York. In 1977 she left home and wandered the country exploring where the rest of her life may take her. Bonnie ran into an old classmate in Saranac Lake who told her stories of Alaska, and that he would give her a ride if she wanted to go. They drove across the country, up the coast, landed in the town of Homer, and pitched a tent on the beach - all in just 9 days.

Bonnie worked at the local cannery for years before she and her first husband moved to a tipi in the wilderness with nothing but a wood stove and a loft. She soon after began hearing Atz's music and stories about the Kilcher family. In 1978 she made her first trip out to the homestead where they pulled her into the barn and they threw her on a horse. She has lived in Alaska ever since.

Bonnie fell in love with life outdoors and being where no people were within miles of her. "The stars were so bright I could see them reflecting in the river," she remembers. Bonnie and Atz's love for music, skiing, and isolation at the head of Kachemak Bay continues to strengthen their bond, regardless of how harsh the life may be.