From the back cover:
"Day 1: Today we left the border. Soon after we got got there, Amy a Border Patrol lady, drove up and talked to us and made sure we were thru-hikers, not aliens. We walked 17 miles. ----excerpt from 10-year old Scrambler's Pacific Crest Trail journal
"In April of 2004, Barbara Egbert, Gary Chambers, and their precocious 10 year old daughter, Mary, embarked on a 2,650 mile hike from Mexico to Canada. That October, well after the snow had begun to fall in the high country, the family arrived in Canada, and Mary became the youngest person to successfully walk the famed Pacific Crest Trail.
Named for the precious days off when hikers rack up zero trail miles, Zero Days
is Barbara Egbert's account of their epic journey, which required love, perseverance, and the careful rationing of toilet paper. The trio- who adopted the trail names Nellie Bly, Captain Bligh, and Scrambler- weathered the heat of the Mojave, the jagged peaks of the Sierra, the downpours of Oregon, and the final cold stretch through the North Cascades range to Canada.
Along the way, they discovered which family values, from love and equality to thrift and cleanliness, could withstand the long, challenging trail and 137 nights together in a 6-by-8-foot tent."
: 192 pages with photographs
: Barbara Egbert
: Wilderness Press
silversummit - Mar 17, 2011 10:38 pm - Voted 4/5A different kind of PCT book!
I liked this book for the reality it described. Unlike the similar PCT saga I reviewed last year, A Blistered Kind of Love, One Couple's Trial by Trail (written by Angela & Duffy Ballard and published by Mountaineers Books) this book has three people who prepped for their hike for years, seriously conditioned, made a hobby of spreadsheets, and constantly had to re-evaluate their goal. And yes, they have serious discussions about what to do if one of them can't go on!
The way Barbara relates things that happen along the trip will have you thinking that sounds so like what would happen if I hiked with my husband or my wife. Barbara and Gary disagree at times and everyone in the family needs individual space and "right of way" so to speak. Anyone who has hiked with others for more than a couple days can understand that situation!
While I doubt that I could ever exist on Pop Tarts for breakfast every morning and Top Ramen and eating freeze-dried meals right in the bags for many dinners, they did and two of them made it all the way to Canada!
I also appreciated their camping and hiking ethics. Unlike the Ballards, Barbara, Gary, and Mary pre-planned most of their "zero days" and appeared to have logical reasons for these stops.
No, this book will not appeal to all the mountaineering purists but anyone who has hiked sections of the PCT or aims to do so will find value in reading this enjoyable account of one very special family's rocky hike north.
Oh, my only reason for giving a 4 instead of a 5 is that their website quoted in the book which I had hoped would be filled with links to the PCT annual gatherings, packing lists (foods) etc. had no meaningful info at all! Anyone who has completed such an accomplishment could have provided some more background etc. JMHO.