Sunday, April 11, 2010

Review: Zero Days by The Real Life Adventure of Captain Bligh, Nellie Bly, and 10-year-old Scrambler on the Pacific Crest Trail

I just finished Zero Days: The Real Life Adventure of Captain Bligh, Nellie Bly, and 10-year-old Scrambler on the Pacific Crest Trail in one day. This was a fun read! If you have done any backpacking at all, you'll find many parts of this book where you just can't help but laugh in agreement because you've felt the same thing before.

This book is about Nellie Bly, Captain Blight (Barbara Egbert and Gary Chambers) and their 10 year old daughter Scrambler (Mary) backpacking the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT). The PCT is a 2,650-mile hike from Mexico to Canada. According to the book, less than 100 people finish each year, and finishing with a 10 year old is just plain nuts. The book is organized by theme
"Togetherness", "Trail Angels and Demons", "Food and Water", ..., which I found made for better reading than I imagine a chronologically organized book of a family doing the PCT. I mean who wants to read "Day 1: We hiked X miles", "Day 2: We hiked Y miles", ... That said, each chapter touches some insight or experience about their journey. My favorite parts of the book were the parts were I TOTALLY knew what the author was referring to when she was talking about the happy/frustrating moments about backpacking (although I'm guessing her feelings were more intense than mine...), and it was also gave enough insight that one would know what to expect doing such a long thru-hike.

Personally, although the PCT sounds tempting, I think I'll try something shorter first. Most likely it'll be the John Muir Trail, or England's Coast to Coast first!

A bit weight weenie-ish...

Warning: Very dorky post below.

I'm trying to find a pair of lightweight hiking/trekking/traveling pants, since every ounce ends up counting (I have to carry it), the lighter the better. Annoyed by the fact that most of the manufacturers don't actually post the weight of their pants on their websites, I took a scale into some stores today.

My drill went like this: Pick out a few pairs of potential pants, take pants into dressing room. Try pants on, if I like the pants, also weigh them in the dressing room. Result so far: I could not find a pair of long pants lighter than half a pound.

That's how I spent a few hours of my Sunday afternoon... I'm almost ashamed to admit.