Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hike

How will you spend your sum­mer vaca­tion? Ten-year-old Reed Gjonnes will, hands down, have the most inter­est­ing back-to-school essay on the sub­ject. She and her father, Eric Gjonnes, will spend the sea­son hik­ing the Pacif­ic Crest Trail, a 2,650 mile trail that runs through Cal­i­for­nia, Ore­gon, and Wash­ing­ton. Ambi­tious hik­ers make the jour­ney between mid-April and ear­ly May, hop­ing to reach Cana­da by Octo­ber. Salem’s Gjonnes will be mak­ing the trek from Cana­da to Mexico.

This makes the New York City trip I plan to take my 12-year-old daugh­ter this July down­right pedes­tri­an in com­par­i­son — no pun intend­ed. The amount of plan­ning and prepa­ra­tion alone should be applaud­ed. Impor­tant deci­sions are to be made includ­ing what’s the most prop­er, light­weight, and nec­es­sary gear to bring (remem­ber: it all goes on your back) to how to meet the dietary needs of walk­ing an aver­age of 20 miles per day and poten­tial­ly burn­ing up to 6,000 calo­ries each day. Check out this arti­cle on the Ore­gon Pub­lic Broad­cast­ing site. Nate Appy spent some time with the Gjonnes and oth­er hik­ers who will tack­le the trail this sea­son. Do you know any­one who has trav­eled the PCT? Have you? We’d love to hear about your experience.