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

3.50  ·  Rating Details  ·  115 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
In April 2004, Barbara Egbert and Gary Chambers and their precocious 10-year-old daughter Mary embarked on a 2,650-mile hike from Mexico to Canada along the famed Pacific Crest Trail. This the well-told tale of their epic adventure, which required love, perseverance, and the careful rationing of toilet paper. Six months later, Mary would become the youngest person ever to ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 29th 2007 by Wilderness Press (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 205)
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Dave
Oct 29, 2011 Dave rated it did not like it
As a long distant hiker myself, I did not like the book at all for various reasons. The first few pages presented some insights into the personalities of Captain Bligh and Nellie Bly. I found the insights unfavorable; honest, but not characteristics that I admire nor want to read about for pages and pages.

Secondly, I did not like the author's simple regurgitation of Appalachian Trail characteristics when she has never thru-hiked that trail. If I want a comparison of the AT vs the PCT and have no
...more
Ripley Patton
Oct 03, 2012 Ripley Patton rated it really liked it
I like the way this book was organized by topic, rather than by the geography of the trail like most trail journal books. It had lots of helpful and practical information through good storytelling. I had to laugh when half-way along the trail they were fearful of letting Scrambler (their daughter) sleep in the top bunk of a bunk bed. Yeah, that's more dangerous than scaring growling bears away from their camp on a regular basis. My one criticism (and why I only gave it four stars, instead of fiv ...more
tgrantl
May 28, 2009 tgrantl rated it it was ok
Yay (for child abuse)!

Egbert gets points for avoiding the travel-essay cliche of the standard, chronological recounting of her journey. She chooses to arrange the anecdotes by topic, rather than timeline.

However, the novel suffers from "please too many people" syndrome, with a healthy dose of condescension thrown in. Most of her audience may feel a bit patronized at how thick she lays on the trail talk, or how many thousands of different ways she manages to remind us what her family's trail name
...more
Charles
Jan 18, 2012 Charles rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! It all happened a long time ago and I suppose Mary-Scrambler is about 18 years old now, but I found myself going along on this journey with great enjoyment, as if it were happening in the present time. As I approach my 65th birthday and retirement, I am contemplating this journey for myself. This book, along with others on the subject, has provided a great overview of the Pacific Crest Trail and the interesting people I might meet along the way.

I'm surprised at the
...more
Dan
Jan 19, 2011 Dan rated it it was ok
Covers the very interesting adventure of a couple and their 10 year old daughter and their hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. My frustration for the book was that instead of covering their journey from start to finish, the book was split up into chapters based on different topics. As a result, the reader bounces back and forth to different places along the hike. I didn't feel like I was following along with them like many other long distance hiking books. Some people may prefer this style instead ...more
Scuppers
Jun 07, 2009 Scuppers rated it liked it
It's an enjoyable book about a family who hikes the Pacific Crest Trail together.

I think it was enjoyable because it deals with hiking, adventure, and some of the people met along the way.

But that poor girl! One of the hikers in the family's a 10 year old girl, at the mercy of her crazy hippie parents.

They're so condescending... not to their daughter, (no, actually, they seem to think their daughter's wonderful and perfect), but condescending to traditional society, and to several of the people
...more
Dayna
Sep 05, 2008 Dayna rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I really don't like the way this is written, so I am going to ditch it. It's reading like a laundry list.
Kathy
Mar 11, 2013 Kathy rated it it was ok
As a long-distance hiker who hasn’t yet hiked the PCT, I was terribly disappointed in this book. Because the author is a journalist I expected the book to be much better-written than it was. But it turns out the author is actually a columnist, and that is what this book turned out to be--a disjointed series of columns/essays with no segue between topics, making for jarring and confusing transitions.
I was most disappointed, though, because I never got the real flavor of the PCT. I never got the
...more
Jessica
Mar 18, 2014 Jessica rated it liked it
This book would be prefect for anyone planning a thru-hike. It had a few too many dry explanations of thru-hiking for me since I've done one before, so I had a hard time getting started with this book. I did end up attached to the story of the family and by the end of the book I was eager to know the rest of their experience. I hope I'll get to take my daughters long distance backpacking as well.
Happyreader
Jul 19, 2011 Happyreader rated it really liked it
No child is harmed in the making of this book! It's the adults who suffer the abuse. White the author's stated aim is to show that children can safely backpack (and that's successfully accomplished), the book could be considered both a triumph and a cautionary tale for the over-50 set to backpack. My God, the middle-aged joints that suffer in this book!!

This book makes the Appalachian Trail seem like a cake walk next to the Pacific Coast Trail. The desert, the snow, the crazy, relentless rain!!
...more
Melissa
Feb 09, 2014 Melissa rated it liked it
Shelves: adventure-books
I enjoyed this book, but if it hadn't been for Scrambler, it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun.
Kristy McCaffrey
Sep 26, 2013 Kristy McCaffrey rated it really liked it
The author recounts thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail alongside her husband and 10-year-old daughter, an amazing feat that took months. She doesn't tell the story in chronological order so it reads, in my opinion, much better than a direct regurgitation of a journal. Along the way she discusses people they meet, food mishaps, encounters with wildlife, and many stops along the way, from the border of Mexico where the trail begins, through California, Oregon and Washington. Her daughter became t ...more
David Geer
Mar 11, 2016 David Geer rated it liked it
Great tale of a PCT thru hike. The perspective from a 10 year old is different.
Melissa
Jan 23, 2016 Melissa rated it liked it
It was interesting to read about their adventures on the PCT, especially since they did it with a ten year old in tow. The book was a little slow in parts but overall a decent read.
Mrs. Lapacka
Jun 06, 2015 Mrs. Lapacka rated it liked it
I enjoyed parts of this book; it gave me a new insight into the PCT. That said, it was very put-down-able. I have a lot of admiration for what this family accomplished; Scrambler in particular. The book, however, was very hard to follow. The way that the author jumped around between time periods and different parts of the trail made for a far less enjoyable read than if she had followed told the story in a more linear fashion.
Laura Sheffield
Feb 07, 2011 Laura Sheffield rated it liked it
Shelves: outdoors
A combination of journal style writing and subject overviews and information about the family's planning and trek on the PCT. Adventures, challenges, pitfalls and successes they experienced and information to help hopeful trekkers succeed the 2650 mile hike. The end became a little rushed with fewer details about sections and even personal perspectives. Much like many of us do on a long hike, toward the end, she got in a hurry. Insightful and enjoyable for me though.
Scott Diamond
Sep 07, 2014 Scott Diamond rated it liked it
Book was fun. Not astounding but I enjoyed it. Definitely watch the YouTube video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJCIf...

Kaylie
Nov 05, 2009 Kaylie rated it liked it
This book was very inspirational and made me want to learn to backpack (albeit on a MUCH smaller scale). Hiking the entire PCT sounds insane, and I'm sure it is, but they did it (with a 10-year-old, too). I don't remember anything super special about the way it's written, but it's very informative and makes interesting insights into the world of outdoorsy people, as well as the capabilities of the human mind and body.
Santhi
Sep 20, 2014 Santhi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pct, around-the-world
AMAZING!
What I especially like about tis book is how the content is organized differently from other PCT hikers' journeys. Instead of the chronological progress, chapters, except for the beginning and end of journey, the rest focus on backpackers they had met, the trail angels, town stops, nature along the trail and so forth.


breastfeeding while hiking up a steep slope!! I am so right wanting to own tis book
Ken
Aug 17, 2008 Ken rated it really liked it
Shelves: backpacking
Truly enjoyed this book. I'll be buying copies for formerly outdoorsy friends who stopped doing outdoor activities because they have young children. The Egbert's prove that exposing your children to the outdoors at a young age is possible, good for them, and will result in young adults who have a passion for wild places. The book itself is well written, funny, and reads more like a reflection than a trail journal.
Vivian
Sep 13, 2008 Vivian rated it liked it
Though the organization of this book seems to be lacking, I appreciated the determination and goal setting of this unique family. As I was reading the author's description of hiking in the North Cascades I could see them from the airplane. Having backpacked in the Sierras and the Cascades I could visualize several spots along their route. I wanted to grab my backpack and hiking boots to join the journey.
Gregj
Jun 05, 2014 Gregj rated it liked it
3.5 Stars
Kathy
Feb 28, 2016 Kathy rated it it was ok
Struggled to get through this book. Long list of people, places and physical ailments which were just not that interesting. Enjoyed the few entries from Mary's journal and occasional mention of places I've hiked. Put this book aside for a while and read The High Adventure of Eric Ryback, which was much better.
Caroline
Dec 17, 2012 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent hiking memoir. As well as being a great hiking memoir, the last chapter details some of the pros and cons of the increasing popularity of the Pacific Crest Trail. Overall, the book gives a very good overview of both the positives and negatives of a multi-month long-distance thru-hike.
Kerry
Apr 23, 2009 Kerry rated it liked it
This is a great book if you are planning to thru-hike the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). It is written by a woman who did just that in 2004 with her husband and then 10 year-old daughter who is the youngest person to complete the PCT.
Lance Gideon
Nov 15, 2010 Lance Gideon rated it really liked it
Fun! The people that they met, the places they went, and challenges that they overcame as a family are inspirational! I would love to have this opportunity with my own family...and maybe someday I will!
Jenni Pertuset
Read because I'm considering a through-hike of the PCT or AT, this tells the story of PCT's youngest through-hiker and her family's journey. A quick and fascinating read.
Linda
Oct 21, 2008 Linda rated it liked it
Interesting to read what they have gone through, since we have done some hiking in some of those areas.
Alisa Banda
Sep 11, 2013 Alisa Banda rated it really liked it
Excellent story of a family doing the PCT. Daughter was 10 years old...amazing.
Leah
Aug 04, 2008 Leah rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Interesting true life story of a family that hiked the PCT together.
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