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Eleven Years Old on the PCT
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Clint Hewitt
(WalkSoftly33) - F

Locale: New England
Amazed on 04/13/2011 10:41:36 MDT Print View

Such an amazing journey at such an age, Inspiring!

Have a ball of a time Sunshine!

P.S. Drop the homework and books, I'm sure the PCT has its own lesson plan. I mean we need to think of the extra ounces! well...That's if were talking gear list here :}

Sidenote: This past summer I met a another young trekker, an 8yr old boy who was thru hiking the AT with his father. Known as The Barbarian Horde Tecolote and Venado, (Owl and Deer ? ) I was amazed by Venado and how he seemed at home on the trail, confident and approachable. Venado was home schooled and for his independent project for the year, he came up with hiking the AT.

It is all pure awesomeness.

Stamati Anagnostou
(yeoldehipster) - F

Locale: New England
What a role model on 04/13/2011 11:59:01 MDT Print View

You must be an incredible father. If I am fortunate enough to have children, I'd like to be like you.

David Stapleton
(Earmuffs) - MLife

Locale: DC/VA/MD
Re: What a role model on 04/13/2011 12:14:50 MDT Print View

Eric - Thank you for this excellent article!

I sent my pops a few snippets hoping to rekindle his interest in backpacking and perhaps give him some motivation to start getting back into shape. I'd love to have some memories with him as that adventurous, outdoor-loving man he used to be.

Wish me luck!


Royal Magnell
(BlueMan) - F

Locale: Northern CA
Awesome! on 04/13/2011 12:50:49 MDT Print View

This is a fantastic idea. Thanks for doing an article on it. When I was 14 I was always planning trips that I was never allowed to take because I didn't have anyone to go with me =(

Buzz Burrell
(BBolder) - F
Nice on 04/13/2011 13:08:19 MDT Print View

A wonderful story; thanks. There are challenges; I hope the summer goes well.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Very cool! on 04/13/2011 13:15:58 MDT Print View

Awesome opportunity you both have, and I hope the trip is as enjoyable as possible. Good luck!

Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Rethinking kids on 04/13/2011 13:26:16 MDT Print View

Awesome, love it.

Frank Oslick
(franko1946) - F
What next? on 04/13/2011 16:46:03 MDT Print View

I don't know what you plan to do after the PCT, but your writing is professional quality. Clear, simple, and honest.

Rick Horne
(Rick778) - M

Locale: NorCal - South Bay - Campbell
Re: Eleven Years Old on the PCT on 04/13/2011 17:30:52 MDT Print View

Pretty amazing. I definitely will be following your trail journal.
Living the dream :-)

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Eleven Years Old on the PCT on 04/13/2011 17:33:06 MDT Print View

Totally Rad, Dad!

William Johnson
Can I have more Trip Reports? No, go to bed. on 04/13/2011 17:50:05 MDT Print View

So great. Thanks for posting. Love the "Applesauce Bandit."

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Wahooo! on 04/13/2011 19:52:24 MDT Print View

Gotta love Tuesdays, especially when an article of this caliber comes along. I pray that all goes well for you two. You know, God does bring us some great opportunities and this is surely one of them. Very impressed you've grabbed it with all your will. Have fun and keep us updated.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Eleven Years Old on the PCT on 04/13/2011 20:10:19 MDT Print View

What an empowering journey for a kid! She will reap the benefits for the rest of her life. What can slow her down after that? She's going to be light years ahead of the other kids as far as confidence and maturity. Keep her challenged after the trip--- middle school might be a little boring after walking down the spine of a continent :)


Rodney Mruk

Locale: Northeast Oregon
BPL Membership to Sponsor "Sunshine" on 04/13/2011 22:35:30 MDT Print View

I agree with Nick as he wrote above. I would love it if BPL would set up a means whereby the members can join in on sponsoring this father-daughter duo trek. What better way to say thanks to Eric for his service to his country. What better way to say we believe in the benefits of backpacking for children. I would love to help support this entire family not just the hikers. Mom and the younger daughter can use our support as well.

So, I encourage all you BPL members to email the BPL Customer Service asking that they look into this possibility and make it a reality. Let's give back and pay it forward at the same time!

You go Balls & Sunshine.

Rodney Mruk

John Martin
(snapyjohn) - M

Locale: Pacific NW
Daddy Daughter Thru Hikers on 04/14/2011 00:19:45 MDT Print View

I am so impressed and a little envious. I also have two girls Allison five and Aimee 3. Alli has Aspergers a form of autism. I found that hiking is a great form of therapy for her. We hike together a couple of days a week. Low muscle tone, tippy toe walking, gross motor skills problems along with anxiety all are helped by hiking. It is a great alternative to drugs to treat anxiety. Our time together on the trail is so beneficial.

I read Zero Days a story of the youngest person to thru Hike the PCT. Scout a 10 year old girl and her parents set the bar. It is a great book by the way. I learned from their hike and it inspired me. I have made a goal to take Alli when she is physicaly ready to do it. It is great to see another daddy daughter duo.


Helping to support this incredible story is a great idea. Count me in.

Justin McMinn
(akajut) - F

Locale: Central Oklahoma
Re: Eleven Years Old on the PCT on 04/14/2011 09:03:39 MDT Print View

All I gotta say is Skurka better start checkin' his rear view mirror.

Emily Mathews

Locale: Bay Area
See you at the monument! on 04/14/2011 09:09:41 MDT Print View

Hey Balls and Sunshine! You are starting the same day as my daughter Ramblin' Rose and me (Half Step). Looking forward to meeting you both!

Rebecca Ribbing
(joyfulmama) - F

Locale: Alexandria, VA
amazing on 04/14/2011 09:12:51 MDT Print View

Good luck to you both! This sounds like an amazing experience! I can't wait to follow your trail journal reports.

I second the call to set up a paypal donation page.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Eleven Years Old on the PCT on 04/14/2011 18:04:51 MDT Print View

This story is inspirational and I can't wait to follow your journey. Actually, I can't wait for my son Henry and I to follow your journey. He is 4 and he and just finished his 11th backpacking trip, most of which have been just the two of us. Backpacking has always been a place of joy for him, and for amazing father-son time. Most of my favorite moments as a parent have occurred on the trail with Henry.

Now I can see what this can lead to! That might not mean a thru-hike for us, but I can see how Sunshine has grown up with it and I can see a similar path for my kids.

Thank you so much for your adventure. It will be a pleasure to travel with you.



Edited by djohnson on 04/14/2011 18:05:43 MDT.

nancy sanders
(backpacker3057) - F
Amazing on 04/14/2011 19:13:50 MDT Print View

Great story...I love it. It inspired me!