Dec 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm #1283219Dec 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm #1814400
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
Fantastic conclusion to a great series. Well done.Dec 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm #1814411
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Great story, again…
I crossed the PCT just South of Lolo Pass just before that fire. I must have been within several days of seeing you : )Dec 20, 2011 at 6:26 pm #1814446
Congratulations! An amazing and inspiring achievement for you both! Wish I could do the same with my sons.Dec 20, 2011 at 6:33 pm #1814449
Sweet, I've enjoyed reading this. Very inspiring as to what is possible with kids.Dec 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm #1814451
@oystersLocale: South Australia
Well done Balls and Sunshine!
I'm really looking forward to reading about your future thru-hikes :-)Dec 20, 2011 at 6:47 pm #1814456
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Well done, Balls and Sunshine! What an extraordinary achievement for an 11-year-old!
Highly readable and fascinating article. I'm looking forward to reading all about the AT.
I have this suspicion that by the time the CDT comes up, you might just have Butterfly hiking with you, too! Eric, do you think you can handle two daughters at once? Then you'll have to go back and do the other two trails so Butterfly can get her Triple Crown, too!Dec 20, 2011 at 10:04 pm #1814513
@cameronLocale: Midland, Texas
Great article Balls! Glad you have a new job and are ready for new adventures. You were fortunate that infection didn't get worse than it was. One of the boys I worked with got an infection on his ankle that required surgery, not fun.
Good for you Sunshine! This summer when adults I work with don't give kids the credit they deserve I'd say something like "A 13 year old boy just summitted Everest and a 11 yeer old girl is hiking the PCT so yes the kids can do this!" You definately prove kids can do hard things if they want.
Hope your AT plans work out!Dec 20, 2011 at 10:09 pm #1814516
Don't worry, for the CDT he'll also have a nanny and a teacher in his posse ;) We'll never have to come home!Dec 21, 2011 at 2:38 am #1814547
@nuggetwnLocale: Pacific Northwest
Great articles and congratulations!! May you get a well deserved recovery and rest. I've enjoyed reading the down to earth, honest, and inspiring reports about the trials on the trail. If gear can last a thru-hike and still keep you smiling, I can't imagine a better "road test". Much luck on the AT. I have re-learned from Sunshine's lesson that feet are so important to care of. Look forward to the journal entry's.Dec 21, 2011 at 3:40 am #1814551
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Great write up!
I'm glad Sunshine did well with the infection. I had a similar experience and took a week to recover and another healing on the trail. Your powers of recovery are simply amazing! Your expierience in simply putting one foot in front of the other will stand by you forever.
Balls really highlighted many of the features of trail life. I hated it, I loved it. I worried and fretted, right along with you. Protecting the family is second nature on the trail. Protecting them in a modern society, … that IS a challenge.Dec 21, 2011 at 7:02 am #1814574
I love it! Triple Crown by age 13? That's my kind of crazy. You'd better watch out, Balls… you two are going to have some serious groupies eventually :)Dec 21, 2011 at 8:51 am #1814611
Wonderful story….. What a great dad you are, Sunshine is very lucky. I'm sure your other Daughter will be wanting to make the hike too.
I remember hiking for a few days with Wired in southern Oregon and seeing a note on the side of the trail addressed to "Baal and Sunshine". That's when I knew you were just a day or two behind me. Wired really missed Sunshine.Dec 21, 2011 at 9:29 am #1814625
What a fantastic story! Thank you so much for putting considerable effort into sharing your adventure with us!Dec 21, 2011 at 9:37 am #1814630
@dennisphelanLocale: Pacific Northwest
Thanks for posting your final chapter on a great hike and accomplishment. I am glad that I was able to assist you and meeting you both at PCT Days at Cascade Locks. I have followed both you guys and Erin's journey and hope to run into you guys again. I am really pleased about your last paragraph about your new job and article authorship. Eric you have set a new standard for all Dad's.
Dennis PhelanDec 21, 2011 at 10:14 am #1814649
@basecampboundLocale: Foothills of San Gabriel Mtns.
Thoroughly enjoyed this series and appreciate the gear list at the end.
I very much look forward to reading your other adventures, and good luck in school Sunshine!Dec 21, 2011 at 12:01 pm #1814695
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
Very motivating article all-around and especially good to see a kid who has plans for bigger and better trips at that age.Dec 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm #1814764
@jimlitsingerLocale: Pacific Northwest
Congratulations! Thank you so much for sharing your incredible adventure. Best wishes for your continued success on the Appalachian and Continental Divide Trails.Dec 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm #1814781
Great article. As a father of 8- and 11-year-old daughters who I enjoy the outdoors with, the whole series was tremendous to read.Dec 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm #1814790
@mad777Locale: South Florida
What an adventure! Thank you for sharing it in such a personal way.Dec 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm #1814807
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
IIRC, Sunshine turned 12 while on the PCT. Ergo, she'll turn 13 while on the AT in 2012 and 14 while on the CDT in 2013.
That means she'll be 14, not 13, when she ultimately earns her Triple Crown.
Then Balls gets to start all over again with Butterfly, while Teresa becomes a semi-professional sag-wagon driver and mobile Trail Angel.
This is called job security.
Good job, Dad and Teresa; that's the way to parent! Your daughters have obviously been cursed with parents who love them. They'll just have to learn to deal with it.Dec 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm #1814851
Good dad….courageous daughter!
Great examples for us all….Dec 21, 2011 at 9:19 pm #1814856
@tomclarkLocale: East Coast
Great story, great adventure, great father/daughter crew…ah, but you don't need anyone to tell you that, right? Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.Dec 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm #1814869
In response to Bob. Thanks for following us and responding with encouragement. I love reading the coments after my articles.
I just want to clairfy some cofusion. Sunshine was born in May of 2000. This made her 11 at the end of the PCT. She'll be 12 by the end of the AT, and 13 by the end of the CDT if she still chooses to complete it in 2013.
EricDec 21, 2011 at 11:01 pm #1814882
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
Thanks for the clarification. I thought I had read in one of your journals that Sunshine had turned 12 on the trail; it must have been 11. My error. I'm part of ALDHA-West – the folks who give out the Triple Crown Awards. I'd have to check the records, but I'm virtually certain Sunshine would be the youngest Triple Crowner ever, should she qualify on your proposed schedule.
I met the four of you briefly in the parking lot at Cascade Locks. You were just about to go into, and I just leaving, PCT Days.
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