One Sunol family who's excited to be back home
is Barbara Egbert, Gary Chambers and daughter Mary Chambers.
While we have been experiencing unseasonably bad weather here,
they were enduring snow at the top of Slate Peak near Princeton,
British Columbia. Their journey began on April 8 near the Mexican
border and after hiking the Pacific Crest Trail's approximately
2,650 miles they arrived at their destination on October 25.
Slate Peak was actually impassable with too much waist deep
snow and extremely force winds so after a second attempt at
an alternative route they finally achieved their goal and crossed
into Canada by way of Buckskin Path. Barbara stated that it
is common for bad weather to force hikers to take alternate
I knew it was just a matter of time before they reached the
Canadian border because I had received an exciting email on
October 23 from Jim Boudousquie of Blain, Washington. Blain
and his wife met the family at the Visitor Information Center
in Winthrop, WA and he said that they were about 30 miles away
from Canada. Jim wrote, "Snow had fallen overnight in the
higher elevations of the Northern Cascades and I believe they
wanted to avoid some of the higher passes along the Pacific
Crest Trail, but still be able to "connect" the footsteps".
In fact the weather conditions seemed to cause the most discomfort
for the family. When they began the trip they had to deal with
the hot weather in Southern California, then at Olallie Lake
in Oregon the rain turned to snow and Mary and Gary experienced
their first significant snowfall in Washington's Suiattle Pass.
Barbara said, "I didn't know how hard it would be, it
was just a wonderful experience. You have to be in really good
physical condition, willing to put up with a lot day to day
whether you feel like it or not. It's as much mental as it is
physical endurance to do a really long hike". Unfortunately
health issues forced Barbara to leave the trail for three weeks
but she managed to catch up to Mary and Gary for the last 70
miles of the trip so they could cross into Canada together.
Barbara hopes to complete the remainder of the hike through
Washington within a few years. The most harrowing experience
they had besides the extreme weather conditions was an encounter
with a hungry bear in Kings Canyon.
Mary, a sixth grade student at Sunol Glen, is probably the
youngest hiker ever to complete the entire Pacific Crest Trail,
but unfortunately there is no official record keeping of these
statistics. "I thought it was pretty interesting, it was
pretty fun 65% of the time. Going through snow and wading streams
are certainly not fun. I'm really glad to see the cats and my
best friends", says Mary.
What's next for this adventuresome family? There are planning
another hiking expedition, but not until 2006.
Attention Sunolians: Don't forget December 4th is Sunol's 10th
Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Train. By now most
Sunol residents have received the flyer announcing the festivities
and you must reserve your tickets for the Sunol residents only
train by November 15. For more information regarding this event
you can contact me at the phone number, or email listed below.