6th grade hiker on track to finish 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail

Aug 22, 2011

Medford, Ore. – An 11-year-old girl from Salem, Ore., has walked the first 1,700 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. She’s hoping to make it to Canada in time to start sixth grade.

On the trail, it’s easy to mistake Reed Gjonnes for a grown up. She’s 5 foot 4 inches and walks with a long, steady stride. But in her backpack, along with a sleeping bag and power-bars, she’s carrying homework.

“I’m doing math pages that my teacher sent me and I’ve been reading about every day,” Gjonnes says.

Reed and her dad Eric Gjonnes decided to thru hike the trail together after he lost his job as an electrician.

Reed says she’s determined to make it to Canada.

"I’ve always really really wanted to do the whole pacific crest trail. This is probably going to be my only chance for a long, long, long time," she said.

They have about 1,000 miles left. If they succeed, Reed will be one of the two youngest people to complete the Pacific Crest Trail.