So 4WheelBob is not the only chaser-of-remarkable-firsts in my acquaintance. It so happens that a woman I work with hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2004 with her 10-year-old daughter, the youngest ever to hike the whole trail.

Barb Egbert is a copy editor at the Mercury News who has just finished writing “Zero Days,” a Wilderness Press title accounting her six-month sojourn with her daughter, Mary, and her husband, Gary, in the spring/summer/fall of 2004. If you were on the trail that season, you might recall their trail handles: Nelly Bly, Scrambler and Captain Bligh.

Our books editor left a copy of the book on my desk last week, and I spent several days rationalizing why I should blow off reviewing it for the paper. What if I have to say something unkind about a co-worker’s book? It’s like saying something bad about their kids, in print no less.

But the books editor promised to actually pay me for writing the review, which would pay for many pairs of high-tech hiking socks, so I figured, what the heck

The book’s only about 180 pages so it shouldn’t take too long to read, but posting may be light around here in the next few days, because, well, people become authors because it’s easier than becoming book reviewers.