Book Review: “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail”

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

By Cheryl Strayed

· 336 pages

· Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (March 26, 2013)

Cheryl Strayed hiked the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) from the Mojave Desert to the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks, Oregon. She hiked over 1,100 miles alone carrying a pack called Monster. While hiking she examined her life without her mother, who died at 50, her ex husband, her affairs, her use of drugs, and her place in the world.

The hike is excruciating.

“Miles weren’t things that blazed dully past. There were long, intimate straggles of weeds and clumps of dirt, blades of grass and flowers that bent in the wind, trees that lumbered and screeched. They were the sound of my breath and my feet hitting the trail one step at a time and the click of my ski pole. The PCT had taught me what a mile was. I was humble before each and every one.”

As I read her story, I was with her every step and didn’t want the story to end at Cascade Locks even though my feet were grateful. The hike was more a pilgrimage and I yearn for my own hike on the Camino de Santiago in Spain, a hike of over 500 miles. The book is filled with some good advice about what to carry. More than that, it’s a book about how to face your own fears, about never quitting and about forgiveness.

Five stars for Portland resident Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild.”

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