Book review of Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed
Seeking self-redemption novice hiker Cheryl Strayed suffered through 1,100 miles along the Pacific Coast Trail.
The Pacific Crest Trail is an iconic hiking track that spans from the US/Mexican border north to the US/Canadian border undulating harshly through multiple mountain ranges.
This book had me cheering on the sidelines for Cheryl to overcome her demons. She’d most recently been living a life that she wasn’t proud of – destroying her marriage by repeatedly cheating on her husband and reaching new lows through a short lived heroin addiction. Abusive behavior which stemmed from incredibly flawed coping mechanisms for dealing with the death of her mother.
In this story Cheryl’s burden is both physical and psychological. Her backpack which she nicknamed “Monster” was so heavy that she literally wobbles under its weight. The extra weight caused by carrying superfluous items that make any experienced hiker shake their head. A foldable saw! And those same experienced hikers grimace in empathy when she describes the endless blisters, lost toe nails and “duct-tape bootees”.
Perhaps her adventure is so enthralling because Cheryl shares all the gritty and brutally honest details not to exploit the obviously dramatic circumstances but to find her “way back to the person I used to be.
I admire her for being brave and attempting such a massive walk solo and driven only by blind will for self-recovery. Camping alone out in the wilderness amongst the rattle snakes and bears and chanting to herself “I am not afraid” alone in her tent makes her relatable.
After 3 months Cheryl makes it to her ending point aptly called the Bridge of the Gods in a journey that frustrated, strengthened and successfully healed her.
An inspirational story that makes me want to strap on my backpack and head off on a long distance trail! I hope you’ve enjoyed my book review of Wild.
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