Everyday eBook's Reviews > Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
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Jul 26, 12

Recommended to Everyday by: Julie Eckstein
Read in March, 2012

Cheryl Strayed’s Wild: A Transformation in 1,100 Miles on the Pacific Crest Trail

In Wild, Cheryl Strayed admits what the rest of us don’t have the courage to: Life happens outside your own control. We meet the author as she is mid-hike on the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT), alone and lost, when one of her boots falls over the edge of a mountain. A dire situation, but not unlike what she has already experienced.

In her life before the PCT, Cheryl loses her mother to an aggressive cancer, damages her marriage with meaningless affairs, and enters the first stages of becoming a heroin addict. She is one paper away from graduating the University of Minnesota, but cannot find the purpose to complete her degree. She is divorcing the man she still loves, and has all but completely lost touch with the rest of her family. Cheryl, like her boot, is over the edge.

One day, Cheryl picks up a book about hiking the PCT, and she’s hooked on the idea. Thinking that her rough Midwestern upbringing would be enough experience for the trail, she prepares herself with material things and not much else. This never-before hiker is about to trek one of the most arduous trails in the United States — alone.

As Cheryl begins her hike, a few things are clear: First, she can barely carry her backpack, a beast she has lovingly named Monster. Second, the kindness of strangers and other hikers give her an abundance of trail knowledge and boosts of self-esteem that add to her endurance. As she continues, the landscape of the trail changes drastically from deserts to forests to mountains and back again. The physical aspect of the trail is clearly excruciating, as Cheryl takes us through the pain of each broken toenail, the constant blisters and bruises, and the outright exhaustion of trekking through the wilderness.

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