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

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
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Jul 20, 2012

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This book kept me on the edge of the seat. I rode my high horse throughout, snickering at her lack of judgement and preparedness. I smugly wondered how the heck could someone be so stupid as to be so tragically unprepared for such an epic backpacking journey? How could she have not known to train with her brand new gear, break in her boots, and save more money for unexpected expenses? How could she shoot heroin?
It has been a long time dream of my own to tackle the storied and challenging Pacific Crest Trail, but I have only hiked small sections of it that have been part of/crossed through other hikes which were miniscule in comparison. Of course it's easy to be haughty about the mistakes of others when you haven't experienced a similar journey. In my mind's eye, I picture myself the exemplary researcher and planner, prepared to the hilt with all the proper gear; delicious, nutritious and plentiful food; carefully plotted maps and route information. I will also be able to anticipate and resolve all possible mishaps and emergencies with ease.
And why did it take Strayed ten years to write about this time in her life? I couldn’t help but think she’s had to spend the last decade learning and planning the route that she didn’t do before the journey.
So what? The further I read, the more I realized that even in today's world of GPS and internet resources to aid such a journey, there is always something unexpected that might happen. All the planning in the world couldn’t have abated the discoveries of self that unfolded before her. Overall, I admire Strayed’s tenaciousness. She writes about her vulnerabilities and mistakes with honesty. And, for all my smugness, Strayed has hiked the PCT, and I have not… yet.
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