Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed ~ 315 pages ~ published 3/20/12 by Knopf
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone.
Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
What I Thought:
Wild was certainly an interesting read. I don’t read very much non-fiction, but I wanted to take the month of November to change that. Wild has been on my list for quite some time, and it was available on audiobook from my library. Even though I was shaking my head at her most of the time, I was thoroughly engaged throughout.
I am not the outdoorsy type. I enjoy hiking, but when I say that I mean a 2.5 – 4.5 mile day hike trail, where I get to go home after a couple of hours. So, setting off to hike hundreds of miles by myself through extreme weather conditions sounds like the furthest thing from what I would consider fun or even tolerable. I know a lot of people have read this book and said that it made them want to go hiking. To those people, I say, “Did we read the same book?” 😂 This book made me realize that my feelings toward long-distance hiking were entirely accurate!
So, all of that to say, I do not know what kind of preparation is necessary for a hiking trip of the magnitude that Cheryl Strayed went on…but I do know that it is significantly more than what she actually did! Knowing that she came out on the other side of this hike (since I was reading a book that she herself wrote) helped me to be able to get through it. I was so scared for her throughout the book! From weather, to animals, to dehydration, to potential sexual predators, just reading about her experience gave me anxiety. But, I was also completely and thoroughly entertained.
Would I ever hike the Pacific Crest Trail myself? Absolutely not! Am I glad that I read the account of someone who did? Yes! I appreciate the gumption and tenacity that it took for Strayed to start and finish this epic feat, even if I question her judgement and level of preparedness. This was an enriching read, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys tales of personal growth, challenging physical feats, and self-discovery.
I gave Wild 4 STARS. If you enjoy books like A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson, you will enjoy Wild.
Are you interested in learning more about this book? Check out the links below!
Have you read Wild? What were your thoughts? Have you ever done any backpacking? What were your experiences? Let me know down in the comments!
Love and happy reading,