I don’t even have the patience to DRIVE 1,100 miles much less WALK them. But this 1,100 mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail is the topic of Cheryl Strayed’s novel “Wild.”
At age 22 Cheryl Strayed believed she lost everything when her mother died from cancer and she divorced her husband. On impulse, she decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail with no experience as a hiker and having never even backpacked a day in her life.
She made rookie mistakes: her shoes didn’t fit properly, she had a very heavy backpack filled with items she didn’t even need and basically she had no idea what she was doing. Almost even more remarkable was that she had very little money and NO technology with her. That’s right: no cell phone or GPS only a guidebook and about $20 every 150 miles that she previously mailed to herself at the checkpoints.
Her trip lasted 3 months and was largely about coming to terms with her life. She encountered some scary situations with animals, leering men and lack of resources but the point of this story isn’t really about hiking. It’s about how to see yourself out of a low point. What do you do when the chips are down?
I have been recommending this book because it was a page turner and kept me entertained throughout the book. I have to admit I was a little hesitant at first: this was the first book of the re-tooled Oprah 2.o book club. I HATE feeling mainstream with my reading. But I got past that. Then it felt a little bit like “Eat, Pray, Love” which I did not like. At ALL. But I kept with it and I started to get it. So much so, that I think it might be fun to hike the PCT. Well, maybe not 1,11o miles or 3 months but maybe for a few days. Anybody want to go with me?