Lost and Found

"Wild" by Cheryl Strayed

I consider myself to be pretty outdoorsy; I do a lot of solo day hikes and enjoy a good physical challenge. But hiking 1000+ miles alone through rough terrain filled with bears, mountain lions and rattle snakes? I'm not sure I could handle such a grueling ordeal, but I enjoyed reading Cheryl Strayed's account of her three-month trek on the Pacific Crest Trail (otherwise known as the PCT).

Far from a simple trail log, "Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail," reads more like one woman's journey to personal enlightenment. In the span of just a few years, Ms. Strayed loses her mother to cancer, goes through an agonizing divorce, develops a heroin addiction and has an abortion. These events lead the author to an unusual decision: to hike a stretch of the PCT, alone, in order to find herself.

Strayed's descriptions of life on the trail are not for the faint of heart...lost toenails, encounters with wild animals, and water shortages that leave her perilously close to death. But for all the dangers of the trail, there are many redeeming moments too: the generosity of strangers, companionship with other PCT hikers, and the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

By the end of the book, I was ready to strap on my hiking pack and give the PCT a shot. Maybe you'll find it equally as inspiring.

--Jennifer M., Headquarters

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