Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed
In the heart of the Canyon, by Elizabeth Hyde.
On this side of the Mississippi it is not unusual to know of someone who has trekked the Appalachian Trail. If you haven’t had the chance to enjoy a day hike on the trail, you’ve probably seen plenty of badges of honor – AT stickers – on the back of SUVs. While stuck in city traffic waiting for the light to turn green you may have daydreamed of walking sticks and cool streams and an AT escape yourself.
Across the Mississippi folks are drawn to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. This 2,650 mile trail takes most thru-hikers 5 to 6 months to complete. That means hiking about 20 plus miles daily…for months on end….ascending, descending, across gravely paths, under the shade of ponderosa pines, navigating snow slides, enduring 100+ degree temperatures, sharing the trail with rattlesnakes, elk, lizards, bears and the occasional llama.
Not many folks would attempt an eleven hundred mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Fewer still would admit to not preparing physically for the hike. The author Cheryl Strayed did just that. She made plenty of trips to her local REI to prepare her backpack, “Monster,” but she neglected to prepare for the physical endurance needed to meet the trail. In her words, she was “profoundly unprepared.” Her feet paid a heavy price for this lack of preparation and suffered mightly before she was named Queen of the Pacific Trail by fellow hikers.
In Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Coast Trail, Strayed recounts the physical toll off hiking the trail and how the journey reset the course of her life. Find a shady hammock, cue up Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, Jerry and Joni, open a bottle of chilled Snapple Lemonade and enjoy the adventure of her lifetime.