Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Book Review: Wild by Cherly Strayed

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest TrailWild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have noticed a theme in my life being that feeling of being trapped and just wanting to through some clothes into a backpack and just take off and see where the road takes me. If you can sympathize with me then you too will love this book.

Written during the time of the O.J. Simpson trial and grunge music, at the age of 26, Cheryl finalized her divorce to her college sweetheart, knelt goodbye at her mother's grave, and said goodbye to Minnesota for the last time in order to endeavor the famed Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Had she ever backpacked before? Nope. Any kind of experience of day hike? Nope. Had she even worn hiking boots before? You guessed it, no. Despite her lack of experience, Cheryl managed a solo hike and survive the 1,100 miles from the California/Mexico border to the Oregon/Washington border.

Her memoir details adventures of rattle snakes, to charging Texas Long Horn Bulls, to only having 2 cents in her pockets and miles to go before the possibility of new food all while dealing with personal turmoil. Through her sojourn, Cheryl not only set out on the Pacific Crest Trail, but also in life. One cannot help but to self-reflect and philosophize when you have just the trees, God, and yourself. Through her commentary I could not help but to cheer her on when she lost her one pair of hiking boots and continued in duct-taped sandals. There were times I wanted to strangle her for hitch hiking to get around obstacles in which she put herself in some questionable situations. I also might have screamed when she recounted a night with the frogs. The book in and of itself felt like a journey.

All throughout the book I was enraptured and couldn't wait to see what was around the next bend, and especially if she made it. The only bad part about this book is I found myself consulting the PCT guides and now I need to go buy a backpack and some hiking shoes. Would I recommend this book. I think so.

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