Back in Late December we announced Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail to be our read for January. And boy was it a great read!
Wild is Cheryl Strayed’s first-person memoir of her 1,100-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to the border with Washington State, and contains flashbacks to prior life occurrences that led her to begin her mountain-climbing journey.
Strayed had been devastated by her mother’s death when she was just 22 years old. Her stepfather disengaged from Strayed’s family, and her brother and sister remained distant. Strayed became involved in drug use, and eventually she and her husband divorced. Seeking self-discovery and resolution of her enduring grief and personal challenges, at age 26, Strayed set out alone, on her 1,100-mile journey, having no prior backpacking experience. Wild intertwines the stories of Strayed’s life before and during the journey, describing her physical challenges and spiritual realizations while on the trail.
I found ‘Wild’ to be a beautifully descriptive story about loss, pain, nearly giving up, and pushing on. Strayed began her hike because her life was in meltdown. “I was living alone in a studio apartment in Minneapolis, separated from my husband and working as a waitress, as low and mixed-up as I’d ever been,”. Her mother had recently died, effectively rendering her an orphan.
She went walking in search of what she calls “radical aloneness.” She had no mobile phone and no credit card, and hardly any money at all. I thought it was courageous and inspired. What were your thoughts? Please leave a comment below!