Title : wild From lost to found on the pacific crest trail
Author : Cheryl Strayed
Publisher : Knopf
Genere: Biography/Adventure/Soul searching
“It had only to do with how it felt to be in the wild.With what it was like to walk for miles for no reason other than to witness the accumulation of the trees and meadows ,mountains and deserts,streams and rocks,rivers and grasses,sunrises and sunsets.The experience was powerful and fundamental.It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild,and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way”
Hiking is an invigorating activity which people undertake for a multitude of reasons.For some it is a getaway,for some photography and love for nature while for some it is workout and the ecstasy from hard labour. Personally I have been hiking on and off to get away from the comforts of life and to be in the wild.But there are people like Cheryl who set out on a trail to find themselves , to get rid of the past in order to make a new beginning.Still whatever be the purpose the 3 month journey of Cheryl pursuing the Pacific Crest Trail(PCT) was equally preposterous and inspiring.
Ideally on such long trails people trek in groups but going solo and that too without much prior experience of trekking somewhat tells you desperate Cheryl was.Things were not good in her life and her past was quite gloomy too.She lost her mother of cancer,parted with her siblings , broke up her marriage , was under drug abuse for a short period of time and on the top of all these got herself pregnant. However among all these things the loss of her mother was profound and throughout the trail she speaks of her mother.She desperately needed to get away from her dark past and so she packed her bag.“There,I’d walk and think about my entire life.I’d find my strength again,far from everything that had made my life ridiculous.”
There are few things about Cheryl’s venture that makes this book an exciting read.Her under preparedness for the trip makes it quite different from other trekking stories. Not only was she new to the world of navigation her knowledge of the trail was confined to one book which was a Bible for her.She was the only woman on the trail and owing to her solo attempt she had a very heavy backpack.To add to her woes her shoes were not proper and was running low on cash.In the beginning of the trip she was unsure and the heavy snowing made her change mind but eventually she felt that she had to traverse the path and so did it.
Cheryl read a good number of books on the trail and the books are mentioned in the glossary. While many people postponed their hiking plans to next year owing to the heavy snow,she did not give up though at time she was marked by trepidation.She had to take a detour to avoid the snowy patch but eventually she stayed on her way.A lot of times in the first month of the trail she talks of her mother,reminiscing of the past where she had a happy life with her mom.I liked the idea when she mentions about her not shedding tears and also how she wanted to be a writer. It really felt good to read this book for it clearly is a sign of her dream coming true.
On a trail 1100 miles long one needs something more than courage to go on.For some it may be a dream but for Cheryl it was redemption.Not only did she had the encounters with the bears,rattlesnakes and other wild animals but also she witnessed the beauty of the wild.Hot,humid,wet,chilly weather that she witnessed was quite in contrast to the multitude of people she met on her trek.The last chapter when she reaches the Bridge of the Gods is enchanting and pretty much sums up the book. Read this astounding tale of courage and be inspired.