The first time I heard about this book Squirrel and I were about to embark on the first stretch of the John Muir Trail. She’d read it the whole flight out west and got a few funny glances on the plane after randomly bursting out laughing. On our hike I heard about Cheryl Strayed’s antics of ripping a radiator cover off the wall in an attempt to stand up with an oppressive pack and navigating the trail with maddening boots. I was already enjoying myself and I hadn’t even picked up a copy of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.
In discussions about long-distance trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) the point always seems to come up – people have the time to hike the PCT for one of two reasons: everything is going right in their life or everything is going wrong. For Strayed it was the latter and it was inspiring as she coped with her past and built herself back up as she hiked north.
I enjoyed discovering how Strayed took on various backpacking situations, but as the Oprah Book Club proves this book is not just for backpackers. I would recommend picking up a copy soon too as filming of the movie Wild started October 2013. I’m really interested to see how this story and backpacking are portrayed on film.
Whether you decide to read the book or not, one piece of advice – when enjoying the breathtaking view from a mountain top while letting your feet air out, be mindful of your boots.