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This book is the perfect explanation of how being in the wilderness can help heal a broken or lost heart. She starts the book out with the ultimate scenario on a long thru hike, telling about losing a boot over a cliff and then tossing the other over in frustration. Her emotions are strained throughout the book just as they came to her while she was traveling over a thousand miles north on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
Her life before making a rash decision to start her three month long trek was like a simple math equation. No connection with her biological father + her mother dying at a young age = cheating on her husband and getting a divorce. Her ultimate bottom was starting a relationship with Heroin that got out of control.
This all leads to her taking a roller coaster ride on the PCT in a high snow year with zero prior backpacking experience. Even those reading this story that have some hiking experience, can relate to most of the situations she encounters. Or maybe more experienced hikers will relate, having seen or been with someone like her on the trail.
It was very interesting how she went out of her way to hike at times during the day by herself, trying to make sure she had time to work through her problems. She also does a great job adding history into the story line.
Some years on the PCT when the snow depth is at a peak, like it was in 1995, hikers are forced to skip sections that would be difficult to pass over. True dedicated thru hikers would then flip back and finish the sections they skipped in order to get it all done. She was on another mission and didn't concern herself with this. In fact she stopped at the Oregon Washington border and didn't do any of the trail north of there at all. This fact did not affect the story for me, but I have read other reviews that didn't like this book solely because of that.
Overall, this book reads sort of like a Lifetime movie. It was mainly based on the PCT, so in my opinion, it is way out of that category. Furthermore, the movie, that Reese Witherspoon made, is really a good portrayal of the book. Actually, Wild played a part in rekindling my goal for hiking the whole trail!
The Pacific Crest Trail is expecting a barrage of eager "Wild" hikers this year. The movie was in theaters over the winter and interest in hiking the trail heavily increased since the release. They do fear that too many hikers will be ill prepared and hope that everyone stays safe. For more on hiking safety check out our article on the 10 essentials HERE.
Here is a link to Cheryl Strayed's website: http://www.cherylstrayed.com/wild_108676.htm
I liked the movie a lot and so did my wife, even though she doesn't hike. Here is a link to the movie: http://howwilditwas.com
By: Rudy Giecek