Even though Cheryl is woefully unprepared to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, I liked how honest her writing was about those memories.
I liked her detailed writing about the trail itself, the people she met along the way, how and why she chose to change her last name to 'Strayed', the wonderful books she read to keep her company, and her mishaps along the way that helped transform her into the person she is today.
My favorite mishap was when Cheryl loses her boots over the edge of the mountain and has to hike in casts made of duct tape until she can get to her next box. This story reminded me of my own loss of shoes when I was in Utah, going white water rafting for a week, with my dad and brother. The first night on the water we stopped at these amazing cliffs and our guides told us we could jump off of them as long as we had good shoes and life vests on. I didn't hesitate to have this experience and when I hit the water one of my good Teva Mary Janes was missing. It sank to the bottom and the current took it away. After that the only shoes I had left were my Teva flip flops, which weren't good for the boat - too slippery, nor hiking. Somehow I managed to survive and enjoy myself, but when we returned to civilization, the first thing I had to do was spend some money on a nice pair of shoes. I purchased a pair of Keens which I still have to this day and they were totally worth the money.
I also need to read some of the books Cheryl read on the PCT trail like:
- 'The Dream Of A Common Language' By: Adrienne Rich
- 'Complete Stories' By: Flannery O'Connor
- 'A Summer Bird-Cage' By: Margaret Drabble
- 'The Best American Essays 1991' Edited By: Robert Atwan and Joyce Carol Oates
- 'The Ten Thousand Things' By: Maria Dermout
All in all, a must read if you like tales of travel, wilderness, and transformation. I am looking forward to reading another book by Cheryl Strayed in the future.