Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Wild is Cheryl Strayed's memoir of her solitary trek along the Pacific Crest Trail from California to Washington state.  After a harrowing bout with addiction and her mother's death, she spends almost all of her money on hiking gear and sets out into the wilderness to spend some time with her thoughts.  Between encounters with other hikers (both good and bad), severely uncomfortable boots, the occasional menacing animal, and almost dying of thirst, Wild balances suspense and entertainment with heartbreak and gravity.

“The thing about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the thing that was so profound to me that summer and yet also, like most things, so very simple was how few choices I had and how often I had to do the thing I least wanted to do.  How there was no escape or denial.  No numbing it down with a martini or covering it up with a roll in the hay.  As I clung to the chaparral that day, attempting to patch up my bleeding finger, terrified by every sound that the bull was coming back, I considered my options.  There were only two, and they were essentially the same.  I could go back in the direction I had come from, or I could go forward in the direction I intended to go.”

Cheryl Strayed is the author of Torch (2006), Wild (2012), Tiny Beautiful Things (2012), and Brave Enough (2015).  She is a founding member of VIDA and sits on its board of directors.  She lives in Portland, Oregon with her family.

Published:  2012
Length:  315 pages
Set in:  California, Oregon, and Washington (state), United States