Thursday, May 24, 2012

Book Review: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

What is it about nature that makes us forget about the concrete jungle that we have left the moment we step foot on softer ground?  Why does nature eventually strip us to the core and expose us nakedly to the elements and ourselves? Cheryl Strayed explores these very questions in her most recent book, Wild: From Lost to Found On the Pacific Coast Trail. 

While most of us might take months or  even years to build up to an event or adventure like hiking the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT), Cheryl decides to begin hiking it with out even so much as any overnight backpacking experience. Her "all in" approach at the beginning of the endeavor could best be described as a metaphor for her life up that point. Weighed down by "Monster", Cheryl traverses the PCT from the Mojave Desert to Washington State, where at first she is beaten down by the elements, trail, and by her own inexperience.

In any adventure or in life for that matter, it is what you do when you are stripped to the core that will determine your success, and for Cheryl it is her brutal honesty in this memoir that you find she is not pulling any punches. She leaves no stone unturned as she vividly describes her experiences leading up to the hike on the PCT as well as on the trail itself. It is this bearing of all things, leaving oneself naked for exploration that ultimately allows her to be strengthened in a way that only an adventure like this can do.

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