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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

The cover of Wild by Cheryl Strayed. This cover features Reese Witherspoon, the actress Strayed wanted to portray her when her first person book moved to the cinema.

The cover of Wild by Cheryl Strayed. This cover features Reese Witherspoon, the actress Strayed wanted to portray her when her first person book moved to the cinema.

Samantha Chapman

The cover of Wild by Cheryl Strayed. This cover features Reese Witherspoon, the actress Strayed wanted to portray her when her first person book moved to the cinema.

Samantha Chapman

Samantha Chapman

The cover of Wild by Cheryl Strayed. This cover features Reese Witherspoon, the actress Strayed wanted to portray her when her first person book moved to the cinema.

Samantha Chapman, Culture Editor

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Taking place primarily on the beautiful and vast Pacific Crest Trail, Wild is an amazing and real adventure story. Wild, written by Cheryl Strayed, is her first hand account of how she hiked the PCT, a trail that begins in Mexico and runs through the Sierra and Cascade mountain ranges, ending in Canada.

The book was published in March of 2012, and became an Oscar nominated film in2014. Throughout Strayed’s accounts of her struggles and small triumphs on the trail, she flashes back to previous times in her life, reflecting on how she ended up to be a one-woman team trekking the PCT. Strayed writes in a humorous first-person style, which allows for readers to really connect with heron a human level, and especially allowing her to connect to the hiking community.

This book had me laughing quietly to myself as Strayed narrates beginning her venture on the trail with very little backpacking experience, and consequently naming her pack “Monster” because it weighed about as much as she did. This past summer, I went on a backpacking trip in the Absaroka-Beartooth Mountain Range of Montana, and this book felt to me as if Strayed was telling my struggles of being a small woman with a pack bigger than my own body, hiking mountains in 100+ degree weather. Let me tell you, it hurts.

Strayed’s writing begins to wander back through her memories as she wanders down the trail, a feeling many hikers, such as myself, can relate to. Fragments of past conversations, songs, and childhood memory flood her mind. When alone on the trail, there is a lot of time to reflect on oneself. She recalls her early marriage (at the age of 19) and divorce, her mother’s death and her run-ins with heroin usage. I never found myself bored while reading, that’s for sure.

This book is wonderful for people who are especially familiar to the west coast, because while Strayed names the places that she hikes. We west-coastal people understand where many of them are, such as Mt. Hood or the Columbia River at the border of Oregon and Washington. It brings a personal perspective to the book that people whom are not familiar with the west coast may not be able to experience. I would recommend this book to anybody who has an interest in hiking, adventure stories, or stories of women breaking out of the social norm. I am yet to see the film, but I ordered it on Amazon the day it came out on to DVD (with expedited shipping of course). If the movie is anything like the film, I’m sure it will be well worth my money.

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