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From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

By Cheryl Strayed

An Intense and intriguing Adventure Memoir



Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. Her mother had passed away, her family had scattered, and her marriage was falling apart. She makes an impulsive decision to find herself by walking the Pacific Crest Trail. Although inexperienced, Strayed wanted to hike by herself from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State

WILD is Strayed’s memoir of her physical and mental experiences on her 1,100-mile hike in 1995. She faced rattlesnakes, bears, intense heat, and record snowfalls in the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges. She encountered tremendous pain and immense beauty on this journey of self-discovery.

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”


WILD is an intense and intriguing adventure memoir. The story starts with Strayed backstory leading up to her decision to tackle this enormous feat, including her repeated infidelities and her experimentation with heroin. It is difficult to read when others are making poor life choices, as in this case. But two amazing things occur that make this book so intriguing. The first is that Strayed made a monumental decision to walk the Pacific Coast Trail as a way to break her addictions and change her life. This decision did change her life, and we are able to witness that transformation on the trail.

Strayed had absolutely no idea what she was getting into when she started the trail. Whether you are a hiker or not, her lack of preparation will have you shaking your head. But the second amazing thing about this story is that despite the immense difficulties Strayed encountered, she stayed the course and completed the journey. I thoroughly enjoyed taking this walk with her. Her perseverance is something to behold, and the story is definitely worth the read.

“The universe, I'd learned, was never, ever kidding. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back.”

Publisher Knopf

Published March 20, 2012

Narrated Cheryl Strayed

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