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WILD: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail ~ by Cheryl Strayed


I thoroughly enjoyed reading WILD and was very happy that one of my book groups chose it for this month’s selection.   It is a good read and I find it enjoyable to discover the route of various “self-discovery” biographies and in discovering how others have made significant changes in their lives.

I especially enjoyed WILD, because I heard Cheryl Strayed being interviewed on a radio show and she included in her discussion why she took some time to integrate the lessons of the journey before writing her experience and getting it published. I enjoyed the author’s including additional stories and more information on the Pacific Coast Trail.

After Cheryl’s mother died of a very aggressive form of cancer, the author was having difficulty finding her inner self.  She was wandering and exploring, but unable to write the last paper to graduate from college.  At 18, she was trying to hold the family together and walk in her mother’s shoes and keep everything connected to assist her siblings.  Strayed and her husband spent some time moving around and trying on various locations to see if leaving Minnesota would help her find her way.  She struck off on her own to Portland, Oregon and there disappeared into a heroin addiction.  Loving husband to the rescue and detox later she came across the field guide to the Pacific Crest Trail Book 1: California.   It drew her in and captured her heart and soul.

At 22, she divorced her husband and bought a “too big” backpack and boots from REI in Minnesota.  She did not work out or study to make preparations, she just purchased what the field guide suggested, made up boxes with new supplies for each rest stop, and dropped $20 in a Ziploc baggie inside each re-supply box.

Her friend in Portland shipped the resupply boxes as she called and let her know the next location.

Cheryl was determined to do the 1,000 miles of the trail alone, beginning in Mojave, California and within 4 months’ time.  She enjoyed being in nature, contemplating, singing, and discovering the wild life and beasties of the trail.   She met a number of interesting people and has stayed in touch with some of them.   She strengthened her resolve and problem-solved a number of life-changing situations. I often felt as though I was right there under the stars, too hot and too cold.  I could identify with the blisters and lost toe nails each step of her journey.  I think I even enjoyed her ice cream cone when she reached the Columbia River as much as she did.

What a great summer read.  What a great opportunity to witness how someone else explored their values, their relationships, and their perceptions.   Her tributes and sharing of her mother’s gifts and bounty were worth the whole read.  That Cheryl found her center in writing on this venture; one can tell that this medium will keep her moving forward on her journey to her authentic self.

OPRAH put WILD on her book group list.

I gave this book a good solid 4 and hope you will pick it up and enjoy it as much as I did.  I enjoyed feeling part of nature and being well grounded on that 2 foot wide trail!

No one asked me to review this book and it was a Kindle purchase which I added to my personal library.

If you purchase anything from Amazon from this site or Powell’s I will receive a few beans in my bucket. Thank you.

Related Reading:
Poser
My Stroke of Insight 
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
The Paper Garden 

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12 Responses to “WILD: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail ~ by Cheryl Strayed”

  1. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this G-R-E-A-T post! Tweeted and Google+’d, to boot (pun intended)…

    Patricia Reply:

    thank you Laurie

    good run away post at your site too!
    Patricia recently posted..WILD: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail ~ by Cheryl StrayedMy Profile

  2. Terrill Welch Says:

    I love your ladybug four Patricia! I hadn’t noticed them before as a part of your rating system. I too enjoyed your review. Sometimes we take some tough turns in life. Looks like she made it around the corner and is headed for higher ground. I just may look this one up.
    Terrill Welch recently posted..Mayne Island Backyard Bandit CapersMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Terrill,
    I do not think you would be disappointed in this book…It has been am amazing summer of reading – I so enjoyed her memories of her mother and her parenting style.

    It made me want to hike the PCT – at least a bit of it too, but as an armchair adventurer this summer this was a perfect read.

    I have done the ladybugs for awhile, then I took a break but it just felt right to put them up again. thank you for your kind words
    Patricia recently posted..WILD: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail ~ by Cheryl StrayedMy Profile

  3. suzen Says:

    Sounds good, Patricia. I brought all kinds of reading material with me to the lake. So far, I’ve been so busy during the day that I crash at night without my reading time. I may have to take a day off from sports just to read – keep thinkin it’s going to rain one day and I’m well prepared – except I have paintings I want to do. Oh such a life! Perhaps if I didn’t spend time on line……….? Ha!
    Hugs
    SuZen

    Patricia Reply:

    suzen,
    play pickle ball at the Lake and socialize…no school time for play.
    I do think you would really enjoy the last book and this one – though she did not eat very well…
    and I have an astounding review I am working on writing right now…from my own library too….what a discovery and I just know you would enjoy it
    Patricia recently posted..WILD: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail ~ by Cheryl StrayedMy Profile

  4. Chris Edgar Says:

    Hi Patricia, you’ve really been into these books about taking spontaneous journeys lately, huh? Are you planning one to Alaska or Borneo maybe?
    Chris Edgar recently posted..My New Song and Music Video About BloggingMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Actually, Chris,
    I am working on a car trip to San Francisco for Thanksgiving right now.

    I think these books are my summer vacation – but WILD was the choice of my book group…they just landed this way.

    The author walked right by your front door.

    I have a wish to go to Washington DC and spend time in the museums and Smithsonian – especially with funds and able to stay in a nice place and eat all my meals out!

    I would love to go to Italy on an eating tour also :) but I think that is pure fantasy!
    Patricia recently posted..WILD: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail ~ by Cheryl StrayedMy Profile

  5. Stephen Ince Says:

    Great article Patricia, it’s great work you’re doing here. I was reading your copyright and think it’s awesome how you’ll let people adapt your work. Not enough people look at the greater good like that! Kudos.

    Patricia Reply:

    Stephen Ince,
    Thank you for your good words…I hope you have an opportunity to read this good book
    Patricia recently posted..WHEN WOMEN WERE BIRDS: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice ~Terry Tempest WilliamsMy Profile

  6. Cathy | Treatment Talk Says:

    I enjoyed this book as well. A group of us went to Portland and had a little “book Club” meeting at Powell’s Book Store after reading “Wild.” It was such an inspirational book. Our trip to Portland was great as well. Wonderful review. Take care and have a great day!
    Cathy | Treatment Talk recently posted..What I’ve LearnedMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Cathy,
    It is a good book and how fun to venture to Powell’s in Portland to discuss it – One of my book groups is venturing to Seattle to see the Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet performed there this fall.
    I hope you will pop over and read my next review – I think that book too touches base with many of the things you write on your blog – which I enjoy reading very much. A great learning spot

    Thank you for your kind words
    Patricia recently posted..WHEN WOMEN WERE BIRDS: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice ~Terry Tempest WilliamsMy Profile