Thursday, September 3, 2015

Wild by Cheryl Strayed, a Book Review

All I can say about this book is : DRAMA, DRAMA,& MORE DRAMA. Suspense. Surprises. Resupply boxes. Peaks, boots, pain, and persistence. Reading her story was hard to put down. She exposes things in her life both shocking to admit for most people as well as very personal. I was not use to such honesty in a book. I enjoyed her descriptions of every place she stopped and how she brought out the emotional part of long distance hiking. Having never hiked long distances before, I became more intrigued after reading, A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson on the Appalachian Trail. Hiking with Cheryl through the Pacific Crest Trail(PCT), I learned quite a few things more about hiking. The experience between men hiking and women hiking is different. Hitch hiking is harder for men then women. Cheryl ran into more people offering anything from cheap lodging to free food. The PCT was basically tent camping, no shelters like the Appalachian Trail (AT). She was hiking alone. A scary thought to me, but admirable. It takes a lot of courage to do what she did. I was dreading to finish this book just as Cheryl was not looking forward to leaving the trail at the Bridge of the Gods. The only thing I would have liked was a better ending with more about what she did once she got back to Portland. She gives a short review of the events, but I would have liked to see how she acclimated back to life. The ending is a little disappointing.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

This is the Appalachian trail. Just an FYI. If you want to see a cool Youtube video on Appalachian Trail follow Red Beard.
This was my first book on the Appalachian trail and first introduction to the AT. I had never heard of backpacking in the USA just Europe. Born and raised in California, I am so shocked how much of the trail system through our country are out there. I started hiking with my family locally just two years ago and love it. So when I heard about this book through my preschool family. I was so excited to read it. It was both entertaining and had so much information on many different tidbits of information I was not aware of. I could picture the Appalachian trail in my head as if I was backpacking with Bill, the author. I could feel his pain, frustrations, and relief at times. I went in thinking this was his account of the adventure, but it was so much more. I really enjoyed reading about his incites about the Forest service, different parts of the trail, where he was from,and how people actually hike: thru hikers who do the whole trail and section hikers that only hike and camp sections at a time. If you are into nature,love to hike, love to read about being in the woods, and want to know more about pushing one's limit,then you will get his take on the AT trail. If you are looking for guidance on how to, what you need to hike, how to prepare to hike long distances, then this is not a good book for that. It is not a "How to" book. He doesn't go into detail about how he prepared for the trip. He talks about his life, how he made the decision to go, his experience on the trail and how it affected him. What he got out of it. How it changed him. I find perspectives very interesting to read about. So if you are like me,then this is the book for you. There are many backpacking videos on and books you can borrow from the library if you want to explore backpacking long distances.