Author: Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed has written a mediative and insightful memoir about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail which starts in California and ends in Washington State Oregon, a journey of eleven hundred miles, while carrying a backpack that she nicknames the “Monster” because it is so heavy. Like all good Journey stories, her inner journey is as important as her outer journey.
The death of her beloved Mother and the resulting disintegration of her family, the breakdown of her marriage and her brush with drugs, convinces her that she needs to get away from her ‘everyday life’ for a while and reassess. A feeling many of us have, yet Cheryl actually follows through, embarking on an arduous and sometimes dangerous journey. She describes feeling totally alone in remote deserts and on icy Mountains and having to learn self reliance to survive. While she faces real dangers on her life altering journey, she also describes her feelings of elation at the beauty that surrounds her, and the euphoria she feels when she achieves her self imposed goals.
The characters she meets along the way are interesting and diverse and add to the texture of her story, yet the ‘real characters’ in her inner story are her loved ones and especially her mother with whom she has had a troubled past and with whom she finally makes peace. This is a great adventure story combined with the best elements of a human interest story. Entertaining and inspiring.