Cheryl Strayed in the Skagit Valley, 2012

 

Author Cheryl Strayed gives a public reading of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail at the Conway Muse in Washington State on Saturday, September 29, as a fundraiser for Institute youth programs.

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she'd lost everything when her mother died young of cancer. Her family scattered in their grief, her marriage was soon destroyed and slowly her life spun out of control. Four years after her mother's death, with nothing more to lose, Strayed made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone.

She had no experience as a long-distance hiker -- indeed, she'd never gone backpacking before her first night on the trail. Her trek was little more than "an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise." But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone. Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and intense loneliness of the trail.

Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey up the Pacific Crest.