I always admired a college friend’s choice to hike the Appalachian Trail after graduation.

While I considered what I was doing post-graduation in New York as roughing it – broke, crappy roach-infested apartment in Queens, sleeping on a mattress on the floor – he was really roughing it. For over 2000 miles.

He didn’t blog, or share much of his journey at the time (this was pre-social media for the most part), but when we did reconnect about a year ago, I enjoyed looking through his photos on Facebook. I even thought about hiking the trail in pieces.

So when a friend recommended Cheryl Strayed’s Wild to me, I knew I would love it. And I did. I read the whole book, which details a young woman’s brave Pacific Crest Trail hike, last Saturday at my parents house. And of course, my hiking fantasies are once again fueled.

Have you read it?


  • My husband hiked the PCT during college (minus a snowy part in Washington State) and just read Wild. He loved it, and it’s the next book I plan to read. We just spent a long weekend hiking in Yosemite, so I can relate to your hiking fantasies. Big time.

  • I am not a camper. I’ve camped three times and hiked three mountains in the Adirondacks. All three times, I then spoiled myself (and my boyfriend at the time) with a stay in Lake Placid after each hike.

    So after reading this book I was surprised with my overwhelming desire to go back out and hike/camp through the Adirondacks. It’s a little more difficult to do this now that I no longer live in the Capital Region (and call Manhattan home) but the fantasy is still there.

    I may be fooling myself and really just want to do this so I can build a fire and make s’mores. S’mores are the best.

  • I did hear about Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild.” I read an interview about her book and her life in Vogue before it came out. I remember being intrigued and captivated by the entire journey. I’m glad it’s finally out- I will certainly be purchasing a copy and reading it.

  • Finished it tonight and can add my voice to the chorus of well-deserved praise. It is marvelous, inspiring and revealing without dipping into a certain kind of one-upsmanship I-am-so-cool writing so prevalent today.

    . Interesting to me is that she wrote about her exploits as a young woman with the knowing voice of an older one.

    Can I also say she is one very brave lady! Reading it I thought of all the people in times gone by who would set out on journeys by foot or in small boats or on horses. It is simply amazing.

  • I stumbled upon your blog just this morning via the post about your husbands literary illustrations. Loved those! Then, I was so happy to see you talking about long distance hiking. I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007 and miss it each and every day. Just wanted to send a little encouragement for your section hikes… it’s an amazing trail and community out there that I wish everyone could experience. Best wishes!

  • Read the book and I really enjoyed it! Cheryl was a bit frustrating at times but aren’t we all when we need to figure out who the hell we are?! The imagery was beautiful and makes we want a beer left on a picnic table by the hikers ahead of me!

  • wow, that is amazing – such a long journey. i have often fantasized (mostly when i was a bit younger and childless) what it would be like to set off like that. i can’t imagine it wouldn’t be completely life altering. will put this on my book list, thanks for the recommendation!

  • I can highly recommend Bill Bryson’s ‘A Walk in the Woods’. A truly hilarious (save for a dull 50 pages or so around the middle) account of his travails along the Appellation Trail.
    Come to think of it, perhaps those 50 pages are intentionally hard work to give a truer sense of the ebb and flow of most decent hikes.

  • I’m so glad to see that others have read and enjoyed this book. I recently finished. Though I have hiked many parts of the AT already, I have a goal to do the entire trail…. Summer 2014 seems like the best time for me, and I feel excited all over again by hardships, joys, and triumphs expressed in WILD.

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