Hiking is good for the soul. It helps center one’s life. And so it was that Strayed took off at a moment’s notice to conquer her fears, depression to hike the Pacific Coastal Trail (PCT) the trail that spans 2,650 miles from Mexico to the Canadian Border, crossing through California, Oregon and Washington.
For Strayed it was not so much the distance she hiked but he distance she was away from real life. Starting in Modesto, CA she made it through ice fields, rock falls, bear and the occasional rattlesnake to the far side of Oregon. With all the physical difficulties of hiking, from sore muscles and broken feet to the extra precautions any young woman hiking on her own has to face the journey was accomplished and life began anew.
I was very pleasantly drawn into this story of accomplishment having hike the PCT’s eastern cousin the Appalachian Trail, under similar circumstances, about ten years ago and so many times I found myself nodding or uttering agreement to the trials and tribulations Strayed voiced. It was quite the mini flash-back and I really enjoyed basking with her on her backpacking journey.
Like those before and those to come this life’s journey was one of abolishing one’s fears and striving for a new beginning.