I was so excited to read this book that I started it late Tuesday night and even stayed up later than usual. My reading brought on an emotion that was anything but excitement. Cheryl Strayed is from Minnesota, and all her references to Minneapolis, the University, and her home locale near Duluth had me feeling like I was reading about my own life. It starts in a fairly brutal way with the death of her mother and continues into her desperate stray into the destruction of her young life. Although my mother is still alive and well and living in Florida, the other parts of Strayed's struggle hit close to my heart, granted not to that extreme, but nonetheless I had felt many of those emotions she deftly articulated. It brought me down, way down to the point where I was sad for most of Wednesday. But I pushed through to the thoroughly engrossing tail of walking the Pacific Crest Trail.
My life list includes walking the entirety of the Superior Hiking Trail, so I devour these sorts of books like a much needed drink of water on an extremely hot day. I can't put it down now that I'm walking alongside Strayed on the PCT. I grew up near the Appalachian Mountains in western Pennsylvania, but I can't see myself ever walking that trail. I don't imagine ever going out to California either. It's all northwoods Minnesota for me.
I'm bumping up the hike along the SHT in the life list queue. I hope to attempt portions of the trail next spring and summer. I have a friend who has agreed to do it with me. And I have hiking boots that are at this moment perfectly broken in. I'm thinking that walking them to the end of their boot lives would be best done on the Superior Hiking Trail.