Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail is a memoir that documents Cheryl Strayed’s 100-day journey on the Pacific Crest Trail at age 26. After losing her mother to cancer at the age of 22, Strayed’s life quickly began to unravel. She became distanced from her too siblings, Karen and Leif, and from her stepfather Eddie. She dropped out of college with only a five-page paper standing in between her and her degree. She began to cheat on her husband Paul, who she still loved tremendously but could not manage to be faithful to.
Things went from bad to worse, as Strayed and Paul separated and her friends began to blame her. Caught up in her grief and loneliness, Strayed went to Portland to visit her friend Lisa and rebuild her life. Instead, she got involved with a man named Joe, who introduced her to heroin.
Upon discovering she was pregnant and opting for an abortion, Strayed hit a low point in her downward spiral. She decided to go a summer-long trip on the Pacific Crest Trail to think through her life and her future. The journey was as agonizing as it was exhilarating.
An inexperienced backpacker, Strayed faced countless mishaps on the trail, from nearly being mauled by a bull to getting lost in the snow to being threatened by a man while hiking alone. But she also met a colorful assortment of friends and hikers, who encouraged her and shaped her journey. As she traveled over 1,000 miles, Strayed thought back through the dark points of her life and eventually found the inner-strength to let them go.