Pacific Crest Trail

Pacific Crest Trail

Pacific Crest Trail


A bull, rattlesnakes, a very large bear, heat exhaustion, dehydration.

Those seem to be the most serious threats to life and limb Cheryl Strayed has faced so far, having laboured my way past the soul-cleansing parts in the first 200 pages or so of her book, ‘Wild’, centred around hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

Also frogs, thousands of little black frogs paddling all over her while she slept – but they were just making a bee-line for their pond and she was in the way!

Her biggest fears initially seemed to be bears, mountain lions and being attacked or murdered by weirdo’s!

So interesting to see two of those were never a cause of a fatality on the Pacific Crest Trail and a single fatality from a bear attack in 1974 (unfortunately). To date it seems there has never been a hiker murdered on the the trail.

The Pacific Crest Trail, which in a prolonged bout of escapism she tackled, spans 4,265 kilometers from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. Through desert, glaciated expanses of the Sierra Nevada, deep forests, and volcanic peaks in the Cascade Range.

Very challenging. A safe passage requires vastly more experience and preparation than our apparently impetuous Cheryl started out with!

Ok, we all do crazy things from time to time and she made it, producing a very popular book to boot, no pun intended, and resulting major film!

If I can share a thought, my real sympathies lie with those who were within or anywhere near her circle of destruction prior to her adventure. But ok I suppose we’ve all made dubious choices on occasion! Anyway, the PCT adventure seemed to help her regain her version of balance and equilibrium. Walking and hiking seems to do that!

I came across this very interesting list of 17 Things Scarier Than Bears On The Pacific Crest Trail in Halfway Anywhere blog.

It’s very enlightening to see how imaginary fears stack up against the actual facts!

As usual, it seems the imagination and emotion will never allow facts to get in the way of a good story! What’s news – human-kind is so predictable!

I suppose how else can we explain the popularity of books like this, which I think is very good in parts, and, if one listens to the hubbub, I believe the likes of ’50 Shades of Grey’! But that’s really scraping the bottom of the barrel!

Pacific Crest Trail Association

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