A walk on the wild side

This is the real walk on the wild side. it is a great read for anyone interested in travel or adventure.

The trial is a continuous wilderness stretching from the Mexican border in California to just beyond the Canadian border- along the crest of the Nine Mountain range. To walk on the wild side as Lou Reed sang is to break free from convention. It’s not just wildflowers and a pretty picnic, this is leaving everything behind and making new beginnings. I have always admired people who can do this. Her quest came from pain, but that’s often the energy needed to break free.

 Walking With The Beast 

Turning her idea into a reality She Started at a Motel a dozen mile from the start of Pacific Crest Trail with a newly required rucksack.




A sizable burden far outweighing that of her contemporary males she met up with at various stop of points. Cheryl Strayed was a practical person, she has her iodine pills and a copy of the Pacific Crest Trail Volume 1 (California) to name a few of the many items in the sack monster.

Newly discovered to me I was to realise during reading her story that The PCT is a popular trail in California. 


Her drive and determination to’ do the PCT’ was that at 22 years old her mother died aged 47. A painfully prolonged death in which the author was the main carer.  

About the vastness & discoveries during her journey she says.

I hadn’t expected it to rain in the desert and certainly hadn’t expected it to snow. As with the mountains, there had been no deserts where I grew up. I didn’t really understand what deserts were. I’d taken them to be dry, hot and sandy places full of snakes, scorpions and cactuses. They were layered and complex inexplicable and analogous to nothing. My new existence was beyond analogy, I realized on the second day of the trial I was in entirely new terrain.


I love her description, it says it all.  There is something very hopeful about that especially under the circumstances that have almost forced her to make the journey; the death of her mother, a recent divorce followed by messy affairs and dabbling with drugs. She has left all of that behind her, with a great vastness and possibility in front of her. Despite the drama of her huge walk, there is always the ordinary tedium, monotony and crass people to deal with.  

There is still always reassuringly, serious shit and assholes.

Life is rarely too good for too long! She certainly is not pessimistic nor overly optimistic, but a realist and has to be to do a walk like this. It is an inspiring read

No water in the Tank.

She is running out of water when the heat is 101 degrees in the shade. With 14 miles to the water tank, she reaches it only to see a sign saying, no water in the tank.

 With five miles yet to go to the reservoir it turns out to contain undrinkable water. It is a murky pond grey and as warm as blood, this is where her iodine tablets come in handy. She dissolves them into the murky warm pond grey water into the water in her bottle. The water was dense with sludge she took out her iodine pills desperately thirsty. She drank 1 bottle down,

Warm water tasted like iron and mud, yet seldom have I tasted anything so amazing.

She then fell asleep too tired to put up her tent and woke up with hundreds of small cool black frogs over her body.


Until next time

RIP Lou Reed … (Walk on the Wild Side…)  I have just found out at the time of writing, that Lou Reed has passed away.


For more blogs about being wild try : Walking With The Beast

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