Walking on the trail during the first few weeks, Cheryl writes, "My mind was a crystal vase that contained only one desire. My body was its opposite: a bag of broken glass." Through the book she talks about the blisters, the dehydration, the exhaustion, and the hunger. How—and why—did this physical suffering help her cope with her emotional pain?
Once deep in the wilderness, Cheryl feels something she describes as "radical aloneness." What does she mean by this, and how did her surroundings and situation amplify this feeling?
Think about the things—both physical and mental—Cheryl discards along the trail. What are they? How do they change her when they get left behind?
Cheryl writes that her old approach to meeting people, especially men, was to present the "least true version of me." How does she change this approach on the PCT?
What does the death of Lady mean for Cheryl? What did that horse represent to her and to her mother—and to the rest of their family?
Why might Cheryl have identified the fox she sees on the trail as her mother?
Published on Jun 01, 2012