Cheryl Strayed

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Four years, seven months and three days after her mother's death, a divorced Cheryl set out to find her own path. In June 1995, she started a solo journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. "It was a world I'd never been to and yet had known was there all along, one I'd staggered to in sorrow and confusion and fear and hope," she writes. "A world I thought would both make me into the woman I knew I could become and turn me back into the girl I'd once been. A world that measured two feet wide and 2,663 miles long."

Here she is pictured just two weeks before embarking on her journey, showing the tattoo she got of her mother's beloved horse, Lady.