Wild is Cheryl Strayed's memoir of her 1,100 mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, beginning in the Mojave Desert and hiking through California and Oregon to the Bridge of the Gods into Washington. The book also contains flashbacks to prior life occurrences that led her to begin her journey.
At age 22, Strayed had been devastated by the lung cancer death of her mother at 45. Her stepfather disengaged from Strayed's family, and her brother and sister remained distant. Strayed and her husband divorced, and eventually a lover convinced her to start using heroin.
Seeking self-discovery and resolution of her enduring grief and personal challenges, at age 26, Strayed set out on her journey, alone and with no prior hiking experience. Wild intertwines the stories of Strayed's life before and during the journey, describing her physical challenges and spiritual realizations while on the trail.