by Gail Donohue Storey

Reviewer Rating:
5

Review

When Gail Storey's husband, Porter, was faced with a job transition/crisis, he took it as an opportunity to take 6 months to hike the 2,663-mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). While Gail and Porter had completed several long distance bike trips together, their only other attempt at long distance hiking, on the Appalachian Trail, had Gail leaving the trail early in pain and frustration. Now, Gail was faced with a choice--join her husband on the 6-month PCT hike and test their relationship and face her own inner demons, or stay home. She chooses the more difficult path, and we get to go on the journey with them in this memoir that is both fast-paced and contemplative. We get backstory on Gail's life, including her often frustrating relationship with her mother, and highlights of Gail and Porter's relationship woven into the story of their journey from Mexico to Canada, which includes 20-mile days, thousands of feet traveled up and down mountains, the heat of the Mojave Desert, wildlife encounters, bonds formed with other hikers, injuries, all sorts of weather, and self-examination that is hard to run away from when you are walking slowly up a mountain. Whether you're inspired to start your own journey or not after finishing this book, you will almost certainly find new meaning in the phrase "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional."

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