I simply could not get enough of this amazing, absolutely unique book.
A story of a young woman who, after a series of heartbreaking, life changing events, hiked over a thousand miles by herself along the Pacific Crest Trail. She started in the Mojave Desert in Southern California, and ended the hike just north of Oregon - Washington border on the Bridge of Gods crossing over the Columbia River. The novel is filled with personal details, self reflection and unique experiences. The book is definitely a must read!
Here are several of my favorite quotes from the novel:
1. “It was all unknown to me then, as I sat on that white bench on the day I finished my hike. Everything except the fact that I didn’t have to know. That it was enough to trust that what I’d done was true. To understand its meaning without yet being able to say precisely what it was, like all those lines from The Dream of a Common Language that had run through my nights and days. To believe that I didn’t need to reach with my bare hands. To know that seeing the fish beneath the surface of the water was enough. That it was everything. It was my life—like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me. How wild it was, to let it be.”
2. “There’s no way to know what makes one thing happen and not another. What leads to what. What destroys what. What causes what to flourish or die or take another course. ”
3. “There was nothing to do but go on.”
4. “The universe, I’d learned, was never, ever kidding. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back.”
5. “Maybe I was more alone than anyone in the whole wide world. Maybe that was okay.”
6. “The thing about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the thing that was so profound to me that summer—and yet also, like most things, —was how few choices I had and how often I had to do the thing I least wanted to do. How there was no escape or denial. No numbing it down with a martini or covering it up with a roll in the hay.”
7. “I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me. Insisting on this story was a form of mind control, but for the most part, it worked.”
8. “I simply did not let myself become afraid. Fear begets fear. Power begets power. I willed myself to beget power. And it wasn’t long before I actually wasn’t afraid.
I was working too hard to be afraid.”