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  • when i was twenty-six years old i decided to hike the pacific crest trail or at least

  • a big chunk of it that time i wasn't living a life that you would guess that

  • somebody uh... you know we decide to go i think this wilderness trail by herself i

  • was very much at what i think of as the sort of bottom of my life

  • my mother had died very suddenly cancer

  • about four years before she was forty five years old

  • she thought she had a bad cold

  • it quickly uh... progressed to something that we thought was worse we never

  • dreamed it was cancer but um... we soon found out that indeed it was

  • and he died seven weeks later uhÖ till the day after her diagnosis

  • i was really at this moment that I decided to hit the pacific crest trail

  • I guess sort of lost

  • my family had really disintegrated in the wake of my momís death

  • i had tried to keep us all together but i didn't really have the sort of

  • sustaining power

  • that uh... a mother has and that i didn't know was there until after my mom died

  • I had been married at the time

  • To someone I cared for and loved very deeply that i just was really too young

  • to be married and certainly too young to nurture that kind of commitment to bond

  • given my own grief and what was happening in my life

  • and so

  • I, I drive to

  • oregon

  • and catch a plane to Los Angeles and catch a ride

  • to the town of Mojave, California

  • and it was there that I began my hike in the mojave desert

  • i was out there by myself

  • i'd never gone backpacking before

  • not one night

  • and

  • I

  • didn't, uh

  • really listen to any of the warnings that that people had given me about

  • Weight and how is really important to just be very very very careful

  • about what to take

  • so i get out there and i have you know um... ridiculous things like a saw

  • that i don't know what exactly

  • i was going to

  • to cut but i had that

  • i have many other things

  • and uh...

  • i could really not actually lift my backpack i couldn't lift it even

  • like a centimeter at all

  • and yet i had to carry it uh... you know eleven hundred miles to the wilderness

  • by the end it's like day three i was literally um...

  • bleeding from like

  • various places on my body where the backpack made contact with my with my

  • shoulders and my hips and

  • my feet uh... were were terribly blistered and

  • it was agony on what i said when i wasn't thinking about those very

  • immediate concerns what was really happening inside of me as i was

  • essentially

  • coming to terms with my life

  • and things came up that were surprising uh...

  • of course my mother's

  • death was this

  • huge thing uh... for me and i certainly thought about her a lot on the trail but

  • i also thought sometimes negative things about her you for the first time I was

  • really in touch with

  • my sense of rage about her death

  • and of course it doesn't make any sense that i would blame her of course my

  • mother wanted to live

  • i realize that

  • you know later that that i needed to to do that to get to the other side

  • Of my grief

  • and there is no other side where you arrive on the shore and then you walk away and youíre clean

  • But I certainly

  • got to the other side of something so i could go on

  • and i think that um... the trail enabled to me to do that. i finished my trip

  • in a town called cascade locks on the columbia river

  • it's just east of

  • uh... the city of portland oregon right now live

  • and there's this place called the bridge of the gods that spans the columbia

  • river and it's this beautiful bridge

  • uh... i knew

  • All through my hike really once that this is my destination and i wasn't

  • gonna stop so i got there

  • by the time i reached that place

  • I felt uh...

  • not transformed in this kind of neat

  • Arc of a way

  • but i think that we we sort of

  • hope for a look for when we take its a big journey such as the one i took

  • but I felt like i would never be at that bottom again

  • at that place i was

  • when i began now i'm forty-three I finished hiking the trail

  • two days before may twenty seventh birthday

  • and yet you know i looked back and i can see that everything that i am

  • is born of

  • everything that i gathered back uh... to myself on that trip

when i was twenty-six years old i decided to hike the pacific crest trail or at least

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B1 US trail hike crest mother oregon backpack

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

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    Precious Annie Liao posted on 2017/06/27
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