I had this book in my wishlist for a while before I won it in a giveaway and I was so excited to read it. It isn’t exactly what I was hoping it would be, but it was good in its own way. Lori’s dream was to hike the John Muir Trail and at 50, a bit overweight with arthritis and asthmatic, she gets the support from her family to hike it. For a year her and a friend Debra planned, and when the day arrived to start a few smaller hikes before the big one, she got to see Debra for who she really was.
Lori has tried new boots for this trip and they aren’t working out. She’s covered in painful blisters and it’s making it extremely painful to walk. She has the opportunity on one of her breaks to switch out boots, which helps a lot, especially because they’re headed for a 3-week hike with no going home. She knew she needed a map and yet didn’t bring one, so when she ends up lost, I’m not surprised. I’m glad it happened before the really long hike and that her husband got her one. I can’t imagine doing a 211-mile hike without a map, it’s a foolish mistake that could have been avoided.
Debra was pretty awful to Lori, she made fun of her weight, the speed in which she hiked, forced her to carry more weight than she should have so it wasn’t evenly distributed amongst Lori, Debra, and Debra’s daughter. Lori says she couldn’t do this hike without Debra, and I believe that to be true. But Debra left Lori to hike on her own every day, and Lori came to a place of acceptance with hiking alone, preferring it most times. I think no matter the time spent planning, after the first time I was ditched, I would have sorted out my gear and then just hiked alone with no meetups, the level of abuse just wasn’t worth the few good times the trio had.
I sympathized with Lori because she really wanted to do this hike and was in a bad situation. She talks a lot about her weight, her asthma, and her knees, and it’s refreshing to see her being so open. From the pictures on the cover, she doesn’t appear all that overweight and I think with Debra’s mean words, it really didn’t help how Lori viewed herself. While the book got a bit repetitive at times, it’s a sign of strength and bravery to be able to hike this trail, a wonderful accomplishment.