At a local used book sale, I picked up a copy of The High Adventure of Eric Ryback, an engaging and interesting story of Eric’s journey from Canada to Mexico.
The 17 year old Eric had hiked the Appalachian Trail in previous summer breaks, and in 1970 he set out to escape society and find solace and adventure for 132 days on the PCT.
Equipped with the bare survival essentials, Eric encounters freezing nights, many bouts of hunger, and a few wrong turns. But he also sees breathtaking vistas and makes friends with the few people he sees in his 4+ months of walking. Underlying the adventure story and details of the hike is the development of Eric’s maturity. Eric insinuates that his teenage years were socially awkward, but by the end of the story he has a better understanding of himself and confidence in his ability to make friends with all types of people.
The story is interesting and I’d recommend it to anyone considering a thru-hike!