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  • Kathy Schrenk

"Thru Hiking Will Break Your Heart"

Kathy is reviewing her favorite books on the outdoors and hiking. For the list of all the reviews, click here.

Thru Hiking Will Break Your Heart is one of my favorite of the "woman hikes the PCT" genre. Quinn's writing boasts a combination of honesty, wonder, and practicality. Her writing is also lovely and at times inspiring. One minute she's having a conversation with a tree or asking "what is distance, what is time?" The next she's lamenting how "awful" Lake Tahoe is because of the crowds or explaining how she deals with menstruation on the trail. It's the combination of the mundane and the mystical, the day-to-day and the divine that helped me imagine I was along for the ride through the ups and downs of life on a thru-hike.

Quinn sets no records. She doesn't overcome any impossible odds. She's just another of the hundreds of people who complete the 2650-mile PCT each year. It's an incredible feat for anyone and her unique perspective an ability to make each day with her trail family seem magical even if it's filled with physical and sometimes emotional pain make it an adventure worth reading.

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