And getting hooked on the latter.
So even though my backpacking days are long gone, I still avidly like reading about long distance hiking, such as AWOL on the Appalachian Trail (David Miller); A Walk in the Woods (Bill Bryson); and most recently, Wild (Cheryl Strayed).
(Note: A decent movie based upon the book Wild--Cheryl's experiences on the Pacific Coast Trail--was recently out starring Reese Witherspoon. The bride and I liked the movie but as usual, a book is just more in-depth and richer than a 2 hour film can be).
You should definitely read the book. The author is broken in a number of important ways, and is very slowly coming to terms with her mother's early death from cancer at age 45. Cheryl's writing is SO engrossing and gorgeous that the book is a literal page-turner, even though you know the ending: she completes her hike and finds herself along the way.
Anyway, in describing her beloved mother--who must have been a real trip--this passage leaped out at me to share here:
"I've given you everything," she [mother] insisted again and again in her last days.
"Yes," I agreed. She had, it was true. She did. She did. She did. She came at us with maximum maternal velocity. She hadn't held back a thing, not a single lick of her love.
Which, I suppose, is a pretty good eulogy. The phrase "maximum maternal velocity" is absolutely priceless.
Read the book...and the other 2 listed. You will not regret it.