I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail
By Gail D. Storey
This engaging book is a memoir about Gail Storey’s attempt to hike the entire 2663 mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada with her husband. That sounds pretty intimidating to me, and in fact it sounds pretty intimidating to Storey also! Hiking this trail is a lifelong dream of her husband, so when he leaves his job to make the trek she decides she does not want him to go alone, and comes along.
What follows is a story that combines hiking information, marital therapy and natural disasters into one exciting read. The book is light hearted and humorous, but contains some very scary incidents, like Storey’s encounter with a mountain lion and fording swollen mountain creeks. I am in awe of the fact that Storey was willing to follow her husband on this journey, since she fully admits she never cared much for nature and you can’t get much closer to nature than this.
I like to hike, but stick to 6-12 mile day hikes, not actual backpacking. So I found the description of all the planning that goes into a months long hike fascinating. The amount of food that they have to eat and the ultra light gear needed is extensive. It was also neat to see the camaraderie of the hikers, and how strangers along the trail open their homes up to hikers and give them rides to the store to help them re-supply.
But while the hiking details are interesting the real point of the book is the internal journey that Storey undertakes. While hiking she has plenty of time contemplate wisdom, nature and deepen relationship with her husband. To complicate things further Storey’s mother is dying of breast cancer, and Storey has to think about their troubled relationship and make peace with their past.
Overall this book is a fun, quick read, that is both amusing and memorable. Storey is an excellent writer, and her personality and humor really shine through the writing. She makes the other characters come alive, and makes a daunting task like hiking 2663 miles seem inspirational.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.