For months now, I've been working on my first feature story for Backpacker magazine, a profile about a woman named Anish, who, last summer, smashed the existing speed record on the Pacific Crest Trail by a whopping four days. She walked an average of 40 to 50 miles each day for 60 days straight. Anish is an inspiringly strong athlete, with a gritty sense of determination that literally wouldn't allow her to quit, but there was something deeper about her story that intrigued me. What was driving her to such a physical and mental feat? What was she trying to escape? The story, "A Ghost Among Us," is out now in the August issue of Backpacker,
Clearly, ridding your demons by an arduous hike on the PCT is a trend these days: Cheryl Strayed wrote a best-selling book, Wild, about her journey on the PCT, which has been turned into a Hollywood movie due out in December starring Reece Witherspoon (trailer above).
Anish didn't just run away from her past on the PCT. She found her home there.