Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Hi there!  Welcome to I Hate Cheryl Strayed.  You're likely here because you read Wild and after you threw the book across the room in disgust, you hopped on Google to search for other people who hated it in order to validate your own loathing for the book and its author.  If that's the case, welcome.  You're in the right place, friend.  You're not alone.

If this is your first time visiting, I suggest you start at the beginning.  Enjoy.

I created this blog because I had read Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, and it was the only book I'd ever read that had made me furiously angry.  Due to the complete lack of critical reviews, I decided to write my own 39-part review to call out all of the inconsistencies, exaggerations, "literary embellishments," flat out lies, plagiarism, and shitty writing.  This book is a steaming pile of crap, and Cheryl Strayed is the Stolen Valor poster child of the hiking community.  Her "memoir" is an affront to every person who has ever completed a true thru-hike, and she likely inspired this ding dong to fake her own hike this year.

If you're thinking I'm just some jackass internet troll sitting on my couch, eating chips, throwing in my uninformed two cents about hiking, and tearing Cheryl Strayed apart for no particular reason other than for my own sick amusement, know this: I've been a distance hiker for years, and this year, I walked across America.  I spent 192 days walking 3,200 miles from Rhode Island to Oregon.  I did this alone, while hauling just over 100 pounds of gear and supplies in a pack and a cart--

Hey, there I am!

-- so, while I may, indeed, be a jackass, I also know a little something about thru-hiking, and I certainly know enough about it to strongly suspect that Cheryl's hike was total fiction.  If-- and I'm talking to you, Cheryl fans-- you still feel the need to leave comments on this blog about how you think I'm just totes jealous of The Strayed or how I need to get a life, you go ahead an embarrass yourself.  Have a blast. I'll go back to my sad, pitiful existence of sitting around and wishing that I could be as amazing as Cheryl.  I mean, walking across America doesn't even compare to the awesomeness of pretending to have section-hiked part of the PCT, so... right.  Boy, I sure wish that I, too, could do something incredible.

Oh, wait.

For the rest of you, enjoy some photos!  Unlike Cheryl "I Only Took Four Pictures the Whole Time I Supposedly Walked 1,100 Miles" Strayed, I took over 2,000 pictures during the six months I was on the road.  Here are some of the milestone photos:

Leaving Rhode Island and entering my second state.
March 25, 2017

Glad to be out of Connecticut.
March 31, 2017

Crossing the GWB into New Jersey, April 2, 2017

...and there's the sign.

Pennsylvania didn't have a welcome sign, so I had to settle for this Pennsylvania Lottery sign.
April 8, 2017

Ohio also neglected to welcome me, but here's the state line.
April 30, 2017

This will have to suffice.

Indiana had a strange way of welcoming me... I fixed it.
May 14, 2017

Entering the Land of Lincoln.
May 22, 2017

About to cross the Mississippi...

...June 4, 2017

Entering Iowa, but only Davenport welcomed me.
June 4, 2017

So we'll do this instead.

Crossing "The Bob" into Nebraska.
June 27, 2017

Taking a breather in Omaha.

Finally out of Nebraska.
July 23, 2017

Big milestone for every thru-hiker.
August 10, 2017

Photo taken roughly one minute before the eclipse.
August 21, 2017

Attempting to protect my lungs from the smoke when every state was on fire around me.
September 6, 2017

The joy of reaching the last state.
September 14, 2017

Last time zone.
September 16, 2017

Last mile.
October 2, 2017

I made it.
Newport, Oregon, October 2, 2017

Do I plan on writing a book about my journey?  You bet!  If you enjoyed Wild, you won't enjoy my book.  It will not be a long, weepy account of all my personal bullshit and hang-ups that have nothing to do with the hike, or how everyone I met thought I was the toughest, most beautiful, amazing person they had ever met.  I won't be talking about myself incessantly, because the story won't be-- nor should it be-- about me.  I intend to write about the places I went, the things I saw, the people I met, and of the experience of spending six months alone on the road.  I know, SO BORING, I DIDN'T EVEN SLEEP WITH ANYONE OR KILL ANY HORSES.


Enough.  Go enjoy the blog.



  1. I just reread most of this blog. I have discovered some comments by folks who posted after your entries. You guys were so good at this. I don't know what Mercer Creed's voice is like in real like but I read his comments like Roger from "American Dad".

  2. I absolutely love that your blog exists, and that I found it this morning! What led me here was a story in the news cycle about some poor (nonphotogenic) woman in England who's planning to pour her cremated mom's ashes over her turkey dinner for Christmas. "Hey, didn't I read something like that in a book recently?" I thought, and then (shudder) remembered: oh yeah, Cheryl Strayed did that in "Wild." But of course, she was blonde and pretty, so it must have been OK. Anyway, a couple of Google searches led me here and I'm so glad!! Looking forward to reading each and every one of your entries!

  3. yeah. strayed really bugs me. huge ego.

  4. Friend, life's entirely too short. You're an amazing writer. Use your weapon for love, not hate.

  5. Congratulations on your outstanding accomplishment !

    I really disliked "Wild" and all the obvious lying and theatrics.
    On the other hand, I am really looking forward to reading your book. :-) Congratulations again, and best wishes to you !

  6. Oh my God! You fucking did it! I am so excited to see the updated blog with pictures of your trek. You are a fucking bad ass bitch!!! I forgot about this whole Strayed mess until someone on Twitter posted a pic with her and Lidia Yuknavitch and Pam Huston. I love Pam Huston and was sad to see her pal-ing around with Strayed. Anyway, kudos to you for accomplishing your goal!!!

  7. I know I'm very late to the party, but word travels very slowly to Georgia. I mean we only recently have learned that cousins shouldn't fuck and that we lost the Civil War, so sorry about that. I found this site because my dear wife rented that monkey-screw of a movie the other night. I was busy tracking Hurricane Florence and urging to hit South Carolina, instead of us, because they started the Civil War in the first place. Anyway, I happened to look up because I failed to put on my bullshit protectors and was overwhelmed by the absolute nonsense I was hearing. As soon as I saw that pack, I knew we were looking at a fairytale. I haven't thru-hiked any of the biggies, but I am an experienced backpacker. I wanted to gouge my eyes out after just ten minutes of that film. We did finish it, because we wanted to see where this comedy of errors would lead us. Thankfully we could fast forward past the flashbacks, or whatever the hell they were. I said there had to be something about this abortion, er turkey flake, on the web. So, thanks for your incredibly, detailed dissection of this whole Wild scam. Congratulations on completing your epic trans-Continental journey. That is a remarkable achievement. I thought I'd mention that today on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's instagram feed are photos of Jennifer Pharr Davis and PCT "Hiking is Hard" Barbie, announcing them as featured guests on the Oct 2nd livestream celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Trail System Act. Where is the vomit emoji on this system? One comment on the posting is "Thru hiker meets yellow blazer." Classic. The rest are fawning comments about being soooooooper excited. Okay, so I need to get back to being retired. Thanks for your service, Soldier, though when people tell me that I can't help wondering where they were 40-something years ago. Back then they were spitting at us. Never mind. Thanks again for the fun blog. It kicked ass, and we loved it.

  8. Thank you for putting the finger right on what I disliked about Wild. A well crafted web of lies that felt egocentric and false the entire read.

  9. My story...

    I found your site years ago when Wild first came out on DVD. I remember the opening scenes where she struggles to put on "Monster" (or whatever she called her pack) and thinking that it was impossible. At the time, I blamed the movie people not Cheryl. Then she got to the part with the bow hunters. In the middle of the movie, I turned to my wife and said, "That didn't happen." I stopped watching the movie and hit the internet. I found your site, and had a much more enjoyable evening.

    I sent you a few bucks a while back, before you had to abort your first cross-country trek. I'm so glad you finally made it! I'm' looking forward to your book where you hook up with every guy you meet, EXCEPT the scary ones who are most likely able to help you.

  10. When I last visited this site you were about to start on your cross-continent journey. Great to see that you did it! And that a non-fiction book is to come from it. I'd love to buy a copy.

  11. You're awesome! I am happy you made your epic hike happen!

    As a Pennsylvanian, I would like to apologize for not having a sign up to welcome you to the state.

  12. I think the overall tone is mean as hell but.... I'm interested in what you have to say haha. I'm literally just starting your blog, can't wait to see where this journey takes me!