Three hikers gone missing on the Pacific Crest Trail: Chris Sylvia in 2015; Kirk Fowler in 2016; and David O'Sullivan in 2017.
Two women determined to find them: Andrea Lankford and Cathy Tarr.
And their families who never gave up hope.
I have always wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail. I even sent away for maps of it once. But I'm not good with dirt and bugs, sunburn and sweat, camping out for days at a time, or sleeping on the ground. So I'll probably never hike it from start to finish. (Though I do still harbor hope that I might manage to hike parts of it someday.) But I absolutely love reading about those who do set out on these long trails. I've read several accounts of thru-hikers who have hiked the Appalachian Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail. And I'm always amazed by their exuberance, optimism and tenacity.
Trail of the Lost is an equally compelling account, but it's a sad one, too. Tarr and Lankford do everything they can to find the PCT missing: track down and interview other hikers, retrace the hikers' last known steps, organize search parties (lots of search parties!), hire drone operators to fly over the area, follow every lead and clue, and share in the parents' heartache and grief. Not just for a month or two. But for years. But sometimes the lost are never found.
Lankford's writing is vivid and well-researched; she paints quite a picture of what it's like to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. And she meets a lot of very interesting people along the way. Trail of the Lost is an engrossing and memorable book. I'd give it 4.5/5 stars.
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