The day after the June 2012 derecho hit West Virginia, I decided to read a book. Because, what else was there to do, quite honestly? In two days I devoured every word of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by author Cheryl Strayed. The book is a memoir of Strayed’s journey to hike eleven-hundred-miles, all alone, without ever having backpacked before. As I read, I realized that the novel spoke to my immediate situation in a way I hadn’t anticipated. Just think of it – she slept in a tent; I slept on the floor of my basement on an unzipped sleeping bag, trying to stay cool. She cooked on a camp stove to survive; I grilled thawed chicken breasts before they had a chance to spoil. She dodged bears and rattlesnakes; I tried to avoid tripping over dog toys in the dark. This woman and I are practically twins when you get right down to it. In fact, I may write my own memoir of my days during the power outage in homage to Wild. I think I’ll call it Derecho: Charging Your Phone in the Car is Half the Fun. I’ll send you a copy.
– Tiffany Blaire