The Cactus Eaters

The Cactus Eaters

How I Lost My Mind--and Almost Found Myself--on the Pacific Crest Trail

Book - 2008
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Baker & Taylor
A chronicle of one young couple's hike along the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail describes how the author and his girlfriend made the trek from Mexico to Canada, the hardships and adventures they encountered along the way, the transforming powers of the natural world, the colorful characters they met, and the insights they gained about nature, themselves, and each other. Original. 35,000 first printing.


The Pacific Crest Trail stretches from Mexico to Canada, a distance of 2,650 grueling, sun-scorched, bear-infested miles. When Dan White and his girlfriend announced their intention to hike it, Dan's parents—among others—thought they were nuts. How could two people who'd never even shared an apartment together survive six months in the desert with little more than a two-person tent and some trail mix? But when these addled adventurers, dubbed "the Lois and Clark Expedition" by their benevolent trail-guru, set out for the American wilderness, the hardships of the trail—and one delicious-looking cactus—test the limits of love and sanity.

Book News
White is a journalist and author based in the San Francisco Bay area, whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Backpacker magazine. He shares an entertaining and enlightening account of a lengthy backpacking journey he and his girlfriend--both relatively inexperienced hikers--made along a southern portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. No subject index. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: New York : Harper Perennial, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061376931
Characteristics: 374, 18 p. ; 21 cm


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May 29, 2018

I wanted to like this book, but found it annoying from Pg 1. The author seeks some sort of Bill Bryson A Walk in the Woods - type dialogue, but with less wit and more (yes, more!) whining. 2.5 stars for some worthy descriptions of the PCT - disappointing overall.

Jul 11, 2017

Since the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed, I have enjoyed reading books on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.
I liked following Dan and Allison and their adventures on the trail. Todd the Sasquatch, The Ginderbread Man and Dr Dic* Head were some of the nicknames given to the assortment of characters (other hikers) they met on the trail.
There were many truly miserable moments on the PCT for these two which made me glad that I was reading in the comfort of my recliner and not even contemplating an adventure such as theirs.


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