Just before her 40th birthday, Gail Francis quit her perfectly good job and set out to hike one of the great trails of the world. Carrying everything she needed on her back, Francis spent five months walking from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail. Along the way, she lost her pack scrambling over scree in the desert, struggled to navigate high mountain passes, and wore the soles off her boots trekking across lava fields — all within some of the most pristine wilderness in the nation. Though she set out alone, her story includes an eclectic cast of characters. From the man walking the entire 2,700 miles in a series of twenty-six wedding dresses, to the woman making the journey in the company of her pet mouse, Francis learned to count on her fellow hikers for entertainment as well as a few important life lessons.