With comfortable urban lives in Houston, Texas, and career and life goals mostly accomplished, Gail D. Storey and her husband were in their fifties when they decided it was time to test themselves on a new path—a 2,663-mile path known as the Pacific Crest Trail, which stretches from Mexico to Canada.
I Promise Not to Suffer is Gail's light-hearted yet heart-felt memoir about her and her husband's adventures and misadventures, deepening marriage, and reflections on being irrevocably changed by life on the trail. She was a novice hiker, while he was an experienced outdoorsman. Removed from their usual routines and living outside in the wilderness for months exposed hidden intricacies in their relationship. Hiking 20 miles a day over mountains, thirsting in the high desert of California, forcing frozen feet into icy socks and boots each morning in the High Sierra, stumbling through lava fields in Oregon—Gail was required to meet the elements on their own tough-love terms. From an encounter with a mountain lion to her mother's battle with cancer at home, she confronts each challenge with wit and brave style. While a dangerous loss of weight forces Gail to leave the PCT after 900 miles, she regains strength and later rejoins her husband on sections until he triumphantly reaches the northern terminus in Canada.