At the age of 26, still reeling from the loss of her mother years earlier, the breakup of her marriage and other personal troubles, Cheryl Strayed decided she needed to take a walk. What ensued was an epic solo journey along the Pacific Crest Trail - over a thousand miles from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State. Two decades later, relying on detailed journal notes from her adventure, Strayed documented her life-changing hike in what became the best-selling book "Wild."

"It was like a wilderness endurance race rather than a vacation," Strayed told the NY Times last year. "The trail was also far more remote than I imagined it would be. I thought I’d be constantly meeting other hikers, but I was solidly, profoundly alone for days on end on a regular basis."

Strayed's tale is now being turned into a film starring Reese Witherspoon, with Fox Searchlight announcing earlier this week that it had acquired the worldwide rights to the screen adaptation. 

“We are so excited to be working with Fox Searchlight to bring Wild to the screen," Witherspoon, whose own Pacific Standard production group first optioned the book. "It is an extraordinary company that continually strives to bring original, inspirational films to the marketplace."

Oprah Winfrey, who last year selected "Wild" for her July Book Club, praised Strayed's story as an inspiring guide for anyone going through difficult times. 

"Here's what I got from reading and meeting Cheryl Strayed: No matter where you are in your climb in life, no matter what you're doing, you have to keep getting yourself up every day," she writes. "No matter the obstacle in front of you, you just have to keep getting up and doing what you have to do. Sometimes that means dealing with demons—and let me tell you, the logistics of this hike, the weather, the animals, the fact that for most of the journey Cheryl's boots were the wrong size (she lost six toenails from the rubbing), would have scared me off ten different times. But more often it means dealing with the demons inside us."

"Wild" is currently slated for a late fall 2014 release. 

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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Reese Witherspoon to venture into the 'Wild'
Best-selling memoir tells the story of how one woman overcame personal tragedies by hiking more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.