November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
PCT movie with Reese Witherspoon coming out
Display Avatars Sort By:
James Couch

Locale: Cascade Mountains
Re: read it, hiked it, liked it on 07/14/2014 23:03:51 MDT Print View

>I doubt that many non-hikers get inspired to do the PCT, but some hikers who have thought >about it might be inspired to finally do it.

Maybe not hike the whole thing, but I m seeing a lot of interest in section hiking along the PC this summer. For many of the people I am talking to this will be their first exeprience at multiday backpacking.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: NoCo
re ian on 07/14/2014 23:18:55 MDT Print View

Im talking about during the book. I have no idea or care what she did post hike.

Alexander Scott
(Cascadicus) - F
Re: Re: How to start a flame war about books on 07/15/2014 12:03:28 MDT Print View

Valerie E.
"With respect, I don't think it's absolutely necessary to "dumb down" things in order to have a best seller"

I completley agree. Print media and Hollywood have a certain broad formula designed to catch as many viewer crossection as possible. Bourne Supremacy comes to mind.

In reality though, an audience can actually recognize and appreciate the originality of a film even if it is a bit technical and the subject matter is unfamiliar.
Example: Das Boot.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: discussion on 07/15/2014 18:56:23 MDT Print View

I actually went to a book reading/signing of Wild with Cheryl Strayed. She read excerpts from Wild and from another book she wrote about being and advice columnist. It was a very entertaining evening.

She said that the PCT was a framework to help tell the other story and the book is about the other story, not really about the PCT. The PCT part was used to provide a framework for the themes of taking a journey and releasing a heavy burden. She also said some of the PCT part of the story was rearranged in order to set up this framework. It was all about telling the story of getting over her mother's death. It's not a trail journal.

It was interesting that the audience was evenly split among people interested in the hike part and people interested in either the relationship with her mom part or about becoming a writer. The Q&A section of the evening reflected this. Cheryl mentioned that out West more people are interested in the hiking part of the story and on the East Coast absolutely nobody is interested in that part of the story.

One thing I got from Cheryl was that her love of hiking and the wilderness is true and she was a regular hiker just like any of us who've hiked the PCT. She encouraged people to support wilderness.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
on the positive side: on 07/16/2014 11:57:42 MDT Print View

one thing you have to say about her is that she showed up with no experience, the wrong gear, too much gear, and she didn't give up. Wow, her chances of doing a long hike with that kind of a start are slim to none. She stuck it out, so hooray for her.

She did the hike (or portions of it), and wrote a book. She's good in my book. So many people in the U.S. are rich and famous and have done far less than Strayed. Need I mention the Kardashians, Paris Hilton, the Situation, Jan Wow or whatever her name is, and dozens of other reality show "stars". But Chumlee of Pawn Stars, he is either a comedic genius or the dumbest person in Nevada.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: NoCo
million little pieces deux? on 07/16/2014 12:06:56 MDT Print View

"She also said some of the PCT part of the story was rearranged in order to set up this framework."

Sounds like it should be in fiction.

Phillip Asby

Locale: North Carolina
Good discussion on 07/16/2014 13:53:15 MDT Print View

Well this has been interesting. I tried to read the book and admit to abandoning it maybe 2/3 to 3/4 of the way through. I wanted to like it. On some level I never could identify or connect with the author. I've not hiked the AT or PCT. I have lost a parent who was my mentor, role model, friend and last buffer between me and my unhinged mother - and yet didn't descend to addictions of any flavor. I've not used heroin. I've not been promiscuous. I have been depressed. At some point however so much of her story hinges on the death of her mother, which I get, and her response, which I don't, it became difficult to read. I suppose I just didn't care enough about her fate to persevere to the end.

I understand it isn't a hiking book. I've read enough trail journals and blogs to recognize that a hiking book really about hiking is likely to be quite short. As someone early stated - walk, eat, sleep, poop. Repeat. Seriously - at some point, woke up, ate, walked, ate, slept, woke up, etc... can only carry you so far. There has to be something else to hang your hat on - the people being the most interesting thing. The psychological toll and physical toll are all there and consistent among many - perhaps it is much like endurance athletes and other achievements that take perseverance at the end of the day the attainment does not necessarily come with any sort of personal epiphany other than I did it and I'm glad it's done.

So I might watch the movie on Netflix ... applaud the author for conquering her demons such as they are ... but otherwise don't plan on reopening the book to finish it.

Here's a question for me - what kind of book set around a hike as the "vehicle" for narrative delivery would I want to read? Have to think about that - not a gear guide although the geek in me does like those details - but otherwise, hmmm...

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Good discussion on 07/16/2014 16:49:25 MDT Print View

I can agree with a lot of that, I also read about 2/3 of it and just quit. Just couldn't connect with her about hiking or the story about finding herself. I kept thinking "Geez, put on your big girl pants already." I will probably watch the movie since it will be loosely based on hiking.


Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
PCT movie with Reese Witherspoon coming out on 07/16/2014 18:10:18 MDT Print View

Did Reese Witherspoon use that movie to announce she is gay ?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: PCT movie with Reese Witherspoon coming out on 07/16/2014 19:11:17 MDT Print View

"Did Reese Witherspoon use that movie to announce she is gay ?"

I always thought she was kinda sad.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
other hiking movies on 07/17/2014 13:26:35 MDT Print View

"what kind of book set around a hike as the "vehicle" for narrative delivery would I want to read?"

The Way, with Martin Sheen, hiking the Camino de Santiago

Snow Walker, with Barry Pepper, survival in the Arctic with a native woman teaching him Indian survival knowledge

The Way Back, a group hikes from a Soviet gulag to Mongolia

The Edge, Anthonly Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, Alaska bush survival

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: other hiking movies on 07/17/2014 17:50:33 MDT Print View

"The Way Back, a group hikes from a Soviet gulag to Mongolia"

That's the title of the movie, based on "The Long Walk" by Slawomir Rawicz. A compelling read.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
The Way Back on 07/17/2014 18:03:45 MDT Print View

I really enjoyed the movie. Never read the book. Apparently Rawicz's story was questionable and questioned for decades, then definitively debunked a few years back, then it was suggested that the story was in fact stolen from someone else who claimed to have done something similar - so the controversy goes on again in the guise of an entirely different person.

Whether literally true about any actual group of people, the movie was good. Anything by Peter Weir is fantastic.

Weirdly, I have seen all 4 of those movies. They are all good in a different way. A really nice list.

Edited by millonas on 07/17/2014 18:05:37 MDT.

Kevin Buggie
(kbuggie) - M

Locale: NW New Mexico
NY Times Review on 12/02/2014 17:44:03 MST Print View

The New York Times just reviewed, 'Wild.' They like it. The following quote tipped me towards wanting to see watch it.

"In its thrilling disregard for the conventions of commercial cinematic storytelling, “Wild” reveals what some of us have long suspected: that plot is the enemy of truth, and that images and emotions can carry meaning more effectively than neatly packaged scenes or carefully scripted character arcs."

Lori P
(lori999) - F

Locale: Central Valley
re: Wild on 12/09/2014 12:02:57 MST Print View

I think a large part of my hatred for this book has to do with the set up my friend gave me – I was told it was about backpacking, and it is not. It's about a woman who needed therapy who puts on a backpack instead, and then proceeds to act out every impulse she has for 1000 miles or so. that felt like about a dozen pages of the book – the rest of it was whining about her mom and her relationships and her mom and her relationships and her mom and her relationships and her mom and her relationships. Had the friend who recommended it told me the truth I would have enjoyed the book so much more by ignoring it and reading something else.

I will enjoy the movie a lot more than the book, by staying home and watching The Way or Touching the Void again, then visiting a forum for trip reports or reading a trail

That she was a successful advice columnist says that at least she was able to shift gears to listen to whining instead of doing it as much.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: re: Wild on 12/09/2014 13:19:37 MST Print View

" the rest of it was whining about her mom and her relationships and her mom and her relationships and her mom and her relationships and her mom and her relationships."

Isn't that the reason why so many men go solo backpacking?


Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Re: re: Wild on 12/09/2014 13:40:06 MST Print View

LMAO, Lori!!! :^)

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
wild talk on 12/09/2014 14:57:18 MST Print View

What I find funny is the kvetching about the whining in Strayed's book and now movie. ;)

One person even went so far as to start a website and pay for sponsored posts for said website on FB because he was so upset. The favebook page avatr is subtle enough that it has stick figure with a blonde wig falling over-the-cliff.

Rather ah, overblown, no?

I've had people email, text me and PM me (seriously) if I knew when it is coming to Denver as if my association with LD hiking means I am automatically interested in this movie and know everything about it. :) [1] I admit it is getting a little annoying..but like a mosquito. Just wave it off.

OTOH, I think it is great people are getting interested in the longer trails.

Maybe there will be a sh** show at Springer (the ATC is concerned about more pressure. 50 people a day started last year), Campo and so on.

But rather than playing hiker hipster,I'll do my modest best to help people out on their first long hike. And encourage people to try alternate hiking plans or trails as well.

And in five years, it will be yet-another-annoying thing we remember from the past.

[1] I'm nice and say this Friday, but I tempted to send them this link ;)

Edited by PaulMags on 12/09/2014 14:59:23 MST.

Monte Masterson
(Caesar) - F

Locale: Ocala NF
Monster on 12/09/2014 15:24:13 MST Print View

I was going to go see the movie, but when I saw Cheryl's PCT pack "Monster" on Oprah, I knew that I'd just sit in the theatre and do nothing but think about how to lighten the pack.

Her PCT hike is considered a success, but I must be missing something here. She made it a little over 1000 miles. Last time I heard the PCT is 2600 miles long.

Edited by Caesar on 12/09/2014 20:35:14 MST.

Cameron McNall
(cameronm) - M

Locale: Los Angeles
Re: PCT movie with Reese Witherspoon coming out on 12/09/2014 15:32:24 MST Print View

Have not seen the movie, but the trailer is painful; it shows Witherspoon carrying this giant pack that looks like it weighs five pounds. It jumps and bobs around, so both the pack and the body of the actress don't communicate any sense of an onerous load.

It looks ridiculous.