Tuesday, 10 February 2015

"Journey on the Crest" and "Wild"

With all the current comments on the movie Wild, I have recently re-read Cindy Ross's book, Journey on the Crest, one of my all-time favourite books.  Is the the fourth or fifth time I've read it?

There was a time, in the early 1990s when I did go through a brief period of thinking seriously about doing a long distance hike but it remained just a day dream.  The closest I came to doing one was when I walked the West Highland Way in 1994 (?).  Cindy Ross's book was one of the ones I read about that time and it remains one of the best books on long distance hiking.  One day perhaps I will go and see The Three Sisters mountains - that might be the limit of what I might do on the PCT!

And in the aftermath of Wild-related press coverage, a picture of Cindy Ross returning to the PCT 30 years later

After finishing Journey on the Crest, I decided I would read the book of Wild.  I did rather enjoy this but some aspects of it do bother me.  Firstly, the walk actually took place in 1995 but was only written about 15 years later and published in 2012.  Secondly, though she does do very well on her walk, she is fairly hopelessly incompetent and I'm not sure I liked that feature of the book.  Though I have no experience of the PCT, I think there is a very good chance that her experiences are quite different to how most people experience the trail.  For some reason, I am also slightly bothered by the fact that she "only" walked 1000 of the 2400 miles.  But the book is very moving and I enjoyed it a great deal.  It hasn't risen above Cindy Ross though.

The real Cheryl Strayed and "Monster"

And Reese Witherspoon, who is very good in the movie.

Some people online has expressed concern that as a result of the movie, the PCT is going to be overrun with idiots.  I am possibly inclined to share that view

A PCT website has a parody of Wild called Rabid, reflecting a 2013 thru-hikers view.  I don't know if it is a full work, but the extract I read was very funny.

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