“Wild” – A Movie I Could Relate To

While I’ve never longed to hike the PCT or the AT, I was right there with Cheryl Strayed in “Wild” as she traveled through western landscapes just like the ones I’m used to: sagebrush flats, snowy forests, rocky passages, heart-stopping vistas. Like her, I’ve talked and sung to myself as I’ve hiked alone, and started at nighttime noises. I’ve felt the same fear when I’ve come upon unsavory characters along the trail. I’ve also confronted raging stream crossings, trudged miserably through drenching rain and scalding heat, post-holed through deep snow. Felt the inexorable pull up a steep trail, panting all the way, as the backpack seems to get heavier and heavier. It was all there—even to the obscenities that are always the first words out of my mouth when encountering an equipment malfunction! While other parts of her life were alien to me, I do understand the draw of the trail, and the deep-gut satisfaction and raw joy that come after a challenge well-met. It’s seldom that I can identify with people and lifestyles in movies, but “Wild” drew me in. Thank you, Cheryl Strayed and Reese Witherspoon, for bringing this adventure to vivid life.