Wednesday 8 July 2015


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A few months back I read a book by Cheryl Strayed called “Wild”. I sort of enjoyed the book mainly because of the setting.

You see, “Wild” is the story of a woman who found herself by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Normally, when I read a book I can sympathize with one or more of the characters and in some cases I can actually lose myself in a really well written character. I didn’t like Cheryl and I was actually hoping that the PCT would either kill her or force her to quit. Of course if that had happened then it wouldn’t be the uplifting tale of a woman who conquers nature and her own personal demons.
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She is not a lovable person. Perhaps in the real world she might be, but the Cheryl from the book would be the kind of person I would cross the street to avoid. I don’t know what it is and obviously I can’t tell you why I feel this way, I just do. I have run into these people before and I know even before they open their mouths that they should be put down for the good of the human race. Just my opinion of course, but in this blog that is the only opinion that matters.
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As far as I am concerned, the Pacific Quest Trail is the real hero of the book. Sure, Cheryl hiked a portion of it and found herself along the way, but the trail was never lost and so didn’t need to be found. The trail is tranquil, angry, desolate, beautiful, frightening, stunning, peaceful, cold, hot, wet, dry and home to trees, grasses, animals and birds. The Pacific Quest Trail just is.
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Having read the book I decided that I would have to see the movie if only to see the Trail in all it’s glory. There is some flaw in my personality that wants to do a long thru hike, either the Appalachian Trail or now the Pacific Quest Trail. I doubt that I ever will, but until I accept that I am too old and out of shape, I will continue to fantasize about a long hike. I put a hold on the movie at the local library about three months ago and it finally came in on the weekend. I was quite excited to see it after waiting so long and had actually forgotten how I felt about Cheryl.
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Reese Witherspoon was Cheryl in the movie made from the best selling book and I think it was nominated for a couple of academy awards. It didn’t win an award which upset many people, but there has to be losers if there are to be winners. Mind you, anyone that is nominated for the most prestigious award in any field is a winner as far as I am concerned. Reese did a wonderful job depicting Cheryl Strayed; by the end of the movie I didn’t like her at all. I wasn’t going to watch the movie and actually stopped about half way thru. However, I figured if Cheryl could hike 1,100 miles of wilderness, I could make it through the last hour of the movie. It was touch and go there for a while, but with a couple of bathroom breaks and stoppages for snacks, I made it to the end.
What did I think of the movie? Well, as far as movies go, the Pacific Quest Trail looks wonderful and the people just get in the way of the scenery.
You should watch it, if only to wonder what my problem is.

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