Well it's finally arrived the Walk in the Woods movie that has caused a surge of AT related news. Including the story that was 'trending' about the party scene on the trail. I had commented that stealth camping was always an option if you wanted to avoid the 'party'. Then a thru-hiker from this year commented stating he was quoted in the article and it had been selectively edited to seem to match the authors spin. Even the often times classless BuzzFeed imitator BroBible had this to say about the subject, which I felt was rather unfiltered and matched how most people in the formal hiking community feel on the subject:
"The people who tend to “trash” the trail in my experience aren’t Bros from Shippensburg University out for a fun weekend in the woods with the boys — They’re usually uneducated hillbilly trash that treat State and National forests like their own personal dumping grounds. They respect nothing, including themselves."
The drama surrounding Baxter and their issues with thru hikers and people's fear that a Robert Redford movie will lead to an increase in thru-hikers and have a huge effect on the trail. My personal thought is that trail usage will increase for 2016 in day and section hikers, but the increase in thru hikers wont be seen until 2017. It has been good to see the official Walk in the Woods Facebook page share some Leave No Trace support videos featuring Robert Redford.
I went to see Walk in the Woods on 9/2 (aka Release Day), and overall I enjoyed the movie and I think it was more enjoyable than the book. Those who know me are quite aware that I overall didn't enjoy Bill Bryson's famous AT book. The movie was packed with great visuals of the trail and really got me amped up for March, I found myself also looking at the terrain trying to guess if It was real AT trail. I will say that as much as I enjoyed the movie it didn't unseat my favorite travel related movie "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" with Ben Stiller.
Aside from my trip to the movies I also did a small training hike up Mt. Watatic the day before, which is a mountain in name only, coming in at 1802 feet. I hike up the 'traditional route' which is approximately three miles long in about and hour with my packs summer weight and a liter of water coming in at about sixteen pounds.
While the length was the same as my Monadnock outing, there was a lot less elevation gained and I was able to keep a very fast pace because the trail is not very challenging. It was a good feeling to execute this hike so quickly, while I was hiking I was considering what the starting elevation gains and losses the trail would be like on Springer and my first few days of hiking in March. I can't wait to get that 2016 AWOL Guide in my hand.
I also made more progress on getting the remaining parts of my gear together. With the purchase of a sleeping bag liner, inflatable pillow, SmartWool top and bottoms, and mittens all that remains to purchase before March is a fleece, trail runners, and camp shoes.
The next post will be something a bit different...but I'm still writing it off as trail prep.