Friday, January 16, 2015
A WALK IN THE WOODS, the film, is coming, but how will it depict the Appalachian Trail, and Bryson's memoir of his own experience? My 2¢ has always been that Redford & Nolte are too old for the parts, but I'm willing to reserve judgment until I've seen it.
Many of you probably know I've put in 700-odd miles on the AT myself over the years.
Redford has always been great, and single-handedly carried ALL IS LOST last year. But for AT and WITW aficionados, changing the age of the protagonists from their 40s to their 70s fundamentally changes the narrative. (When I first read it, I was in my early 30s, but now I am basically the age of the protagonists in the book.)
There are plenty of retirees hiking the AT (after early 20s, they are the 2nd highest demographic), but that's a different tale than that of the guys just realizing, by virtue of an attempt at an Herculean physical feat like thru-hiking the AT, that they are no longer freewheeling, robust young men, but early-middle-aged guys somewhat out of their depth.
When you hike the AT in your 60s or 70s, you've already come to grips with that. It must fundamentally be a different story. And yet, I'm still intrigued. Downside: after its release, the AT will get a WHOLE lot of overuse again.
Come to think of it, late 30s-early 40s may be the loneliest AT group. In my recent section hikes, there have been very few men, and ZERO women, that I've encountered in my own demographic.