As a West Coast girl, I’m familiar with the Pacific Crest Trail, I’ve read the book “Wild” written by Oregon author Cheryl Strayed and I watched Hollywood Movie Star Reese Witherspoon walk the trail with her monster backpack in the movie. So it was no surprise to me when Travel Writer Bill Bryson’s book “A Walk in the Woods” was adapted to the big screen.
Less emotionally-driven than “Wild”, “A Walk in the Woods” is the story of two old (male) friends who reconnect to walk the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail with little to no backpacking experience. The old me, pre-hip replacement, can relate to the over-weight and out-of-shape Nick Nolte, while the post hip replacement, better-equipped travel writer in me identifies with the active adventure baby boomer Robert Redford.
One of my favorite quotes in Bill Bryson’s book is “my son had just gotten an after-school job there (at REI), so I was under strict instructions of good behavior. Specifically, I was not to say or do anything stupid, try on anything that would require me to expose my stomach, say “are you shitting me?” when informed of the price of a product, be conspicuously inattentive when a sales assistant was explaining the correct maintenance or aftercare of a product, and above all don anything inappropriate, like a woman’s ski hat, in an attempt to amuse.” Anyone who has teenagers or adult-children can surely relate to these comments, I know I do!
Another gem of a quote that tumbled from Robert Redford’s lips, “books are like TV for smart people.” I laughed out loud when he said that because I’me a big believer in the written word. As a journalism major, it saddens me that our newspaper industry is dying. But that’s a topic for another blog post.
One of the things that bothered me about the movie was the fact that Bryson and Katz took off from the hotel – out the back window – without paying for either of their rooms! Jeannie, the owner of the family-run hotel, played by Mary Steenburgen, said that they pay when they check out. Problem is, they slept and dashed due to a run-in rendezvous Katz had with a married woman and her jealous, hulking husband. Poor Jeannie is left holding the bag, or should I say the bathroom towels. Look for this scene in the movie and tell me if you agree with me?
In general, “A Walk in the Woods” isn’t an action-packed thrill a minute movie. I’m never quite sure where the hikers are along the trail, and they don’t appear to have a lot of food in their backpacks, but it does deliver on its promise, a very pleasant adventure and walk in the woods along Virginia’s Blue Ridge and the Appalachian Trail.
The Kelty Trekker 3900ST is a good, lightweight beginner backpack. The Kelty Trekker 65 external frame pack was the backpack worn by Nick Nolte in the movie “A Walk in the Woods.”
Have you read the book or seen the movie? What did you think? For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @nancydbrown and follow @BillBrysonn on Twitter – although he’s not very active on here.
Article written by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. My husband bought my ticket to the movie A Walk in the Woods for review purposes and because it was date night!