[pct-l] 2006 CDT documentary "The Hike"

dsaufley dsaufley at sprynet.com
Thu Nov 23 14:37:42 CST 2006

I couldn't agree more.  I've seen countless photos, slideshows, and videos
of the trail and the places I hiked through this year, but none of the one
or two dimensional views that the media presented could match or in any way
diminish the total sensory experience of actually being in these much fabled

No offense to our talented filmmakers and photographers out there, but film
doesn't capture the sweetness of the air, the warmth of the sun, or the life
in all its forms teeming around you.  It never truly captures the size and
grandeur in a way that communicates it completely. There is an emotional
dimension these places evoke that is deeply personal. I found that there is
no substitute for being there.

A hiker once said that our experiences are as unique as our fingerprints,
due to the multitude of factors that go into how we experience a place.
Which is why you should never put too much stock into any ratings about
conditions up ahead (unless it's someone official telling you the trail is
closed, perhaps).  Having expectations can lead to disappointment when the
reality doesn't match. Take it all in, but take it with a grain of salt
since YMMV.

We all find and make our own adventures, even on the well-worn trail. 


-----Original Message-----
From: pct-l-bounces at backcountry.net [mailto:pct-l-bounces at backcountry.net]
On Behalf Of Karen Somers
Sent: Thursday, November 23, 2006 11:49 AM
To: pct-l at backcountry.net
Subject: Re: [pct-l] 2006 CDT documentary "The Hike"

Paul Mitchell wrote:

> Anyway, I guess what I'm asking is am I the only one
who feels like seeing a
> vid of a place you haven't been yet is like a

I also worry about the same thing.  However, I am so
trail obsessed that I just can't help reading every
book and watching every video of a trail before (and
after) I hike it.

It does not spoil my thru-hikes for the same reasons
that Girlscout spells out.

For instance, I looked at three AT videos before the
AT, then at two PCT videos before I got out there.  I
would "know" about a place prior to arriving (such as,
I knew that Blood Mt. is a pretty well-known AT
mountain in Georgia and why it is well-known).  But
when I would actually be at that place, standing on
Blood Mt. or on the rim of Crater Lake, I would be
seeing it for the first time with no remembrance of
whatever it was I saw in the video.

I don't know exactly why it is this way....but a place
along the trail is not really REAL until you've been
there, probably because a sense of place involves
interaction with it.  A full view with your eyes,
along with the smells, sounds and interaction with
other people, not to mention when you have walked
there and slept there and drank the water from the
ground there, it really really really REAL. You know
it better than you would if you had arrived by car.

I also like to read about a trail, too.  I appreciate
a place more when I understand a bit about its
significance or history first.  Then, upon arrival, I
have this sense that I have arrived at a very
significant spot.  There'll also be plenty of places
along the trail that have no significance, that would
never make it into a video or book, that will also
stick with you forever.  

Personally, I am getting the video even though I hope
to hike the CDT as early as next year.  Can't wait to
get it!  Thanks for the heads-up/review, Yogi.


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