Friday, December 28, 2012

Movies: Famous American Trails

Grand Canyon Rim Trail bench

Moving on from journeys, long or icy .... to the "triple crown:"  Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental Divide.

If you can only watch one, go straight for the last one - the Walkumentary. 

Chubb Trail along Current River, Missouri

National Geographic: Appalachian Trail. What a nice movie. Gorgeous vistas - as much as I love the New Mexico terrain, the vision of all of the green-lapped mountains along the AT were like a sweet glass of water. There are so many stories, direct and indirect, related to the Appalachian Trail, and the director really had to make some tough decisions on what to focus on for a one-hour film. I think there was a good balance between the scenery, history, cameos by hikers/volunteers/scientists, and wildlife. It was a real pleasure to watch. Go here to get a start on the 2013 through-hiker journals.

Rojo Grande Trail, Palo Duro Canyon, Texas

Pacific Crest Trail. You can watch it the free way (like I did), at the cost of video sharpness, in two parts on youtube. Decent documentary. Not as polished or as comprehensive as the professional job done by NG for the Appalachian Trail. Morbid and understandable focus on the condition of the hikers' feet. Watching them cut at their blisters, not for the squeamish. I turned away a few times. Yecch.Get a start on the 2013 through-hiker journals here.

Sandia Crest Trail, outside Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Walkumentary: Continental Divide Trail. Another video (series) you can watch for free.  Dammit, this is an entertaining movie! Populated by good-natured hikers, the extraordinary adventures of P.O.D.'s tortured feet, artistic shots of poo, good music, funny stories, the poor guy who had a moth trapped in his ear. The best of the three documentaries. 

Trail to ruins, near Tlaxcala, Mexico

And here's a shout out to Missouri's own Ozark Trail, a long trail in progress, which will someday connect with the Ozark Highland Trail in Arkansas:

John Roth, who founded the Ozark Trail Association, died suddenly - and prematurely - in 2009. Like Jessica Terrell, he was a champion of that part of our Declaration of Independence that says we have an inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness, and for them, that pursuit included sustainable recreation in nature.

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