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Posts tagged ‘PCT’

10 Ways “Wild” Rang True and 10 Ways it Strayed

The movie Wild will soon draw many new day hikers, section hikers, and thru hikers to the Pacific Crest Trail. With the release of the movie, we decided to compare Cheryl Strayed’s hike to an actual Pacific Crest Trail thru hike from Mexico to Canada. Here are 10 ways the movie was true to our PCT thru hiking experience, and 10 ways it strayed from the path.

Wild was right about:

Adventure. One reason thru hiking is so great is that it’s a big adventure. Every day on the trail there are unexpected moments, surprising encounters with animals and people, or incredible new landscapes. The movie got this right — a thru hike isn’t always easy, but it’s exciting and new.

Crossing a creek on the PCT

Crossing a creek on the PCT

Trail angels. We’ve never received so much kindness from strangers as we did during our PCT thru hike. Called “trail angels” in the hiking community, these wonderful people offer free food, places to sleep, showers, rides to trailheads, and anything else a hiker might desire.

Timberline Lodge buffet

Hiker hunger. A thru hiker needs to eat about 4000 calories every day, which results in a ravenous appetite. Everything tastes good, and more of everything tastes better. We even started calling peanut M&Ms “magic energy gems”. After eating lots of dehydrated food, fresh fruit is an object of special desire. A ripe peach, as Cheryl was seen eyeing in Wild, will blow your mind.

Trail registers. Thru hikers use trail registers to keep track of each other, share wisdom, and leave a bit of laughter for those who follow on the trail. Some hikers leave quotes like Cheryl did, while others write whatever comes to mind.

Hitchhiking. Thru hikers have to hitchhike occasionally in order to reach towns where they can resupply. When we hitchhiked we met all types of people. As with the Hobo Times scene in Wild, it’s true, people do mistake thru hikers for homeless people.

Wildlife. Spend enough time in the wilderness and you will encounter wild animals. Rattlesnakes are no joke, but their distinctive rattle makes their presence known so you can scoot by at a safe distance, just as Cheryl does in the film. On our thru hike, we also saw several bears, many eagles and hawks, elk, mountain goats, a scorpion, a marten, and much more — but not a single fox, sorry Cheryl.

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Free Pacific Crest Trail Calendars!

Free Pacific Crest Trail calendar included with the first 15 PCT photo book orders received, starting right now!

Pacific Crest Trail Book and Calendar

Pacific Crest Trail book and calendar

The calendar features images from our coffee table book, Pacific Crest Trail: A Journey in Photographs. We’re honored to work with Shapco (the same company that printed our book) to create this calendar. Based in Minneapolis, Shapco prints books and art exhibition catalogs for some of the top museums and galleries in the world. Their print quality is second to none. They also understand that sustainability is key, printing on environmentally friendly paper using wind-powered presses.

Having seen and loved our photographs while printing the book, Shapco approached us asking if they could print a calendar for their clients using some of the same photos. We just received the final result, and it’s beautiful. This calendar will make you feel like you’re out on the trail every day with its grand landscapes, subtle details, and perfect color fidelity.

Hanging PCT calendar

Hanging PCT calendar

And of course, our book is of the same high quality as the calendar. It’s even 25% off for the holidays right now. For more information on the book, to view sample pages, and to order, please visit our Pacific Crest Trail: A Journey in Photographs book page. The 2015 PCT calendar is a great bonus that you can’t get anywhere else.

Thank you for doing your holiday shopping with us instead of at the big box stores!

Note: We aren’t selling this exclusive calendar individually. If you already have our PCT book, but want the calendar, now is the time to gift the book to your favorite Wild fan or hiking buddy.

Wild Movie Review

The new movie Wild depicts a woman’s journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. Since we hiked the whole 2660-mile trail in 2012, we were curious about it and thought you might be too. Anna’s brother Joe Sofranko and his girlfriend Lili Fuller saw Wild on opening day in Los Angeles and kindly wrote this review for us.

Joe and Lili offer a unique perspective on the movie because they work in the film industry. They recently produced and directed Complete Works, a funny indie web series on Hulu about a Shakespeare competition. Not only that, but they have read every word of our Pacific Crest Trail thru hike blog entries, and even hiked the PCT with us for a day in Southern California.  Here’s what they thought about Wild:

Cheryl Strayed needed a change. Recently divorced, a recovering heroin addict, a victim of her father’s domestic abuse, having just terminated an unwanted pregnancy, and still grieving over her mother’s much-too-soon death, the 26-year-old Cheryl has had her fair share of emotional trauma. Seeking clarity, she determinedly (yet somewhat cluelessly) embarks on a journey on the Pacific Crest Trail to find herself. Based on Strayed’s best-selling and Oprah-approved memoir, “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” the movie, starring Reese Witherspoon, brings to life the true story of her 1,100 mile journey. Told with humor and emotional depth, the film—while not at all a guide to successfully hiking the PCT—is a tale of a woman finding acceptance and peace by immersing herself in the unknown.

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25% Off Pacific Crest Trail Photo Book

2014-sale-v9

Happy Holidays! Our Pacific Crest Trail coffee table book is now on sale for 25% off. This is our biggest sale ever! The book makes a great gift for anyone who enjoys hiking, nature, or art. Click the “Buy Now” button above to purchase, or visit our book page to learn more.

Sale ends December 19th.

PCT Book Sale! (We’re homeowners!)

View from kitchen looking out onto living room and patio

View of the living room and patio from the kitchen

Exciting news! We bought a condo! It’s close to the river bike path, near several Natural Areas, and less than a mile walk from the center of downtown Fort Collins. It’s modern, bright, and very energy efficient with foam insulation, a tankless hot water heater, double pane windows, a 92% efficiency furnace, and a downstairs neighbor who will heat our floor. We love it.

To celebrate, we are offering FREE shipping on Pacific Crest Trail: A Journey in Photographs book orders until June 25th. (That’s a good discount because shipping large heavy books isn’t cheap!)

Pacific Crest Trail: A Journey In Photographs Book Cover

We think you’ll love the book — but don’t take our word for it. Liz Bergeron, Executive Director and CEO of the Pacific Crest Trail Association, says:

This is the best collection of PCT photographs I’ve seen! Day hikers, section hikers, thru hikers, and anyone who enjoys the outdoors will love this book. The photos do a great job of capturing the essence of the PCT.

You can view sample pages and learn more on our book page.

Time for us to get packing, both our apartment and PCT book shipment boxes! Woohoo!

 

High Country News Gallery and Book Review

Want to take a peek into our book Pacific Crest Trail: A Journey in Photographs? Well, now is your chance. High Country News is featuring 12 of Chris’s PCT images on their website. (Soon the gallery will be highlighted on their homepage too!) Check the photographs out here:

http://www.hcn.org/issues/46.3/pacific-crest-trail-a-journey-in-photographs-by-chris-alexander/@@gallery_view

High Country News also published a wonderful review in their print magazine and online. We smiled from ear to ear when we read it:

High Country News Review of Pacific Crest Trail: A Journey in Photographs

If you like what you saw and read, please consider purchasing a book for yourself or a good friend. Thank you.

PCT Book on Sale

Pacific Crest Trail Photo Book on Sale

Happy Holidays! Our Pacific Crest Trail coffee table book is now on sale for 20% off. The book makes a great gift for anyone who enjoys hiking, nature, or art. Click the “Buy Now” button above to purchase, or visit our book page to learn more.

Sale ends December 18th

Cover Article and Book Review in NOLS Leader Magazine

Welcome NOLSies! Thanks for stopping by. You might enjoy:

The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) publishes a magazine with a circulation of 70,000. We’re happy to share that our Pacific Crest Trail thru hike story graces the cover of the Fall 2013 issue. The issue also contains a glowing review of our PCT photography book.

Read the cover article (pages 16-19) and book review (page 21) by clicking below:


A PDF of the entire issue is also available.

Presentation in Cincinnati

A week from today we’ll be giving a Lightweight Backpacking on the Pacific Crest Trail presentation in Anna’s hometown, Cincinnati. Here’s the blurb about the event:

Date: Sunday, August 18, 6 PM
Location: Roads Rivers and Trails, 118 Main Street, Milford, OH 45150

Anna Sofranko and Chris Alexander hiked the entire 2600-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. They walked across deserts, over snow covered mountains, and through old growth forests. In order to complete the trail before heavy snow fell in Canada they had to hike about 20 miles each day for 5 months. Dramatically reducing their gear weight allowed them to cover such long daily mileages enjoyably and free of injury. In this presentation they’ll share stories from the adventure, lightweight backpacking tips, and beautiful photos from their book Pacific Crest Trail: A Journey in Photographs – http://wanderingthewild.com/book Come join us for an exciting evening!

Please Join and Share this event with your Facebook friends via https://www.facebook.com/events/606869279333432/

We’ll hang around after the presentation to answer questions about the PCT, the John Muir Trail (which overlaps with the PCT), lightweight backpacking, or whatever else you’ve been curious about as you read this blog.

Hope to see you there!

Anna rock hops across Evolution Creek in Kings Canyon National Park

Anna rock hops across Evolution Creek in Kings Canyon National Park

Pacific Crest Trail Photo Books Are Here!

Holding our PCT Photo Book

The first shipment of our book Pacific Crest Trail: A Journey in Photographs arrived! We opened the first box, pulled out a book, flipped slowly through the pages, and took a mental trip through the wilderness from Mexico to Canada. We were overjoyed to see our vision for the book realized. Order a beautiful book for yourself here:

http://wanderingthewild.com/book/

We’re hard at work assembling boxes, signing and wrapping books, and printing mailing labels. If you pre-ordered a signed book, it will ship on Monday.  When you receive your book, drop us a comment on the blog and let us know your thoughts.

Our PCT thru hike was an amazing adventure. Creating this book turned out to be an equally challenging and rewarding journey.

A spread from our PCT photo book

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