The Appalachian Trail, as we’re told in the opening narration, is some 2168 miles long, stretching from Maine to Georgia, going through 14 states. Each year a few hundred people hike the entire trail. They’re called thru-hikers. Most of them start in Georgia in March, hoping to get to Maine before the Winter snow closes the trail at the last mountain in Maine. A very few leave from Maine, and take a less crowded hike. They’re called Southbounders.
The movie follows a gal down the trail. She meets a couple of other people. There’s some trail lore. There’s a couple of cases of happy hippy hiking outfits.
There’s very little conflict in the movie. There’s some between the girl and her parents. They don’t want her going for a hike. They want her going to med school. But it’s just a voiceover flashback and it’s gone.
So how come the movie is not boring?
Maybe I’m just enamored with walking for six months, come rain or come shine. Wouldn’t it be cool to just go? And walk and walk and walk. Sure, some days would be hot and sweaty and rainy and ticky. There might be bears or mice eating your food. In all these years, there’s been very little violence reported along the way. Most folks are too tired for that.
The acting is not bad. Southbounders was the earliest job listed in IMDB for Amy Cale Peterson, the gal. Since then she’s been in The Event and The Office, The Defenders, and other things with The in the title. The fellow providing comic relief, Christopher McCutchen, has not been in anything before or since. His acting seemed a little awkward but natural, at first, and then he just kept getting better. Some folks think he’s a really funny guy.
It’s like a hike, with new vistas opening before you, beckoning you on, till the whole trip is over and all you have are the memories. And the blisters on your feet. But there’s no blisters from this movie.