Before anything negative comes up, I applaud both your adventuresome spirit and the inspiration that you have given to millions. Personally, your book left me depressed, but only because my achievements are so much less than yours.
As you know by now, many have labeled you foolish for your poorly arranged hike. Some question your morals and “first world problems.” To me, the important points are that your hike got you to where you wanted to be and led to an inspirational book. I’m glad that you are a fellow Portlander; (I’m really an Oswegan, but close enough).
Your example led me to restart writing: first, with four Wild related stories, and then revisiting writing from fourteen years ago. Two pieces of short fiction have been accepted so far. Some of my works are memoirs, inspired by but much less interesting than Wild. To write one piece, however, I finally found out why I was dumped by my former love forty-nine years ago.
If my elderly joints would cooperate, I would try some grand physical adventure such as yours.
I’m curious about several things not covered in the book. What are Paul, Joe, and all the relatives up to now? Where do you hike? Have you / will you ever finish the PCT? Do you have “people” who filter your email? I wonder if any of my cyber-pesterings ever reached you.
Your association with Oprah is a negative for me. She may be a wonderful person, but the nation’s acceptance of advice from any television personalities on matters in which they have no expertise is folly. There isn’t anybody on the tube who I would trust to tell me what to read or how to live in general. This is why I wrote How to Write an Oprah Book.
A big plus is the fact that a friend of mine tells me you volunteer at your children’s school.
If you did receive my cyber-foolishness, you already know that earlier this year the toll-taker at the Bridge of The Gods said that she was in “The Movie” when she saw me reading Wild and that a bunch of PCT through-hikers at Timberline Lodge cheered when I mentioned Wild.
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