Movie Review: America's Wild Spaces: The Appalachian Trail

The crowd at Blairsville, GA's airing of America's Wild Spaces: The Appalachian Trail. (Photograph by Robert Sutherland)

One of the primary duties of The World's Greatest Gig (TWGG) is to attend any and all festivities relating to the Appalachian Trail.

TWGG, therefore, landed me smack-dab in the middle of downtown Blairsville, Georgia, on Friday, November 9, 2012 for the showing of the National Geographic film America's Wild Spaces: The Appalachian Trail.

I'm not sure who at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) came up with the brilliant idea of using this emotional picture to enlist new soldiers to protect and defend the Appalachian Trail (AT). (Probably Julie Judkins, but that's only because she's my best friend there and she is totally smart enough.)

ATC's goal was 750 new members at $30 a pop. (Such a deal. Really.) The ATC has blown past that meager number. They're well past 1,000 now. More to come, I hope.

Meanwhile, back in Blairsville...

The Show began with the leadership of Donnie Kelley -- Blairsville's AT Community Ambassador -- and segued into a tremendously informative Q&A with two thru-hiking brothers -- Grady Garner (trailname: "Johnny Bravo") and Harrison Garner ("Steel Toe") -- before we settled into the first-hand insights into the movie from Frank Wright ("Copperhead"), who not only thru-hiked in 2000 but who managed to become a movie-star with a dominant role for several minutes in America's Wild Spaces: The Appalachian Trail.

America's Wild Spaces: The Appalachian Trail explores the natural beauty and splendor of the trail. The film provides viewers the opportunity to discover the remote corners of the renowned five-million-step journey. The AT, one of the world's longest marked footpaths, graces roughly 2,180 miles of trails from Maine to Georgia.

You know how National Geographic rocks documentaries? This one is no exception. You have to see it. We'll keep you posted on future showings here.

"The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is excited to present this film on the big screen," stated Mark Wenger, executive director/CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. "This event provides the public with an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Appalachian Trail and how to get involved with the Conservancy through our membership and volunteer programs."

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy's mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail - ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow and for centuries to come.

We're grateful for the ATC and its thousands of volunteers who donate zillions of hours of free labor every year.

Click Here for ATC's Website

Click Here for Appalachian Trail Activities

Appalachian Trail Superhero and ATC's Ambassador for Blairsville, GA, Donnie Kelley. (Photograph by Robert Sutherland)

Heroic volunteers Donna Hess and GATC Ridgerunner Rhea Patrick. (Photograph by Robert Sutherland)

A "lucky winner" of a doorprize at the Blairsville, GA showing of "America's Wild Spaces: The Appalachian Trail." (Photograph by Robert Sutherland)

Movie star and AT thru-hiker Frank "Copperhead" Wright. (Photograph by Robert Sutherland)

L-R: Alan "Turk" Spider, 2002 thru-hiker; Grady and Harrison Garner -- brothers who thru-hiked in 2012. (Photograph by Robert Sutherland)

Tags: Events, Tourism, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Appalachian Trail Community, Right to Hike, Festivals, and Robert Sutherland Travel Writer

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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