Going In: Why We Hike (2016)

  • Directed by Justin Gordon
  • Justin Gordon : Producer, Writer, Director
  • Category: documentary

Why Going In?

Growing up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, the wilderness was my backyard—literally, Sequoia National Forest bordered the land on which the log cabin I was raised in (no joke)—was built. With all of the Sierra at my disposal, walking off into the woods was as common to me as going to a playground, Mother Nature my only chaperone. She would walk me through a grove of Sequoias, leading me gently up a mountain slope, aiding my escape from a fractured home-life, finding comfort in the cool embrace of a meadow. With her, adventure and the freedom of imagination were mine for the taking, for as many hours as daylight would allow.

Twenty years later, consumed by city life and the demands of working in the film industry, she still calls me home, offering respite from the frenetic world around me. Nothing has changed my reasons for visiting the wild, for rushing into nature the moment my schedule allows; reasons that are as palpable to me now as they were when I was a child. After all, the wilderness is my shelter, my center—and she always will be.  

Yes, those are my reasons. However, what about the others who, like me, seek the solace that can only be found in the outdoors? What is it that makes them strap on a loaded pack and disappear into the wilderness for days, weeks, or even months? What motivates them? What stories can they share, what lessons can they impart? What can they teach me, and what can they teach you?  

My goal, as I walk solo for 827 miles along the Central California section of the Pacific Crest Trail up the length of the Sierra Nevada mountains, is to answer those questions by interviewing the other fool-hardy adventurers I encounter on the path. Through sharing their stories with you, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of my own motivations, and in doing so, inspire you to seek out your own reasons for going into the wild.

Please view my Indie Go Go page for more information, and to help make “Going In” a reality.