Roger Carpenter’s story, the real Greg from WILD, is live online

The following article was featured in the Wild edition of PCTA’s Communicator member magazine. This special issue also includes an interview with Cheryl Strayed, a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of Wild and a look back on an historic PCT hike. Get your copy today by becoming a member at $25 or more at

By Roger Carpenter

I waited outside on a chilly November evening to attend a PCTA-sponsored event featuring Cheryl Strayed, the author of “Wild.” Cheryl walked up to the entrance of Keen’s Portland office and store, where she would soon talk to an eager audience, and I said: “Hello, Cheryl!” After a warm hug that Cheryl eagerly gives to so many people, she asked, “Roger, have you come out as Greg yet?”  It was an appropriate and timely question. In “Wild,” I am Greg.

On June 24, 1995, I was on day 45 and mile 634 of a potential PCT thru-hike that began in Campo, Calif., and which I hoped would end at the northern terminus in Canada. I was getting stronger and gaining confidence every day as I eagerly but carefully assessed the snowy Sierra Nevada on the northern horizon. Early in the morning I eagerly descended 1,660 feet to Joshua Tree Spring to get water, not knowing if the next source, Spanish Needle Creek, was flowing. After hiking seven miles, a loud “hello!” from a woman in her campsite beside Spanish Needle Creek broke the quiet songs of the high desert. Her name was Cheryl Strayed.

The rest of the story is live on our Wild-themed blog. Click here or the image below to read it.

Click here to read the full story.

Click here to read the full story.

Author: Jack "Found" Haskel

As the Trail Information Manager, Jack works to connect people to the PCT. He's involved with a wide variety of projects that help the trail, the trail's users and the community that surrounds the experience. He has thru-hiked (Pacific Crest Trail in 2006; Colorado Trail in 2008; Continental Divide Trail in 2010) and is an obsessed weekend warrior.