Books and, even more, movies put places on the map. Remember how Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods popularized the Appalachian Trail when it was published in 1998? Robert Redford and Nick Nolte then repeated the trick when they ineptly hit the trail for the screen version two years ago. Author Cheryl Strayed and actress Reese Witherspoon did something similar for the Pacific Crest Trail with Wild, the 2012 bestseller that became a 2014 movie.
Now, I did not end up on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) at the end of September because of Wild. I ended up on the PCT because a friend was walking its entire length. I know that Dave had read and enjoyed Wild, but Dave is too serious and experienced an adventurer to take off on a trek on the basis of a single piece of literature. I think he stewed on his adventure for a good while. As well he might.