Now that's wild! A hiker in Oregon found the boot that Reese Witherspoon tossed off a cliff and down the side of a mountain back in 2013 while shooting the film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's best-selling memoir Wild.
The movie scene was shot in fall 2013, on the south side of Mount Hood near Mt. Hood Skibowl, a popular night ski area that is located near Government Camp, Oregon. In the memorable moment in the opening scene of the flick, Witherspoon hangs on the side of a cliff and takes off her hiking boots, which have left her toes a gnarly, bloody, and bruised mess. Witherspoon stares down at her pained feet and pulls off the blackened, dead toenail off her right big toe, accidentally knocking one of her boots off the side of the cliff. In utter frustration, she angrily throws the other. (Witherspoon, 39, was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Strayed in the flick.)
A man watching the film recognized the area immediately after he had recently hiked the same trail. Chris Kesting, a mechanical engineer from Washington, told The Oregonian this past weekend that he quipped: "Hey, I know exactly where that is. One of these days it might be fun to go up there and see if that boot is actually there."
So, Kesting and his pal Tim Pate hiked the trail this past March and easily found the spot where Witherspoon threw the boot. Kesting searched for about 15 minutes in the vicinity when he spotted an unusual color smack in the center of a slope.
"The thing that stood out was the red laces," Kesting told the site of the memorable-looking boot, which was the cover image of Strayed's memoir. "The brown of the leather blended into the soil and I didn't see that at all. I saw the red laces and thought it was weird that there were flowers out already. That's when it came into focus. It was kind of funny."
Still, there was some doubt that it really was the boot from Wild. "You wouldn't find a single boot in a place where nobody would leave a boot," Kesting told the site. "It has red laces and it's a 6 1/2 woman's size Danner boot, made in Portland. If you look at the movie poster, it's that boot. You can tell the manufacturing date on it, 2013, so it's relatively new, but you could tell it had been sitting out in the sun for quite a bit of time. It was bleached out and had been sitting in that spot for awhile."
He said it was protocol for the crew to pack everything up after filming. "I thought they would send somebody down to pick it up," Kesting said. "It was pretty hard to find, so maybe even if they did that they couldn't find it."
It was a personal challenge for the engineer. "I thought it would be fun to do," he told the site, "but there would be no way I would find it… It's really a pretty spot… It's beautiful there."
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