Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Hiker's 127 Hours-inspired trip goes about as well as you'd expect

Illustration for article titled Hiker's 127 Hours-inspired trip goes about as well as you'd expect

For most people, 127 Hours offers a compelling argument for spending the rest of your life safely ensconced on your couch, slaking any thirst for adventure by building the occasional cushion fort. It also makes a pretty good case for filling in all of the earth’s remaining canyons with concrete, so you could put some Starbucks and Panera Breads in there, just to be safe. But not so for 64-year-old North Carolina hiker Amos Wayne Richards, who saw James Franco’s travelogue-cum-torture porn and was inspired to embark upon his own solo hiking trip, setting out along the exact same Little Blue John Canyon in Utah that felled both Franco and his real-life inspiration, Aron Ralston.


Unfortunately, Richards seemingly didn’t learn some of the many important lessons that the movie imparted, such as the fact that nature is always trying to kill us. Also, that if you randomly meet two cute girls in the middle of the desert who are willing to swim with you in their underwear for a while, this is fate’s way of telling you to just get the hell out of there and go to their weird Scooby Doo rave thing. Also also, always tell someone where you’re going, so that when you inevitably get injured and fail to return, people will start looking for you right away and then help you realize the importance of not being such a willful loner all the time.

Of course, that last lesson is clearly the most relevant here, so when Richards took a 10-foot tumble—breaking his leg, dislocating his shoulder, and giving him the sense that the movies had come alive—it took park rangers nearly four days to find him. Fortunately, after they noticed Richards hadn’t returned to his campsite, discovered his unattended car, and then asked each other, “Hey, did anyone see 127 Hours?” the resulting search was “pretty quick and dirty.” But over the course of those ensuing 96 hours, Richards was forced to drag himself nearly five miles, surviving on a couple of protein bars and the rain he was able to collect in his water bottles, and gradually realizing that maybe trying to reenact 127 Hours wasn’t such a good idea. Richards was eventually picked up by helicopter and rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for dehydration and the broken leg. He’s currently healing at home and having zero luck interesting anyone in the movie rights to his story. [via L.A. Times]