Frustrated by the monotony of city life, and eager for a new adventure, two friends decide to trek across the Pacific Crest Trail - a 2500-mile stretch of rugged terrain that runs along the border of the west coast from Mexico to Canada. Together, they're determined to test the limits of their endurance, soak in the majestic natural environment to which most are oblivious, and capture every step of their journey along the way. As It Happens: Pacific Coast Trail is the oftentimes grueling, but always inspiring document of their efforts.
Andy Laub and Ian Mangiardi both enjoy comfortable, established lives with their families and loved ones. But they are drawn to exploring the lessons offered by the natural world. During the course of their trek, they discover that nature can often be a cruel teacher. In addition to the foreboding hiss of venomous rattlesnakes and the presence of countless other scary creatures of the desert, they are faced with the seemingly never-ending challenges of severe weather conditions.
Setting off on their journey from Mexico, they find themselves blistered and beaten by scorching heat and dryness. Their complexions begin to adopt the appearance of the terrain as they soldier on through fits of hunger and dehydration. In spite of these hardships, they realize that the biggest challenge of all lies in wait for them further north where the Sierras are being hit with the largest snowstorm in history.
The viewer is made to feel intensely close to the action both in their times of peril and moments of glory. This is largely due to the impressively lyrical camerawork, which is complimented by hundreds of startling photographs, and two dozen original songs composed by Laub himself.
What does a journey such as this accomplish in the end? By the conclusion of As It Happens: Pacific Coast Trail, we can read its meaning on the weather-creased faces of our lead subjects, and hear it in the testimonies of each fellow traveler they encounter and befriend along the way. They have all experienced moments of transcendence, grace and profound appreciation while on the trail, and it's a feeling they hope to carry through into their daily lives.