[at-l] Earl Shaffer's hike

Warren Doyle warrendance at gmail.com
Mon Jul 4 10:26:30 CDT 2011

So, the cat is out of the bag. The AT community is confronted with its
"Columbus discovered America" moment, or, in a more present context,
"weapons of mass destruction" group-think.

It is going to be entertaining to see how this is played out.

For myself, I have always followed the white paint blazes in my 16 traverses
of the entire trail. To not do so would be to dishonor the many selfless
trail workers who worked trielesly to make sure the trail was a continuous,
unbroken string
of white blazes stretching from northern Georgia to Katahdin.

This recent research just points out in more detail (for the southern part
of the trail) what Earl already inferred in his "Walking  With Spring" but
has been hardly mentioned since, or kept a secret, for reasons that are
partially commercial in ther intent.
I find it ironic that one of the sections in Maine that made Ed Garvey
decide to stop his second thru-hike, Mr. Shaffer intentionally
skipped during his third, and last hike of MOST, but not all, of the AT.

Yes, Neil Armstrong was the first person to step on the moon although there
still is a very small minority of folks that think the whole thing was
staged. Earl Shaffer was not the first AT thru-hiker (if a thru-hike is
defined as walking the entire trail). I imagine the majority of AT fans will
now redefine the definition of a thru-hike so it is watered down to hiking
Most of the AT so they can rationalize their firm belief that Earl was the
Warren Doyle
Founder/Co-Director - Appalachian Folk School
423-341-1843 (cell)
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