[at-l] Earl Shaffer's hike
rcli4 at comcast.net
rcli4 at comcast.net
Mon Jul 4 11:21:05 CDT 2011
Well Warren, my grandma used to say, "It is better to keep quite and have folks think your an ass, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt." What possible difference could it make if Earl was first or not. Or if he ever done a through hike. There seems to be very little doubt that he started the idea of what we call a thru hike. Much the same way you pretty much started and champion the ride in a van version of a through hike.
----- Original Message -----
From: Warren Doyle <warrendance at gmail.com>
To: at-l at backcountry.net
Sent: Mon, 04 Jul 2011 15:26:30 -0000 (UTC)
Subject: [at-l] Earl Shaffer's hike
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 one.
Founder/Co-Director - Appalachian Folk School
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