Earl Shaffer

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**Biography of Earl Shaffer:**
– Earl Shaffer was born in rural York, Pennsylvania.
– He hiked with friend Walter Winemiller in the late 1930s.
– Earl enlisted in the army in 1941 and served in the South Pacific.
– He completed the Appalachian Trail (AT) from Georgia to Maine in 1948.
– Earl was inducted into the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame in 2011.

**Earl Shaffer’s Appalachian Trail Achievements:**
– Earl Shaffer was the first person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in one continuous journey.
– Thru-hikes are continuous journeys from one end of a trail to the other.
– In 1948, he became the first person to complete the AT in one journey, meticulously documenting it through photography and journals.
– Earl was recognized as the first person to hike the entire AT without interruption, a feat previously deemed unfeasible.
– He also became the first person to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in both directions in 1965.

**Earl Shaffer’s Thru-Hiking Records:**
– Earl Shaffer completed a northbound thru-hike at the age of 79 in 1998, becoming the oldest person at the time to achieve this.
– He completed thru-hikes in both directions, from Georgia to Maine and Maine to Georgia, starting from Mount Katahdin in Maine and finishing at Springer Mountain.
– Earl’s accounts of his hikes are published by the Earl Shaffer Foundation, with his final hike recorded in books like ‘Appalachian Trail: Calling Me Back to the Hills’ and ‘Ode to the Appalachian Trail’.

**Earl Shaffer’s Involvement with the Appalachian Trail:**
– Earl Shaffer, Walter Winemiller, and Evan Shaffer walked a section of the Appalachian Trail and had a pact to hike the entire trail before joining the military.
– Earl hiked the whole trail in 1948 to honor Walter and cope with war trauma, raising awareness of the Appalachian Trail.
– He contributed to the Appalachian Trail Conference post his thru-hike, impacting the trail’s development and volunteer efforts.
– Earl’s 1948 hike brought attention to the Appalachian Trail, inspiring new hikers and war veterans to use the trail for healing.

**Earl Shaffer’s Music Legacy:**
– Earl Shaffer enjoyed turning his poetry into songs and played them on various instruments like the acoustic guitar, steel string guitar, and mandolin.
– His albums like ‘Always in April’ and ‘Trail of the Tropic Moon’ feature his music, reflecting his Appalachian Trail and WWII experiences.
– Earl’s musical talent and legacy continue to inspire hikers and volunteers, with his songs capturing the essence of his life experiences and emotions.

Earl Shaffer (Wikipedia)

Earl V. Shaffer (November 8, 1918 – May 5, 2002), was an American outdoorsman and author known from 1948 as The Crazy One (and eventually as The Original Crazy One) for attempting what became the first publicized claimed hiking trip in a single season over the entire length of the Appalachian Trail (AT). He also worked as a carpenter, a soldier specializing in radar and radio installation, and an antique dealer.

Earl Shaffer
Born(1918-11-08)November 8, 1918
DiedMay 5, 2002(2002-05-05) (aged 83)
Occupation(s)Hiker and Soldier
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