Earl Shaffer Biography: A Grip on the Mane of Life

a-grip-on-the-mane-of-lifeEarlier this month we told the story of Earl Shaffer, the first person to hike the Appalachian Trail.

Earl is now the subject a new biography called "A Grip on the Mane of Life".

The book describes Earl as one of the three most important people in the history of the Appalachian Trail:

"He ranks with those other legendary trail personages: Benton MacKaye and Myron Avery. MacKaye gave birth to the concept; Avery took the concept and built a trail from it; and Shaffer demonstrated the potential of the finished product."

The biography covers Earl's two most famous hikes: the first in 1948 and then his repeat journey 50 years later as the oldest-ever thru-hiker. It also touches on his support for Native American and environmental causes.

The book is published by the Appalachian Trail Museum and written by by David Donaldson and Maurice J. Forrester. Money from the book will go to help support the museum.

This weekend, August 3rd, there's going to be a series of events at the museum to mark the book's launch and also the 66th anniversary of Earl Shaffer's first thru-hike.

David Donaldson is giving a talk about Shaffer on Sunday, August 3rd, at the museum. The museum also plans on unveiling a new exhibit showcasing gear used by Earl Shaffer.


Tags: Attractions, Events, Appalachian Trail, News, Appalachian Trail Museum, and Books

About the Author Steve Burge:
Steve Burge was the original founder of AppalachianTrail.com. He was a teacher for many years before starting a web development firm.
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