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Walking with Spring

By walking on 2013.10.15 In Inspiration

Somehow I picked up information about the book Walking with Spring by Earl V. Shaffer. He walked the whole Appalachian Trail in 1948. This is the first documented and confirmed thru-hike of this trail.  This book was self-published by Earl in 1981 and the Appalachian Trail Conference made it available commercially in 1983. The local library here in Sweden had it and I took it home to read.

It is a thin book and apart from text contains photos that Earl took on his hike. Since it was written about 30 years after the hike he refers to his little black notebook and writes about what happened after the hike as well. During the hike he wrote to a Trail Conference that was taking place where they hardly believed the note and he talks about how he afterwards had to describe the whole hike in order to be taken seriously. In the end he was believed and he hiked the whole trail twice more during his lifetime.

It’s a hard book to describe because it is like reading his memories of walking the trail. There’s poetry, photographs, raccoon encounters, hiking along thin ridges during dark and also beauty all along the hike. It wasn’t a fast read but it’s one I want to read again. A lot of reviewers out there talk about how this was the book that inspired them to do a thru-hike. It didn’t do that for me but it was a very nice read.

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Quotes

LIFE is about PASSION, otherwise it is worthless.
- Inaki in "Tell it on the Mountain"

Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.
- Steven Wright

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