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Description:

Earl Shaffer was a veteran of WWII from Pennsylvania. While serving in WWII his best friend, Walter Winemiller, with whom he planned to hike the AT with, died at Iwo Jima. Though not properly diagnosed, it is reasonable to assume that Shaffer suffered from mental illness that coincided with the end of his service. Upon returning from deployment, Shaffer decided to hike the trail both in memory of Winemiller and to "walk the war out of his system." Ironically, he wrote of all the times he saw violence on the trail: walking past Antietam and that nature itself was violent, like a grouse exploding from underbrush like an A-bomb. He became the first person to thru-hike the trail in a single season. This photo was taken at the end of his NOBO hike on top of Mt.Katahdin in 1948.


Date:

August 5, 1948

Creator:

Unknown

Subject

Earl Shaffer

Contributor

Emma Sunseri

Format

Color photograph

Source:

Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Rights

Public Domain

Citation

Unknown, “Earl Shaffer at Mt. Katahdin,” Appalachian Trail Histories, accessed July 5, 2020, https://appalachiantrailhistory.org/items/show/1111.

Geolocation

shafferkatahdin.jpg