View Full Version : Smithsonian Exhibit: Earl Shaffer and the Appalachian Trail

Darwin again
07-10-2009, 19:05
The National Museum of American History has an ongoing exhibit focusing on Earl Shaffer and the Trail (http://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/exhibition.cfm?key=38&exkey=1303):

Link: http://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/exhibition.cfm?key=38&exkey=1303

Snip: "Earl Shaffer was the first person to walk the entire Appalachian Trail in one continuous hike. Shaffer had no expert advice, no previous footsteps to follow, or even guidebooks to help him. At the time, experts on the Appalachian Trail believed that a hike of the entire Trail was impossible. Shaffer started his walk in April 1948 at Mount Oglethorpe, Georgia, and completed the Trail four months later at Maine’s Mount Katahdin. Shaffer kept a diary, along with photographs taken along the way, to prove to skeptics that he had really accomplished what he claimed. This exhibition features photographs taken along the trail, Shaffer’s diary from the 1948 hike, and maps he used. The exhibition also covers the conception and development of the Appalachian Trail and its larger cultural and environmental impact."

There's an online 8-page browsable exhibit at the link with a few pictures and an interactive map with some of Earl's pictures, plus a link to the Museum's flickr group to which hikers can add photos.

The physical exhibit at the Museum runs from today through October 10, 2009.

Mrs Baggins
07-10-2009, 19:33
We live here in No. VA so we'll definitely be going to this! Our daughter is getting married in 2 weeks, so we'll go after the big day.

07-10-2009, 19:51
Thanks! I went to the site, and from there found two other special exhibits I also want to see. Think we'll make a day of it!


07-11-2009, 09:15
For anyone who hasn't read Shaffer's book detailing his thru, I highly recommend it. For anyone who is interested Walking With Spring (http://www.amazon.com/Walking-Spring-Earl-Shaffer/dp/0917953843/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247318037&sr=8-1) is available on Amazon for less that ten dollars.


07-11-2009, 18:24
i wish i wasnt so far away from there or else i would go. Maybe i can talk my dad into driving me to there.

Darwin again
07-12-2009, 11:29
Walking with Spring would be much better if it included more of Earl's pictures in color. The edition I have is the Fourth from the ATC -- the book would benefit from a new edition with color photos. It would probably sell many more copies than the old one.

Maybe the Shaffer Foundation has control of the photos and won't let them do that?

07-13-2009, 22:58
Thank you for this, as I had no idea regarding this exhibit. We are going there in late August and I will be on the look out for this one.

The Mechanical Man
07-14-2009, 02:41
Who wouldn't like to say they actually walked and talked with Earl Shaffer, during his historic 1998 AT through-hike that is now featured in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History?

It was truly an honor for me to hike alone for four miles with Earl Shaffer, during his historic 1998 thru-hike.

On August 1st 1998, it felt like 95+ degrees out when we reached Smith Gap Road together, when Earl accepted my invitation for a nice home cooked family dinner, and visit with my wife and 2 month old son.

See,.... http://www.atmuseum.org/trail_magic.htm

Here is a COLOR picture I took of Earl at Smith Gap Pa................

Mrs Baggins
07-14-2009, 07:34
We decided we have some time this weekend, so we're going to the exhibit Sunday morning.

For anyone unfamiliar with parking in DC - on Sundays you can park along Independence Ave, alongside the Smithsonian Mall, for free all day. It's one of the very few areas that does not have a 2 hour time limit. But you must get there first thing Sunday morning - before 11 am - to be assured of a space. Many vendor trucks use Independence Ave to set up business and you are not allowed to park where they park. Other days you must pay the meters and are limited to 2 hours. If you drive a large vehicle (I have a Chevy van - larger than most "mini vans") you cannot get into most of the parking garages. L'Enfant Plaza parking garage is one of the very few that has a height allowance for my van - but just barely.