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Report on a Study of the Record as to the Actual Route of the 1948 Appalachian Trail Hike of Earl V. Shaffer

Report on a Study of the Record as to the Actual Route of the 1948 Appalachian Trail Hike of Earl V. Shaffer

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Published by The Roanoke Times
Monroe County, West Virginia resident James W. McNeely studied the record of Earl V. Shaffer's 1948 Appalachian Trail hike between Mount Oglethorpe, Ga., to Rockfish Gap, Va. Shaffer hiked the route between April 3 and May 19, 1948, and is said to have been the first through-hiker on the trail. McNeely published his study on April 26, 2011, and calls Shaffer's route into dispute. [more at roanoke.com]
Monroe County, West Virginia resident James W. McNeely studied the record of Earl V. Shaffer's 1948 Appalachian Trail hike between Mount Oglethorpe, Ga., to Rockfish Gap, Va. Shaffer hiked the route between April 3 and May 19, 1948, and is said to have been the first through-hiker on the trail. McNeely published his study on April 26, 2011, and calls Shaffer's route into dispute. [more at roanoke.com]

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Published by: The Roanoke Times on Jun 30, 2011
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10/22/2014

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REPORTONA STUDY OF THE RECORD AS TO THE ACTUAL ROUTEOFTHE 1948 APPALACHIAN TRAIL HIKE OF EARL V. SHAFFER FROMMT. OGLETHORPE, GA, TO ROCKFISH GAP, VA(APRIL 3, 1948 - MAY 19, 1948)
byJames W. McNeely
APRIL 26, 2011
(PDF VERSION -- MAY 9, 2011)
 
-i-
REPORTONA STUDY OF THE RECORD OF THE ACTUAL ROUTEOFTHE 1948 APPALACHIAN TRAIL HIKE OF EARL V. SHAFFER FROMMT. OGLETHORPE, GA, TO ROCKFISH GAP, VA(APRIL 3, 1948 - MAY 19, 1948)
(PDF VERSION)- TABLE OF CONTENTS -Heading Page
Table of Contents -i-
 About This Report 
-ii- Notes on PDF Version -iii-Chapter 1Introduction 1-1 to 1-2Chapter 2Primary Sources: The Written Record 2-1 to 2-4Chapter 3 Primary Sources: The Photographic Record 3-1 to 3-3Chapter 4Planning and Preparation 4-1 to 4-2Chapter 5The Question Of AT Guidebooks 5-1 to 5-6Chapter 6Mt. Oglethorpe - Amicalola Falls (Part I) 6-1 to 6-7Chapter 7Northern Georgia 7-1 to 7-4Chapter 8Southern North Carolina 8-1 to 8-9Chapter 9 Snowbird Mountain 9-1 to 9-5Chapter 10The Watauga River Valley (Tennessee)10-1 to 10-4Chapter 11The New River Valley (Virginia)11-1 to 11-13Chapter 12 The Blue Ridge of Southern Virginia12-1 to 12-14Chapter 13Additional Case Studies: Virginia13-1 to 13-13Chapter 14 Post Hike: August 1948 - January 194914-1 to 14-9Chapter 15Post Hike: 1949 - 195015-1 to 15-13Chapter 16 Mt. Oglethorpe - Amicalola Falls (Part II)16-1 to 16-5Chapter 17Summary 17-1 to 17-10Chapter 18 An Equivalent Hike18-1 to 18-4Chapter 19 A Conclusion19-1 to 19-6Endnotes(Numbered by Chapter) N-1 to N-27
 
-ii- 
- ABOUT THIS REPORT -
 
This Report is about the “old” Appalachian Trail of the 1940's and early 50'sthrough Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia (to Rockfish Gap) – and the 1948 Appalachian Trail thru-hike of Earl V. Shaffer (1918 - 2002). Theresearch for, the writing of, and the distribution of this Report has been exclusivelya personal project of the author. The content of this Report is solely the work  product of the author, based upon the sources cited herein, and was prepared without affiliation with or financial support from any other person or organization.The author wishes to acknowledge the assistance received from a wide varietyof individuals and groups in the research for this Report. Throughout that research,the author has received and benefitted from the assistance, courtesy and, often, the patience of folks in libraries, museums, archive collections, newspapers, and  government agencies on every level, as well as helpful private citizens met along theway. That assistance in the quest for answers to the questions of sixty or more yearsago rose by this Report is acknowledged with gratitude. A limited number of copies of this Report are being distributed without charge to individuals, groups and agencies who are likely to have a particular interest in or additional information as to the subject matter. A copy of this Report is also available by electronic transmission as a PDF file (with minor edits and reformatted for PDF transmission). Any party interested in receiving this Report inthat format may contact the author.Comments are sought and welcome – positive, negative, corrective or  supplemental – from readers. It is anticipated that there will be much to comment on, as this Report is an unfinished work, likely with numerous errors – in fact, if theauthor managed to consistently spell “Oglethorpe,” “Amicalola,” “Nantahala,”“Tapoco,” “Simerly,” and “Bearwallow” (which WP 12 spellcheck insists onmaking “Burwell”) correctly, keep page numbering sequential, and present adocument that is at least readable, he will consider this work minimally successful. Finally, the author reserves no rights to this work – others may use, copy and distribute it as they wish. Any such use should be, however, with the caveat that it is an unfinished work and the author does not represent it to be a definitive, or evennecessarily accurate in all respects, authority on the matters addressed. Being a strictly amateur researcher, the author presents this Report as an amateur “secondary (or tertiary) source” that more professional researchers will hopefullytake as an invitation to delve more deeply into the available record of the history of the “old” Appalachian Trail and the early thru-hikers who set out to hike it. Author contact information is as follows: James W. McNeely P.O. Box 667  Peterstown, WV 24963(304) 753-9904thepathsproject@hotmail.comThe author prefers U.S. Mail or e-mail communication.

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