It was spring of 1948, and a young man from Pennsylvania had to work out of his psyche the sights, sounds and losses of World War II, so he took a hike. For four months. On August 5 of that year, Earl Victor Shaffer became the first person to solo-hike uninterrupted the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, from Springer Mountain in Georgia through 13 other states to Katahdin in the central-Maine wilderness...on more than 2,000 miles of footpath created in the 1920s and '30s by volunteers and maintained by volunteers ever since. Earl Shaffer, a woodsman, naturalist, and poet, went on to become one of those volunteers as a leader of the Appalachian Trail Conference as it worked to secure federal protection for the AT, now a unit of the national park system but still volunteer-managed. Written soon after the first of his two thru-hikes and including photographs from 1948, Walking with Spring chronicles Shaffer's adventures along a path that at the time was showing neglect of the war years and has since been rerouted significantly to its permanent locations.