In 1948 World War II veteran Earl Shaffer decided to “walk the war out of his system” and became the first person to report hiking the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in one, continuous journey. This children’s book tells the story of Earl’s remarkable journey of five million steps across fourteen states for over two thousand miles. “So, on a blustery April morning in 1948, Earl stood on a Georgia mountain peak, beside a weather-beaten sign, with a pack on his back and only the birds in the trees for company.” One hundred and twenty-four days later he stood atop Maine’s Mt. Katahdin in triumph. In 1965, he hiked the AT from north to south and became the first person to report a thru-hike of the AT in both directions.
Andrea Shapiro finds happiness on mountain trails near her home in Maryland and throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Growing up in New York, she hiked some of the first-established portions of the Appalachian Trail with her family and also with the Girl Scouts. As an adult, she has been a long-time supporter of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Andrea writes nonfiction picture books and middle grade historical fiction as well as co-writing musical theater with her husband.
Originally from Colorado, Rebecca Harnish has spent a considerable amount of time traveling and living in different places throughout the country. In recent years, hiking has taken on an important role in seeing more and more beautiful places. She has through-hiked both the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail. She lives in Asheville, NC.
"Two Thousand Miles to Happy is a great illustrated children’s book written at a level interesting for both children and adults. More so than many children’s books, it includes a realistic life lesson. The book illustrates, at least for Earl Shaffer, how tackling a big challenge and having perseverance can lead to happiness."—Jim Rahz, The Trek