Lecture & Book Signing

October 25, 2017

FDL Public Library
6-7:30 PM`
FDL Public Library (32 Sheboygan)

Author Jeffrey Ryan will appear at the Fond du Lac Public Library in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin to sign copies of his highly acclaimed books: Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on America’s trail and his newly released Blazing Ahead: Benton MacKaye, Myron Avery and the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail.

Appalachian Odyssey

“This book is terrific! It also has some laugh out loud moments.”

Appalachian Odyssey is an informative, fun read that invites everyone along for the adventure. As one reviewer put it, “it may surprise people that I thoroughly enjoyed a memoir about hiking the Appalachian Trail. But I did!”

The former Executive Editor of National Geographic has written that “Appalachian Odyssey is destined to be a classic of nature and travel writing.” It is a story of enduring friendship infused with historical perspective and the joys of staying true to a vision that culminate in a singularly entertaining journey. The book, published by Down East Books in 2016, is in its fifth printing.

Blazing Ahead

Few know the story behind the creation of the world’s longest hiking-only trail. The proposal could have died in the pages of a journal had it not been for the efforts of many people ― including two, in particular: Benton MacKaye and Myron Avery.

While the two men shared a common goal, their vastly different personalities meant it was only a matter of time before these sometimes allies, sometimes adversaries had a falling out. Ryan’s latest book weaves together history and biography to bring the story of how a dreamer and a doer created a something that neither could have done had they tried to go it alone. Blazing Ahead: Benton MacKaye, Myron Avery and the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail, published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books, was released in September, 2017.

George Mason University History Professor had this to say upon reading Blazing Ahead:

“This book is makes an important contribution to our understanding of the origins and survival of the Appalachian Trail in its formative years. Just as important, however, is the light it sheds on the sometimes testy relationship between the two most important figures in the early history of the AT. Without the vision of Benton MacKaye and the often abrasive tenacity of Myron Avery, the Trail as we know it today would not exist. Trail enthusiasts and scholars alike will find a lot to love in this book and it should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand how such a visionary and complex project begins and survives.”

About the Author

Jeff Ryan is an avid hiker who has hiked on a number of long-distance trails including the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail and the New England National Scenic Trail. His perspectives on the evolution of hiking equipment and the history of hiking add depth to his lectures. He has appeared in hundreds of venues throughout the United States. Copies of Appalachian Odyssey and Blazing Ahead will be available for purchase and the author would be delighted to sign copies.