Jeff Ryan, a Maine based author, speaker and photographer, will be visiting the Main Library on Saturday, December 9, at 2:00 p.m. to discuss his most recent book, Blazing Ahead: Benton MacKaye, Myron Avery and the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail.
About 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.
About the Author
Author, speaker, photographer and avid hiker Jeff Ryan was born and raised in Maine. Ryan has a contagious passion for exploring the outdoors, particularly on foot. Jeff has hiked thousands of miles including his first “trip of a lifetime,” a 6 1/2 month hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. In 1985, Jeff began “section hiking” the Appalachian Trail with a childhood friend. The journey took 28 years to complete, and culminated in his first book, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on America’s trail.
During his research for Appalachian Odyssey, he became interested in the history of the AT, in particular the two larger than life personalities most responsible for the Trail’s existence. This led to his second book, Blazing Ahead: Benton MacKaye, Myron Avery and the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail, published in 2017 by Appalachian Mountain Club Books.
Copies of Ryan’s books will be available for purchase at a reception and signing following the event. This program is part of the library’s Author Talk series, which is made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the South Portland Public Library. For more information, contact the Circulation Desk by calling 767-7660 x 2.