Sanne, (pronounced 'Seh-neh'), was born in Denmark and lived in Canada before moving to the United States as a child. Sanne's father was a nature enthusiast who loved sailing, riding horseback, and camping. She credits him for her love of the outdoors. Her first steps on the Appalachian Trail were with him during a family trip to Bear Mountain in New York; she was seven years old. During her childhood, she frequently enjoyed day hikes and car camping with her family and friends, often along the Appalachian Trail. (Throughout her life in the States, it seems, she never lived far from the A.T.!)
During college, Sanne got her first taste of overnight hiking. Shortly after college, she began participating in lengthy work trips doing trail building and maintenance, most often with the "Adirondack Mountain Klub" Volunteer Trail Crews and the Appalachian Trail Conference (now Conservancy). Being outdoors – as often and for as long as possible – was her way of coping with urban living. Myron Avery's quote about the Appalachian Trail: "Remote for detachment, narrow for chosen company, winding for leisure, lonely for contemplation, it beckons not merely north and south but upward to the body, mind and soul of man" sums up beautifully her love of hiking in the mountains and being in the midst of nature.
Sanne hiked with friends or alone for many years before meeting her husband-to-be, Chris, aka Spur, on the Appalachian Trail on her birthday in 2000. Spur was an intrepid hiker, who although only backpacking for a short number of years, had thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail the previous year, a dream Sanne had been nurturing for many years. They hiked some of the trail together when Spur thru-hiked again in 2000.
2001 was the year they hiked the AT together – for their honeymoon! The ensuing years included additional long hikes: the Pacific Crest Trail in 2002, the Continental Divide Trail in 2006, the Long Trail in 2007 and 2009. In between these hikes, they tackled the Bartram Trail, most of the CO Trail, the Pine Mountain Trail, and rim-to-rim of the Grand Canyon, to name a few; Sanne completed the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska and the Bruce Trail in Canada as solo hikes. Caring for their elderly parents has occupied much of their free time during the recent years, but, at this writing, they are about to embark on a short foray of the 78-mile Foothills Trail. Along with keeping detailed journals of their hikes, they also photograph their adventures extensively, maintaining a website at www.artofthetrail.com.
Sanne is a member of many trail associations, the ATC being the most formidable. She and Chris are [founding] members of the AT Museum. Sanne has been a member of the ADK, Metropolitan Canoe and Kayak Club, AMC, Bruce Trail, PCTA, CDTS and CDTA, and others. She has also been the Trail Monitor for the AT's Nuclear Lake section, and a member of the NYNJ chapter of the ATC. Sanne and Chris have been active with ALDHA – the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association for over ten years; she served as the newsletter editor and as Assistant Coordinator.
As the current President of the Earl Shaffer Foundation, she assists in making Earl's dream of publishing his poems a reality and providing donations to organizations of which Earl was fond. (They are supporting the "Walk Off the War" project, in which current US Veterans are hiking all or part of the Appalachian Trail.) The Foundation recently completed another of Earl's poetry books, both in print and as an e-book, and the Foundation is presently completing the final steps to have the long-awaited biography of Earl published!