Georgia to Maine - - Please join me from start (4/1) to finish (8/10) - 132 days!!!!!

Bethlehem, NH
I have completed my thru-hike of the AT from Georgia to Maine; I started 4/1 and completed 8/10/10. I decided to do this thru-hike in memory of my brother Michael and in turn decided to turn it into a fundraiser. All money raised went to the Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country which gives year-round opportunities in sports and recreation to people with physical or developmental disabilities. My wife Pam and I got involved with this program because it allows us to help people with disabilities enjoy the outdoors like we do and my brother Michael did. Michael was born mentally challenged, and he loved to visit us in the North Country of NH and go hiking. He also loved the outdoors and did many other sports. So, to help others do this and other outdoor activities is a TRIBUTE to him, and an HONOR to us. Many of you have helped me along my journey and donated (follow donation link) directly to a secure website. All donations have gone and WILL CONTINUE to go to ASPNC – nonprofit org to help assist others to hike, ski, kayak, snow shoe..etc… Thank you all in advance for your kindness & generosity, Dave & Pam Smith

Sunday, October 10, 2010

2 months !!!!

Hi all,
It's been 2 months since I finished my hike, time flies by. Last night I was showing my cousin Mark pics of my trip,after I went to bed I layed there for quite some time realizing how much I missed being out sleeping in the mountains, but life must go on normally working , and being happy with small hiking trips,but it will forever be in my brain that I would love to do another long distance hike this time with Pam. This will probably never be doable, but I can dream!!! Living life normally will never seem normal to me again, I think I will always feel just alittle lost, the AT truley left a mark on my soul!
Hike safe
Life is good

Dave  ( aka  Ponytail Dave)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday 8/10 - "Katahdin" from Ponytail Dave

Got somewhat of a good night sleep last night (much anticipation – felt like a kid on Christmas).

All up early 5am, had a quick breakfast, changed into hiking clothes. My stomach was doing flip flops as we were all getting ready.

5:58AM – signed hiker trail register. There was a group that went ahead of us at 2AM to catch the sunrise. Other than that we were the only ones on the Hunt Trail.

Trail started out easy, but after Katahdin Falls it getting rockier and steeper, soon we were above tree line and it was harder w/many large boulders w/rebar on them. Hand over hand got us up. The steep scrambling kept my mind occupied as did watching and talking w/Pam, Elise and Ollie. This was a pleasant change, since most of my hiking was alone. Nights were where I met up w/other hikers.

After the “Gateway” the climb flatten out a little and you could see people at the summit. I could not believe this was it. I was about to finish. How would it feel? What next? My mind was going on overdrive, thought of Michael, my family, the Adaptive program and all the people that I have met on the trail. Ironic, 3 friends I made and started w/back on 4/1 were waiting for me at the top. How cool is that, that we all get to summit together. Also, thinking about the joy of having my wife finish with me. She really is a trooper.

As, I got closer I felt s strange calm come across me. Pam, Ollie & Elise went first to the summit so they could get my picture as I approached. I could see Moose, Tetherball and Inferno as I approached the sign. When I touched the sign I heard nothing. Not even all the people clapping and cheering. I just stood there and yelled to Michael “I made it”. I was frozen for a minute then straight over to Pam for a big hug.

I DID IT!!!! 2,179 miles I WAS THERE!

Took some times for hugs & high fives w/everyone. We even opened a bottle of champagne, lit some sparklers, took pictures and celebrated. After 45 minutes or so Moose, Tetherball and Inferno hugged me and were soon disappearing down the trail. I will miss seeing their warm smiling faces daily!

We took almost 5 hrs to get back down. It was harder than up.

I was kind of quiet, walking ahead lots of times, just thinking about the last 132 days. What an adventure. It seems like I just left Springer Mnt back on April 1st.

At 5pm I signed the last trail register and kissed the last white blaze and we headed home. My journey was officially over.  I was feeling good.

I drove the entire 6 1/2hrs home. Beautiful sunset on Rt 95 and I sang the whole way home. I really missed music.

Now I have to try to return to a “normal “ life. I think it is going to be hard.

I love you all. You all have been great and so supportive of me and Pam.

Ponytail Dave

Moose, Inferno, Pony Tail, Tetherball - CLASS 2010 GA-ME
Ollie, Elise, Pam, Dave
Ollie - class of 1995, Dave - class of 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Monday 8/9 - RAIN - 0 day

We all woke early to the rain pelting on the shelter. PTD went to talk to the ranger to check the forecast. Rain! To let up late in the day. Ranger did say Tuesday would be a glorious day. Ponytail decided he came this far he can wait one more day.

We got up, had breakfast and went into town for lunch. PTD ate lots. Baked lasagna, salad, potato skins, French fries, mozzarella sticks, a beer and then as we were leaving he went up to the ice cream stand and got a chocolate shake. Think he only missed GA and WV for chocolate shakes. He was napping in the car about 10 minutes down the road. Just took our time picking up some more supplies for dinner at the local food market.

When we got back we couldn’t have the same lean to because it was rented out so we now had to get a 3 person lean to #C. Tight but we all fit. Elise is small.

Moose, Thetherball and Inferno were there(they are part of the April Fools Gang). All 4 started together on 4/1 in GA. How Ironic that they would all summit together on the last day of the journey.

When when they were done setting up their camp they came over to ours to have some burgers, mac and cheese, fruit and roasted marshmallows. We sat by the fire and talked for a bit. Nice to hear them all reminiscing about their journeys and everyones anticipation and anxiety of tomorrows hike. The last day, the last hike of their amazing journey.

Dark came, they left and we all went to bed.

Oh forgot to mention our car trouble(muffler), nothing a Moxie can and a Coca Cola can wouldn't fix

Monday, August 23, 2010

8/23 $10,000.50 raised to date

Don't even know what to say! 


Sunday 8/8

Very excited today. He knows that we are coming to see him and that the end is near.

9:30 goes across the Abol Bridge, he is now in Baxter State Park. Says he passed lots of nice ponds and had view of Katahdin all day long. He arrived at Katahdin Stream Campground about 2ish. Checked in w/the ranger and got our lean to all squared away. He set up camp at lean to #5, started a fire and waited for us. At about 4pm, Ollie, Elise and I arrived. We were all thrilled to see each other.

We hung out and had dinner and early to bed. They are calling for 70% chance of showers. Bummer. We will make the decision in the morning on whether to hike or not.

This was an exciting night for Elise and I. We had never slept in a lean to. Always in tents. I was just hoping no critter would run across us in the night. None did! we both said we would do it again.

Woke in the middle of the night to rain pelting off the shelter.

PTD hiked about 17.7 miles today             5.2 left (REAlly!!)               2,173.8 hiked to date

Saturday 8/7

6:30AM UP AND HIKING. Cool morning about 45 out. Very cool sunrise.

Right off the bat Ponytail saw a family of otters and a moose taking a morning swim. He got her picuture as she was running out of the water.

1:30 he was at Nesuntabunt Mnt – he could see Katahdin. Beautiful crisp clear view. It is massive! Just stands out from all the other mountains. Just to imagine a few more days and I would be there on the top. Amazing! He knows that I only have 36 more miles to go.

Stayed at the edge of Rainbow Lake. It is his last night alone. No one else camping w/him. Time to reflect.

Hiked 26.3 miles today

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Home Coming Party – 8/21

Home Coming Party – 8/21

This Saturday at the VFW on Cottage St in Littleton, NH


Please bring an appetizer

Kids are welcome!

Hope to see you all there

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Friday 8/6

Actaully yesterday at the end of the day Ponytail reached 2,100 miles. He can't believe he has walked all these miles already. Says some days it doesn't seem like 4 + months that he has been on the trail and other days, well, we won't talk about those. He says it wasn't easy!

Off and over Hay mnt, White Cap mnt, Little Boardman mnt. several ponds and streams.

It was still warm but he could fell the air changing. Weekend to be less humid so he was told.

Toward the end of day once he set up camp at the Antlers Campsites, he could see a perfect full rainbow off in the distance. It was glowing off of the Lower Jo Mary Lake. Deep colors. Couldn't figure out the camera to do a panoramic view but he did manage to take some pics of it from both sides. Says he could see the beginning and the end over the lake. Truly magnificent! What a great thing to see at the end of a long day.

26.8 mile TODAY       51.9 more mile to go!!!!!!!

no picnic tables or rocks so the ground had to do for cooking dinner

home sweet home for the night

Thursday 8/5

Today it was humid once again. Lots of mountains today. 4th Mnt, 3rd Mnt, Columbus Mnt, Chairback Mnt. More ups and downs to hammer the knees. Eyes to the ground to watch the footings.

Also, went across the Katahdin Iron Works Logging Road to the West Branch River to the Hermitage (protected area of old pines).

Stayed at the Carl A. Newhall Lean To - sleeps 6

16.88 miles today 78.6 left 2099.6 to date!
he was up early too gathering food