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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wed 4/28 (part 1)

Ponytail Dave hit the 400 MILE mark today at 8:15am

SUPER JOB!!!  So very proud!

We should be able to talk tonight so I will get the scoop on Tuesday and Wed completely.  I know he is stll cold and wet when we spoke this morning.  Weather is to break soon.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Monday 4/26

PTD started out the day somewhat dry 1st thing in the morning. It was misting but not bad. PTD says the mist proceeded to get heavier and heavier and then started sideways and every which way all day long. The winds had picked up. 

Up and over Roan MT. Last time he will climb over 6,000 ft till he gets to Mt Washington. He said visibility was so bad he never did get to see the beautiful rhododendron gardens that supposedly cover the slopes. They wouldn't have been in full bloom but would have been cool to see. He proceeded past several balds to the top of Hump MT where he was to take a side trail to the Stan Murray Shelter for the night.

Well, he had his head down and his hat pulled to the side over his rain poncho so that the rain wouldn't get into his eyes and face and somehow missed the turn off to the shelter. Yikes! He kept trucking forward going up and down, and back and forth throughout the switchbacks and he came to a road crossing in the middle of know where. He had no choice but to keep walking now he was in another gap and no dry place in sight so he had to keep moving because now it is getting late and he is getting cold and hungry. Came to an empty shelter. It was empty due to the rain pouring into it from the top and from the front. It was a 3 sided shelter facing the WRONG WAY. Kept walking and finally came to Over the Mountain Shelter. It was overflowing w/wet hikers. Everyone moved over so that he could squeeze his wet body in out of the rain.

The shelter holds 20 people. Dave thinks there were at least 30 that night. He knew only 1 person there (Tomato). Needless to say after 22.1 miles he was extremely tired. He had no desire to cook so he settled for a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter, a snickers bar and some water. He then put on his dry long johns and crawled into his dry sleeping bag for the night by 7pm. He was not interested in playing cards or staying up chatting. He was cold and tired.

Throughout the night he could hear and feel the old shelter which is a 2 story rickety old barn creak and sway due to the 40 mile an hour winds. This shelter was used in the movie ”Winter People”.

Sunday 4/25

No tornados in Erwin but there were 3 in TN Saturday night. Glad PTD called me Sunday morning early and said everything was fine before heading out on the trail. Said there was a light drizzle as he was heading out of the nice dry hotel room. Ugh! The others stayed at the hotel due to their mail drops being at the post office. It was Sunday so they needed to wait till it opened Monday morning.  Hope we don';t run into this.  They took a zero day.

PTD traveled up and over Unaka MT - 5,180(Cherokee name is White) (this MT is similar to Maine's woods)

Dave traveled 17 miles to the Cherry Mountain Gap Shelter where he spent the night.

random pics - from 4/1 - 4/12 - (set 4)

4/9 1st visit w/family - Mom, brother Paul and niece Jessica

Sunday, April 25, 2010

random pics - from 4/1 - 4/12 - (set 3)

random pics - from 4/1 - 4/12 - (set 2)

4/6 - Bed at the Hiawassee Inn.  Pack needed to be lighter.  All possesions sprawled out to see how it could be lighter.  Mailed back some small items. 1 1/2lbs shaved off weight

Hiawassee Inn

Some random pics - from 4/1 - 4/12 - PTD to chime in later w/what is what (set 1)

Pack minus poles on 3/1 - ready to hit the trail

Gooch Gap Shelter 4/1

Another shelter from "the loft"

Saturday 4/24

Today it was about a 16.9 mile day from Bald Mnt to Erwin, TN. That makes 339.9 miles on the AT to date.

PTD had plans on tenting at a local campground in Erwin but weather was not on his side. So, 6 of them decided to split the room at the Holiday Inn Express on the outskirts of town. Fast Lane, Inferno, Ponytail Dave, Jeff, Maple and Long Shank. They were calling for Hail, thunderstorms and there was a tornado watch. Yikes! A tornado watch. Glad he is not in the tent.

When PTD called me they were all pooling their laundry together so they could get a full load. Now there are only 2 double beds. They were all going to draw straws after dinner to see which ones got the beds. Told him I hope he gets the lucky straw.
Someone had asked me while I was hiking Bald Peak yesterday, how time was going by for Dave. I asked him and he said it all depends but most of the time mornings go by fast and sometimes afternoons drag because his feet ache and he is tired and wants to get to the shelter to relax. Shelter/tent time goes by fast because he is busy talking w/other hikers, cooking his dinner and setting up camp for the night. Overall he can't believe he has been out on the trail for 24 days.

Friday 4/23

I spoke to PTD and he stated that on Thursday he felt good enough and it was still early so he pushed on to Flint Mnt Shelter, instead of staying at Jerry Cabin Shelter as he had predicted earlier in the day. Thursday was a 21.3 mile day on the AT(some strange shelter fact - in 1994 a thu-hiker was bitten on the hand by a fox in the middle of the night.  The shelter was full of people.

On Friday PTD said that Devil Fork Gap area was very green and the smell was amazing.  Fresh after rain smells were everywhere.  They had rain Thursday night.  He also said it was very cool the contrast of the old wooden gray pasture fence he came across in the green green gap.

Later in the day he came to a road crossing and low and behold trail majic. It seems to be everywhere down in the south. There was Boomer and Bear Crawl from Charlotte with a cooler full of pepsi, snickers, oatmeal cookies and more for all that hikers that pass by within a 2hr window.  PTD was glad he hit their window. It gave him the boost he needed to finish to Bald Mtn Shleter. He stayed and chatted w/the gentlemen for a bit before taking back off on the trail.

Dave called again today to tell me how beautiful the views were from Bald Mnt.  He said it is all open and he can see every which way. North, South East and West.  Much like on the top of Mt Moosilauke in NH on how you get the 360 degree view.

He will spend the night w/Fast Lane, Inferno, Maple, Jeff and Long Shank in the shelter. 18.9 mile day  The area around the shelter at Blad Mnt is too fragile for tenting so all are asked to stay in the shelter.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday 4/22

PTD called today to let me know that he was sitting thinking about me while sitting taking a break on a rock on the top of Whiteface Cliff.  We often do this together when we hike.  Sit ande ponder at the views.

He is on his way to Jerry Cabin Shelter which is locate in Madison, NC. They are predicting thunderstorms the next few days but he said you wouldn’t know it right now. Warm, sunny, puffy clouds.

He found out that another hiker Brian was leaving the trail and going back to CO. Brian will be missed. They will stay in touch.

Jerry Cabin Shelter - says maybe he will sleep in his tent tonight

Wednesday 4/21

Ponytail Dave says he had a great breakfast, said he goodbyes and thank you to Elmer (the owner of the Sunny Bank Inn(hostel) where he stayed in Hot Springs) before he left town. He said he very much enjoyed his time in Hot Springs.

He said it was very gray and in the 70’s but not raining this morning. Off to the Spring Mountain Shelter which is located in Greene, TN. It is a 3 sided shelter. He traveled about 11 miles today. Jeff, Dutch Tape and Cabana Boy were there w/him last night at the shelter. The others stayed back in Hot Springs another night. They will catch up eventually. Jeff is from southern NH and Dutch Tape and Cabana Boy are from MA. PTD had no service last night to call me. So, I ventured out to the Rock’s Estate to learn about Vernal pools, frogs and salamanders. Very cool! 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday - 4/20 --- 1st ZERO DAY

 Hi all,

Yesterday was a fast 20 mile day, 7 1/2 hours, knee a little tender, so a day off is well deserved!

Staying at Elmer's Hostel, what a great guy, and a cool house.

The different Eco zones in the Smokies were fascinating, the views were more breathtaking at every turn.  I could never put down in words what it was like hiking through the Smokies and my pictures will never do them justice. Some of the ridge lines that the trail followed were only 6 or 8 feet wide with some very long drop off''s. The only sad thing is some of the different trees are dying from some king of imported disease.  It was very hard to see these big beautiful trees dead and dying, but I guess that is part of nature.

I can't wait to see what lies ahead.

Talk Later.

Hike Safe.

Ponytail Dave

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday 4/18

Max Patch picture taken from someone else on a different day

 PTD called to let me know that him and a bunch of Frat Boyz were Cowboy camping tonight on the top of Max Patch.  That is sleeping under the stars. No tent, no shelter. Says a glory of a night but a bit windy. I said set up the tent just in case mother nature isn't so nice.... Max Patch offers views of the Smokies and Mt Mitchell. It used to be an old logging camp at one time,also used for grazing sheep and even as a landing strip for small planes. Now the shelter and the top hosts hikers and the AT now uses its top for controlled burns

He just had some trail magic of some people that had left some Oranges, grapes, apples, strawberries....he came too late the hot dogs and soda were already gone.

Brief conversation as usual. He says he will only travel about 17miles tomorrow to stay in or near the Deer Park Mountain Shelter (this was a former farm stand). Then when he gets up on Tuesday he will only have to travel about 3 miles to Hot Springs where he can get a room for the night. This way he will only need to spend 1 night in town.

Oh, didn't mention his state size blister so guess not so bad anymore or he is getting used to it.


Sunday 4/18 -- Out of the Smokies

Hi All,

It's 11 o clock Sunday morning , I'm at the Standing Bear Farm hostel, just outside of the smokies, got here about 9am . Had a large 3 meat pizza and a DR Pepper and I am also having a Yearling beer for breakfast !!!!!!!!!!!  Life is good.

Got little sleep last night due to KING KONG snoorers in the shelter(yes, I had my earplugs) in the Smokies and that was after the 8oz of crown royal some college kids gave me at the shelter last night. Don't know what it is but everybody is giving me booze on the trail!!!!!!! Well I'm of to try to got in 15 miles before dark then 15 more tomorrow and a ZERO DAY in Hot Springs YAHOO.

Hike Safe!

Talk Soon,

Ponytail Dave

ps Love You and miss you ALOT Pammy.

Saturday 4/17

Ponytail Dave has made it to the Davenport Gap Shelter for the night. 235.1 miles to date and 1,943.2 more to go. This is the only shelter left on the trail in the Smokies that still has a bear fence around it. Keep bears out, Keep hikers in! In the smokies it is mandatory that you must stay in a shelter unless they are full. Then you must tent right next to the shelter. Back awhile ago they used to have bear cages on all the shelters. They have solved most of the problems w/the pesky bears now. Hikers and tourists have been more careful about leaving traces of food...etc in the woods. The awareness of LEAVE NO TRACE is getting better. We should all be aware of this. LEAVE NO TRACE!!! Leave it as you found it and carry out your trash! This goes not just only in the Smokies but EVERYWHERE!

Tonight he is only w/Landfill at the shelter, the others he had been hiking with are either ahead a bit or behind a bit. They will catch up probably in Hot Springs. Dave plans on taking a 0 day and resting, catching up on phone calls, journals, laundry, getting a good night sleep(thinking he will probably get a room to himself for one night and get some privacy) and he really hopes that the place he stays has a bathtub so he can just soak. Calgon take me away. One of his sisters has offered to pay for him to get a massage in Hot Springs which is know for their mineral baths. Hope he takes her up on it. Sounds like he could use it.



Friday 4/16

 Ponytail Dave called to let me know that he was at the ONLY road crossing in the Smokies. US 441/Newfound Gap(Gatlinburg, TN). He was joking that he stopped for a break and was talking to a group who had motorcycles. Asked if any of them wanted to trade just for a bit~the bike for the backpack and they all said NO WAY MAN!!! He said he tried. He sees all the bikes when in towns and is missing his Road King and Shovelhead. Good thing we had a few days out on the bikes up here in the north country before he left. Mother nature had granted us some super warm days. Wish they would come back.

Says he just encounter the best views so far of the trip. Says when we get the pics they just won't do it justice. Simple breathtaking. He didn't say quite where he was.

He stayed at Peck's Corner Shelter. This grassy area was used in the 1800's for grazing cattle.

Good news his knee is feeling better. Bad news he says he has a blister the size of Rhode Island near the ball of his left foot. Been putting some suave and mole skin on it(THANK YOU TENDER CORP) and then for some added cushion a band-aide or 2 and some duck tape to keep it all secure. Duck tape works on everything!

That it for now,


Thursday 4/15

Hi All,

PTD says he did about 20.5 miles today, up and over Mt Love (6,446') and Clingman's Dome (6,643'). The tourist road to the Dome was closed due a landslide. Yeah! No tourists. He had the mountain to himself. Great feeling to be king he says but no one to take my picture w/the beautiful views behind him.

Says the snow was not knee deep like others had encountered a few weeks before. Now it is only ankle deep and getting sparse.

Dave is spending the night at Mt Collins Shelter. He says he stayed the night again with Mr Vix(from the UK) and 2 Rings(Ian) and Landfill, the others have moved ahead or are behind a bit.

He has reached the 200 mile mark. SUPER JOB PONYTAIL DAVE!


Wednesday 4/14


Heard from Ponytail Dave.  He spent the night at the Spence Field Shelter. This is 1st shelter that he will stay at in the Smokies. Says he had spectacular views of NC/TN. Weather still great. 70's and clear.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tuesday 4/13

Dave has made it to Fontana Dam. He called me while he was sitting on the wall at the reservoir opening his 1st mail package. He was very excited to get letters, phone card, pictures and gifts from home.

Fontana Dam is located in North Carolina. It forms Fontana Lake, 29 miles of beauty on the southern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains. The Appalachian Trail crosses OVER the Dam as the trail will wind in and out of Tennessee and North Carolina. The Dam is the highest dam in the eastern United States.

The powerhouse contains 3 generating units with a total generating capacity of 225,000 kilowatts. Electricity is generated as water is released through the turbines at Fontana. Additional power is generated as the same water passes through the turbines at 11 downstream dams.

He is staying tonight at the Fontana Hilton…What I says the Hilton!!! I thought you were tenting and staying in shelters. He reassured me that the “Hilton” was in fact a shelter w/double sets of bunks on each side – will sleep 24, a clean, lighted privy (bathroom for those that don’t know) just up the hill off the footpath and hot showers too. Wow, guess it is like the “Hilton” in the hiker world.

He went today and got his permit to be able to enter, hike and stay at the shelters in the Smokey Mountains. He will enter the park on Wednesday morning. Forecast for the next 6 days looks pretty good – high60’s during the day and low 40’s at night. Good hiking weather. Maybe some rain and clouds Friday night and Saturday but other than that it looking good. Well, that is if Weather Underground is correct. He should be able to take some spectacular photos.

He hopes to finish the National Forest in 6 days. It is approx 70 miles long. The Appalachian Trail is fairly remote to most sections of the Smokey Mountain National Park. He won’t actually see a lot of people except for the tourist sections, beginning, Clingman’s Dome and some other spots. He has enough supplies as there are no stores to get him through these sections.

He is psyched and ready to tackle all that the Smokey’s has to offer despite his right knee giving him some trouble. Go get’em!!!

Do you know what lives in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park?
30 different kinds of Salamanders. That is right it is known as the Salamander Capital of the World due to its cool, moist, climate. Black Bears, estimated 1,500 – that is a lot of bears (better hang that food bag and sleep in the shelters PTD (Pony Tail Dave), Birds – over 200 species, Reptiles – over 38 different species, Fish – 58 species, Numerous species of land snails, insects and spiders and that is not to mention the wild boars, deer and other mammals that he could cross paths with.

Dave will encounter the highest elevation on the Appalachian trail and 2nd highest mountain east of the Mississippi river.

Clingman's Dome -Elevation: 6,643' (yes, higher than Mt Washington)

Not sure if he will have cell service in the Smokey’s but he will try to call to give me updates. So, if you don’t see any posts for a little bit don’t be worried. He isn’t going anywhere. :)


Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday 4/12

Hi all,

Dave called tonight to let me know he is spending the night near Brown Fork Gap Shelter. Approx 16 grueling miles today.   His feet are sore.  Lots of ups and downs. Very clear. Says he got some great pics to send home. Can't wait to see them.

Also, he said that he has ALREADY CHANGED his trail name after finding out that 2 other people hiking the trail this year have the name Trooper. They found "the orginal Trooper" and then another one signing in to the shelters. His name now is one that he was called back up north by Sandy Olney.  Pony Tail Dave. That soooo suits him. So, Pony Tail Dave it is. Thanks Sandy!

Bye for now,


Sunday 4/11

Early start – Beautiful day. He ended up meeting up w/Brian again from CO today and hiking all day w/him. Both took in spectacular views of the Smokies from Wesser Bald (4,627’) There is an observation tower there that used to be an operating fire tower. Says it was a super clear day. Could see for miles.  He hopes to be starting the Smokey Mountains sometime next weekend.
Today he did about 16 miles and is now at the NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center) This is a huge outdoor adventure center for white water rafting.

The tent sites are all full so Dave, Brian, Mr Vix, Ian and several others are staying in the Bunk house.

As of right now he has hiked 135 miles and has 2,043 more to go.

He has 28 miles to get to Fontana Dam and says he will do it in 2 days. He will slow a bit.

Will get it out of him next time I talk to him how and why he got it this trail name……stay tuned…

Saturday 4/10

Dave says he had a super breakfast w/his brother, niece and mom. They were there around 7:30am.  Very nice to see family after 10 days on the trail. They dropped him off at Winding Stair Gap. He ended up hiking 16 miles today to the Burningtown Gap (another beautiful day for hiking) where he met 2 hikers that were hiking for the week. They were setting up their tents on a grassy knoll because ahead at the Cold Mnt Shelter/tenting they were all full w/other hikers. He says he sat up for awhile w/the 2 guys and swapped stories before going to bed.

Friday 4/9

Dave says he woke up early. Heard there was a free shuttle and free breakfast at the 1st Baptist Church in town. THANK YOU 1st Baptist Church group for all your hospitality. Awesome breakfast.

After that he gathered some of his items (boots were somewhat dry) and went out and hiked the 3.8 miles that he did not do on Thursday due to location where the shuttle had picked him up. Beautiful, dry 70 degrees. Nice day to hike. He needed to stay in town one more night so that he could meet up w/his family Sat morning for breakfast. This will be his 1st visit.

So, later on Friday he had lunch w/Mr Vix and Ian at the Rathskeller . THANK YOU Anna and Hanna for wonderful service.

After that he says he got to ride a bicycle to town to get some groceries at the local market. A local bike shop in Franklin donated a bike to the Sapphire Inn for hikers to use to get to town. He says he got more tuna, little Debbies and some other items for lunches and dinner for the next few days. He will get his 1st mail drop in Fontana Dam on Tuesday. Look next weekend for his FULL Journal and pics. I will be entering them in for him.

Thursday 4/8

Dave said it was very very wet. Thunder, lighting and cold. Could not see the views from Mnt Albert(5,250’) as he was hiking over it. He says his boots were soaked. He could have rung out his socks – one good thing he says - now they are washed along w/all my other clothes. Only thing dry was his sleeping bag. Mr Vix and Dave kept hiking because the shelters were full and they didn’t want to set up their tents tonight in the rain (they will have enough time on their journey to do that). They traveled from Standing Indian Shelter to a town called Franklin (approx 20 mile day) and hopped on the 1st shuttle they saw and went to town. They split the room cost and spent the night at the Sapphire Inn. Very nice people. THANK YOU RON HAYDEN (he is known to hikers, is very friendly to all and provides the free shuttles amongst other services). Once they got in the hotel room they hung up their clothes all around the room to dry. Looked like a yard sale. Dave put newspaper in his boots to help them dry faster. He got a nice hot shower, some food and early to bed after a long day.



Many of you had been asking me what animals Dave has been seeing. I finally had a long enough conversation with him to ask him. He says he saw a Kangaroo on the approach trail the night before he started the trail. Are you kidding me??? YES! A KANGAROO! So happens there is a Kangaroo Conservation Center in Dawsonville, GA . It has been in business 26 years and has 12 different species. Well, one got loose near the trail! Dave said him and my parents were tired from the long drive up from Florida and wanted to check out the area before Dave started hiking the next morning and as they were leaving Amicalola State Park something weird ran partially out of the woods. It was large and brown. They all just figured it must have been a deer since it was dark out. Never expecting it to be a kangaroo. How bizarre is that???? Dave didn’t tell anyone on the trail because he didn’t want to be the weird one. Well, in hiking w/Mr Vix (here from England to hike the trail), Mr Vix stated he actually saw the kangaroo on the trail when he started out. So, then they both research it and sure enough there is a kangaroo wildlife center. So both weren’t seeing things. Thank goodness!

Here is a picture from their website.

Other than that Dave says he has seen mice, birds, chipmunks, squirrels and early one morning he got to see 3 deer.

Special Hello from back on Wed - 4/7

Special Hello to Scout Troop #430 in Roswell, Ga.

Tin man and I had the pleasure of eating lunch w/them back on Wednesday. Nice kids that were out hiking on their spring break.   Keep on hiking kids!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Off Again

Hi All,
Had a great breakfast with my Mom, brother Paul and niece Jessica.
Thay are now going to drive me to Winding Stair Gap and I'm off to Wayah shelter 11 miles.
Then Sunday 17 miles or so to the NOC where I'll grab some supplies and be off again in the am.
Again thank you all for the great comments and support it means alot when I get a chance to read them.

Talk soon,
Hike Safe
Dave/ Smitty

ps Allen I keep remembering home is where I hang my food bag , thanks so much for inspiration and donation.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Hi All,
Just a quick note from on the trail. I left Hiawasee Tues morning and in two days hiked 37 miles into Franklin North  Carolina .  Today was a 20 mile day most of it in steady rain. Saw nothing but clouds. Well computer is very slow and there are people waiting.

Talk Later
Hike Safe

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hiawassee in GA

Hi All,

Dave was all excited on Tuesday he was in a town called Hiawassee in GA. (1st big town) Approx 67.5 miles from the starting point. He is spending the night at the Hiawassee Inn and sharing a room w/another hiker to cut costs. Hope it isn’t the one that snored in the shelter a few nights ago! He will be sleeping in a real bed, have a bathroom and a shower (1st real shower – other than dunking in creeks or the quick shower he took w/clothes on in Neels Gap).

He and others called for a free shuttle from the trail instead of walking the 11 miles to the Inn. 1st thing he did after checking into the Inn was go to Subway and he got 2 foot long meatball subs w/hots and a liter of coke. He ATE EVERYTHING! When he called me he was relaxing with the guys, sitting outside, and drinking some nice cold beers after hiking 15 miles in 5 hrs on another brutally hot day. Guess he’s earned it! Some of the other hikers were going to go to the other end of town for all you can eat buffet but Dave and a few others decided to stay there shower, do laundry, drink more beer and eat pizza. He says early to bed.

I did give him a wakeup call this morning (no land line phones, no computer, no TV at the Inn). The guys were all meeting at 8:30 for the shuttle to bring them back to the trail head to start their day.

Today he will be entering into North Carolina. He will be passing through the Nantahala National Forest w/4,000 foot gaps and 5,000 foot peaks. Nantahala is Cherokee for “land of the noonday sun”. He will stay tonight somewhere near Muskrat Creek Shelter.

That is all for now,



Good morning Miss Carbonneau's class at Littleton High School,

I spoke with Dave last night and he was very touched by the gift of the phone card. YOU ALL MADE HIS DAY! Dave tries to call me nightly to check in and to let me know that he’s OK. With the extra minutes on this phone card, we can be sure to stay in touch. Thank you all for being so thoughtful and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on his progress.

Happy trails,


Monday, April 5, 2010

Day 4 & 5

Hi All,

Sunday Easter dinner was near Neels Gap, Turned out to be 4 hot dogs w/sauerkraut, baked beans, chili, hard boiled Easter eggs and there was a lady from PA that had Butterscotch Tasty Cakes. He says those are the best! (did not say if he was at a restaurant or if this was some trail magic).. Guess he was really hungry. Approx 14 miles today.

A special Thank you to Squirrel at the Outfitter for helping adjust his pack. Fits much better now.

Monday -  2:30pm  Dave was near Unico Gap (9 miles east of Helen, GA) and on  his way to sleep near Tray Mountain Shelter for the night.  He says it is brutally hot (80+) and no breeze.  He is hiking w/DC Dick today.  He will do about 15 miles today. Still only 2 -5 minute conversations with him. Hard to get everything out of him in that short time.  I will try harder for next post. 

Talk later,



Sunday, April 4, 2010

Day 3 & 4

Hi All,

Saturday - Dave said Fri night in the shelter was noisy!!! Someone was snoring and vibrating the floor all night. Not much sleep. Thinks he loves his tent.

He said lots of ups and downs before he reached the Slaughter Creek Campsites (base of Blood Mountain) where he will spend Sat night. He had his choice for dinner,Garlic Couscous or freeze dried Beef Stew, he went w/the beef stew (that was to be his Easter Dinner). He did about 12 miles that day and was very hungry. Says still nice and warm and loving the trail.

Sunday - He called at about 7:45am and he was very excited and already on top of Blood Mountain (according to ancient tales Blood Mountain got its name from a battle between the Creek & Cherokee nations on the slopes and it left so many dead and wounded that the ground ran red w/blood, hence the name Blood Mountain. He had just missed the sunrise. Says he needs to get up earlier next time.

That's all I have for now, waiting for his next call.

Talk later,


Friday, April 2, 2010

Hawk Mnt to Gooch Gap Shelter in brief

Hi All,

Spoke to Dave last night and he was setting his tent outside Hawk Mountain Shelter, about 8 miles from the trail head. He was feeling great! Perfect day for a hike! Sunny & Warm.

Tonight he called after he ate his Four Cheese instant potatoes and a Slim Jim to tell me he had another beautiful day . He was on his way down to a stream to get water and dunk his head. He said he was going to try to sleep in the shelter at Gooch Gap tonight and hope the mice don't drive him crazy. He has never slept in a shelter and wanted to check it out since it didn't seem so busy. As of earlier he had the loft to himself. He did about another 8 miles today. He said it has been extremely hot and buggy (I wasn't to send the bug spray till May) Guess what will be in his next mail drop? Ben's by Tender Corp.

For Saturday he says he will be up and out early tomorrow on his way to Slaughter Creek Tent. Will travel approx 11 miles. Still no trail name. Other hikers were talking about it so hopefully it won't be long.

Talk later,

(the hikers wife)
PS - His hand written journals and pics should start to come home by mid April.  I will post as soon as I get them.

Southern Terminus - 4/1/2010

Amicalola Falls State Park - 4/1/2010

The Marker 4/1/2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010


 Hi All,

Today begins the start of one of the most exciting, anticipated and probably life altering experiences of my life. Topped only by one other, the day I married Pamela. If I get even 1/2 the joy and satisfaction that day has brought to me and continues to bring to me daily its going to be a GREAT TREK.

so, FOLLOW ME though out my journey

Hike Safe,

PS: Remember, I am no fool on this day!