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

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sunday 5/2

1st a special thank you to our friends Steve & Jane Dyer for donating a plane ticket for me to go see Ponytail. We both appreciate it. We love you.

Our 1st visit. I flew out 1st thing in the morning to Raleigh, NC and drove about 4 1/2hrs to meet him. I met Ponytail at Sicily's Pizza Pub in Damascus, VA. We were both so excited to see each other. He looked great!

Got to meet some of his new hiker friends as they were anxious to meet me as I was to meet them. They had heard all about me. Sat and chatted for a bit before we took off.

We went back to the hostel "The Place" so I could see what it looked like, meet some more friends  and so that Dave could get his gear. Well, it was a clean place. Bunks made of plywood. No mattresses. Everyone was to use their own pads and sleeping bags. There were clean towels (Dave did the laundry - as those who stay there are asked to pitch in on chores). Showers,bathrooms, flush toilets and toilet paper. This is a privilege because out on the trail the privies are similar to pit toilets. There are screens full of leaves(no, not to wipe with)to throw in to feed the toilet to help it compost when you are done your business. Rubbers hoses to help disburse the gases. Not much privacy either - most privies don't have 4 walls or even 4 tarps and there are some they you can wave to passing hikers (just your middle is covered. I also learned that there are 2 kinds of privies. One kind is you can do #2 in but not #1 and then there are privies where you can do #1 and #2. So, having a flush toilet where you can just do everything at one time is grand.

"The Place"

On the trail Privy

We proceeded to go to the grocery store in Speedwell on our way to Elk Creek. We wanted to stock up on some milk, fruits, veggies, bacon, eggs and meats. The place were we are staying has a kitchen. Home cooked meals. Dave is excited as he hasn't had a home cooked meal in over a month. He misses them.

Got to Aunt Peet's Cottage. What a beautiful place out in the country on a mountain side. It is a brick ranch style house w/3 bedrooms, living-room, kitchen, bathroom, fire place and jacuzzi. It was homey. Flannel sheets a big log bed to boot. Just what someone that has been on the trail would wish for. There were even pastures out front and on the side w/horses. You could see them from the bed. Very cool! Only thing missing was a telephone. We didn't have cell service either since we were up in the mountains. Sorry everyone he couldn't make any calls.  No I didn't plan it that way.

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