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 27, 2010

Wed night from Dave

Hi All,

I'm in Waynesboro, VA., staying at the Grace Lutheran Church Hostel.

Going in am to the Post Office for my mail drop then meeting a friend from NH (Jim Lemire) who is vacationing in the area and wants to take me to lunch. Super! I will enjoy his company. He too has hiked the AT. After lunch he will bring me back to where he picked me up so I can start back on my journey.

On Sunday I get to meet my sister Susan and her friend Jere somewhere in the Shenandoah’s. I am excited. We will take a 0 day at their friend’s house on a farm. I love farms. It reminds me of my grand pop’s house out in the country in PA. They will hike w/me on the trail for 2 days. They have been practicing so they can keep up. I will slow a bit for them; don’t want to push them too hard. Although Susan was in the NY marathon last year and her and Jere are very athletic (run and bike all the time) it shouldn’t be much of a problem.

There are times lately on the trail when I question why I am here, do I have it in me to finish what I started, I miss my wife and my home, but I love being on the trail but just sometimes my body just totaly hurts and mentally I am exhausted.

Then I think of my brother Michael, people from the adaptive program like Martin, Bella and the lovely ladies and gentlemen from the Ski for Light program and Bulldog. I tell myself here are people who dealt and deal with hardship every day of their life, not of their choice and they don’t complain. So, I shouldn’t complain!!!! Needed to vent and share with you my thoughts lately.

Then I come to a place like this church hostel and see what strangers will do for other people they never met and not expecting anything in return. I believe there is hope yet for the human race and realize some people do care about more than just themselves.

I apoligize for the rambling but sometimes the trail gets the better of me! I won’t let it consume me. I will finish! Must stay positive.

Talk later, Hike Safe,
Ponytail Dave


  1. Dave, Great job. Keep your chin to the wind!

  2. Withu Inspirit27/5/10

    PTD you are almost at the 1/2 point...just a few more steps and your there!!! after that..its all down hill (emotionally) your gonna have the rest of your life to be in the comfort of your home...just a few months of hiking. Think of all the conveniances you have that hikers didnt have just 10 years ago..(cell phones-light weight accessories-synthetic material..was gonna say freeze dried food, but I think thats been around forever...literally ha. Keep your spirits have alot of people in your cheering section...what your doing for the adaptive sports org. is absolutely wonderful-your good deeds will come back to are surrounded by good karma... lots of luv and good-happy thoughts out to ya!!

  3. Anonymous28/5/10

    That was very inspiring PTD!
    Thank you for keeping up with the blog and letting us know about your thoughts, we are here with you through the long run HIke Safe!
    LHS Students

  4. Ponytail, sounds like you've got a case of the Virginia Blues. A thru-hike is at least as much mental as it is physical, so you should expect this once in a while. Just don't let it take over your hike.

    I struggled a lot during the last third of my hike, but I am SO happy I didn't quit. It would have tainted the whole experience.

    For now, set your sights on Harpers Ferry. You'll be there before you know it.


  5. Anonymous28/5/10