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
Ponytail was up and on the move early as it was to be another hot day. Wishes one of these fronts would cool it down some.
He came across the William Brien Memorial Shelter and the water source was all dried up. He was ok, he had saved a little water from he night before to get him a few miles in the morning.
Now the feet of trying to cross the Palisades Interstate Parkway during rush hour traffic. Yikes! Says the cars were flying by at about 70mph. No bridges, no under paths for him to go. Only way is to cross the road. There was a lull, he ran. Made it! Guess it is pretty hard to sprint w/a 40+lbs pack on your back.
He did come across Grace & Glory who where hiking. They were kind enough to give PTD some water since he hadn't come across any springs so far today. They had extra and didn't want PTD to run out completely just in case. Very sweet of them to give him some water. Not like the lady from the facotry a few days before. About 15 minutes later he came upon a store and stocked up on Gatorade. Don't want to be without something to drink. Needs all those electrolytes today too. He says he keeps feeling whoosie due to the heat.
He climbed up Bear Mnt. Beautiful sites of the Hudson River on the left and NYC on the right. He called me from a top of the mountain. He was all excited to get down the mountain because the Bear Mountain State Park has concession stands and a small zoo that is free to thru-hikers. He was so craving burgers, fries and sodas. Notice how everything is plural. He is hungry.
view of Hudson River
Well, Ponytail was so disappointed when he got down to the park. The food stands are closed and are only open on Saturday and Sundays. Bummer! He ended up having a pepperoni sandwich from his food bag.
He was so bummed out he didn't even travel through the zoo. Just wanted to get moving on. So, he did and then traveled over the Bear Mountain Bridge built back in 1923. It is used for auto travel but does have a sidewalk for pedestrians.
At the end of the bridge he found someone to take his picture w/the bridge and the Hudson River in the background. Well, this person dropped the camera(not in the water - thank goodness) but on the ground. It bounced. The guy picked it up and said sorry. PTD tried the camera. Something rattling around inside. Doesn't work but at least we can get the pics off the memory card. So, he put it in his pack. Called me and told me what had happened. I immediately went out and got a new camera. Our friend Phil will bring it to him in Salisbury, CT next week. So, PTD had a lousy lunch, now has no camera. Having a really bad day. Oh, did we mention it is still extremely hot.
He pushes onwards. He gets to the Graymoor Spiritual Center. They let thru-hikers sleep in the ball field. There is ice cold water to drink and cold showers. No hot water but that is ok, he really needs to cool down.
When he got there some of the other thru-hikers had just ordered beer and Italian Food from a restaurant that delivers. They told him to call and tag on to their order. So, in about 1/2 hour he was able to drink and have a nice Italian dinner on the picnic table of the ball park. Very cool! Things did turn around.
He called cousin Sue to tell her where he was so they could meet in the morning for hiking. She said she wanted to camp out w/him too. So, she called the Monastery and asked if it was ok. Sure! Ron came and dropped her off so she could sleep out under the stars w/Ponytail. Sue got to hang out w/other thru-hikers and hear all their wonderful stories.