Washington County VA

A walk to remember for local hiker

A walk to remember for local hiker

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. - One of the hikers who made it to Damascus just in time for the annual Trail Days is a young man from Bristol we met back in March.

He's been on the Appalachian Trail from Georgia all the way to Maine, the entire length of the trail.

He's raising money and awareness for the Alzheimer's Association. His trip is in honor of his grandfather who is afflicted with the disease.

David Sweitzer is comfortable walking along the Appalachian Trail.  He should be, since he's already walked 800 miles of it.

We met David back in March as he got ready for his trip. It's part adventure, but he's also taken up the cause of the Alzheimer's Association, a disease that has his grandfather has. Click here to read the previous article.

On his trip he's had his good days, like finding a little trail magic along the way with what are known as 'trail angels' who provide food. [I've had] six barbeque sandwiches or something like that. I left just totally euphoric," he says.

And then there were some bad days. "I woke up in the morning and my shoes had just barely been outside of my tent, so when the rain came that night they filled up with water. They froze that morning," he remembers.

But onward he goes, he's a man with a purpose and cause. He set a goal of how much money he could raise on his way, and he's getting close to fulfilling it. "I set a goal of $15,000 and thought it was probably a bit lofty, but it was worth taking a shot. Right now I think its right around $13,000, so it's pretty close," he said.

It seems that everybody who hikes the 2,000-mile length of the trail does so for a reason. His reason gives him inspiration and time to reflect. "Everything that didn't really matter or was distracting is just gone, out of the picture. I've had a lot of time to reflect and focus on some things that are important," David said.

Like his grandfather and helping to fund some help for the ever-growing number of people afflicted with Alzheimers.

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