In Memory of Dave Blumenthal

It is with great sorrow that I convey to you that Dave Blumenthal passed away this morning in Denver after colliding with a vehicle on the GDMBR.  Dave had a remarkable passion for the outdoors and was a seasoned outdoorsman, having thru-hiked Vermont's Long Trail in 2000 and the Pacific Crest Trail with his wife in 2004.  His past adventures are documented on his blog.  Dave is survived by his wife, Lexi, and his 4-year-old daughter, Linnaea.

Dave's family would like to thank the Tour Divide community for their thoughts and support through this tragedy.  They ask that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his memory to the Green Mountain Club.  Lexi asks that people share their pictures of Dave and memories here.

Letters of condolences can be sent to lexi.shear [@t] post.harvard.edu

Our thoughts are with his family.



Dave (left) with Eric Nelson -Photo by Todd Ison

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Comments

:-(

Dave, I didn't know you, but I sure wish I did. Reading your blog (http://type2fun.wordpress.com/), it looks as if you lived life pretty well. We'll, cyclists and outdoors types, will miss your foot prints and tire tracks.

-El Salt

I only recently discovered

I only recently discovered Daves blog in the lead up to the TD and was captivated by his fervour for life and dreams for the future. I only saw small part of Dave on his blog but he will be missed none the less. My thoughts are with his family and I am sorry for their loss.
Best regards,
Ross

Much love

No words can convey my sorrow for the loss of Dave and his fervor for life evident in his writings and lifestyle. I did not know him but know his love of life and constant desire to see what was around the next bend in the trail.

My deepest sympathy is with his family at this time of grieving.

Sincerely,
Jason

In Memory of Dave Blumenthal

Everyone at the Outdoorsman was stunned and deeply saddened in hearing the news of Dave's passing this afternoon from his injuries. All of us on the staff send our sincere condolenceses to Dave's family.
Rob and Jon remember him coming into the shop on Wed the 16th just shivering uncontrollably. They guys remember Dave saying he had never been so cold in his life. He had ridden in from Helena that morning in blowing snow at elevation. Jon and Rob remember the first thing he wanted to do at the shop was to call home. And, that's what he did. Then, as he was warming up, ate several waffles and a big pizza before heading off to Wise River and beyond. We all have continuued to follow all of the racers we met here at the shop and to us they are like family. Dave's no exception. Dave's death is tragic, and we're at a loss to describe how his passing affects our wider cycling community! As cyclists ourselves we know Dave died doing what he loved.
In memory of Dave. God speed!

Dave Blumenthal

The news of Dave's accident and passing is devastating to our family. We live in Helena, Montana and our avid mountain bikers. We tracked Dave on the internet during the Tour Race and found him in Helena at the Great Divide Cyclery on his stop over here. We met him there and visited with him for about 20 minutes and called my father-in-law Jim Williams to hurry down and meet a real mtn bike racer (he is 72 years old and LOVES to mtn bike). We all took photos with Dave and listened with great joy to his stories of the race thus far. We wished him well and off he went. We drove up ahead of him a few miles and when he came by...my sons Jace and Witt hooted and hollered out the window at him...."GO DAVE" and "SHOOT THE JUICE TO HER BRUCE"....their way of saying Good Luck Dave. We will not forget his great smile and pleasant demeanor. We are incredibly saddened for his wife and daughter and family and friends back in Vermont. You will all be in our prayers.
Wendy, Tal, Jace, and Witt Williams
Helena, Montana

Thoughts and love

So sorry to hear about Dave. I did not know him, but his blog and Tour Divide call-ins hint at what a great person he was. I love to ride long and hard, just like Dave. I also have a wonderful wife and daughter at home, just like Dave. My thoughts and love go out to his family... Thank you for everything, Dave.

Condolences

As family of one of the fellow TDR's we have followed it very closely and listened attentively to all the podcasts, living the ride vicariously thru each rider. We had been praying for all of them, and ferverently for Dave. We are truly saddened over this terrible loss. We will continue to pray for strength and healing for Dave's family.
Sincerely,
Kim

Sadness from Butte

Not long ago, Dave came through our shop here in Butte, The Outdoorsman. I feel compelled to share this one memory I have of him in light of the recent tragedy. It was a cold, rainy morning right after a long descent into town. He was shivering, hungry, and dirty. We got his bike all fixed and cleaned up while he put down a couple waffles and a large pizza. As soon as he could calm his hands enough to hold our phone, he asked to call home. It was our pleasure, as with all the racers, to lend a hand, a wrench, and some floor space. He was always pleasant despite his condition and very appreciative. After sharing some stories, he was back in racing form, and we sent him out the door.
Dave carried himself in a way the GDMBR, his family, and friends should be very proud of. In fact, he shared how proud of himself he was at his accomplishment of being 4th at that point in the race, as a rookie. I am glad to have met him, if for only a little while. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dave and his family, as well as the rest of the TD racers.

Dave, I was only lucky enough

Dave, I was only lucky enough to read your blog before the start of the TD, and to very briefly meet you on the course before you took off just like I expected you too. This news is heartbreaking and my thoughts go out to your wife and daughter.

Suzanne

Deepest Sympathy

I want to extend my deepest sympathy to Dave's family and friends. I did not know Dave, but my son rode the TD last year and so I feel a connection to this race and a sadness over this tragic loss. I will keep Dave and his family and friends in my prayers. May you be comforted by your good memories of Dave at this time of grieving. I am so sorry.

...

Nothing to say except the family is obviously in our prayers.

So Sad

Lexi,

I am so, so, sad to hear of Dave's passing.

Jeff Tomassetti
Fernandina Beach, Fl
ajtomassetti@comcast.net

Pedal On Dave

Pedal on Dave. The few times I've met you, and the very short time we chatted and rode together were a pleasure. You'll be missed.

2 pics I posted over in the bikepacking forum:

http://littlecirclesvt.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/IMG_8779.JPG

http://littlecirclesvt.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/IMG_8788.JPG

DAVES DAILY UPDATES

Our family was following the race each day as our son started in the race. Dave gave great descriptions of the conditions and some of the unusual elements of the race. Our heart is thinking of both his wife and daughter. Bike racing produces wonderful people and Dave was one of those people.

missing Dave

Having only known Dave for 3 years, I wish I had known him longer, or had the chance to have done so. What I can say is that he was one of those rare individuals who managed to achieve perfection on multiple levels - not only was he an awe-inspiring athlete, but he was a gifted artist, a writer, a skilled builder & carpenter, and a community leader..the list goes on. One of his last selfless acts before he left Vermont to spread his wings and fly the length of the Continental Divide was to help our small non-profit organize a fund-raising bike ride event to help create safe routes to local schools. Dave, we miss you very much and wish you well.

The last adventure

Words can not express the loss Dave's "extended family" feels. Though many of us have never met him, his enthusiasm for the ride, race and life could be seen in his pictures, read in his blog and heard in his calls. He will be missed but remembered. We take comfort in knowing he is sure to be enjoying the scenery of an eternal adventure.

The Christensen Family (Shawn Sheppard's in laws)

My Condolences

I am so sad to hear of this tragedy. My sympathy goes out to Dave's family and friends. I did not get to meet Dave personally, but enjoyed reading his passionate blog and listening to his call-ins. Lexi and Linnaea, my prayers are with you and your family.

Sampson

So Sorry to Learn This

Dave was actually the first blogger to pick up and comment on my entry into TD2010, so I discovered his blog and incredible spirit only a few months ago. I subsequently was unable to make TD2010 due to an ongoing injury and I lived vicariously through Dave's call-ins each night before I went to bed. Dave's positive energy and excellent commentary on the race gave me something great to fall to sleep to each night. I'll add not getting to meet Dave in person to my list of regrets for not being able to toe the line this year.

My sincerest condolences and best wishes for his friends and family. I'm very sorry for your loss and the world is surely a lesser place without Dave here with us.

I am so sorry.

the sadness in my heart is weighty...
the loss of such a wonderful man on this planet is nothing short of tragic injustice...

Dave was as filled with life as i have ever seen someone...smiling and joyful in his evening here with me...and determined to enjoy every moment of the experience...

I am grateful for the short time i shared with him...
and sorry for the loss of his light in this world.

Lexi and Linnaea...he was here with me for dinner the night before his accident... filled with love and smiles and stories of you both...
and laughing out loud to himself with joy...for the father's day card which he was finally able to retrieve here off my computer that night...

my deepest and most sincere sympathy to you as you manage the absence of such a powerful spirit in your lives...

i am truly very sorry.

kirsten

Riding with the gods

I didn't have a chance to meet Dave at the Outdoorsman in Butte Mt. Although as with most of the rest of the tour divide racers I am sure he was an exceptional human, with a great drive when my pals and I ride the tour divide in the future we will dedicate our trip to you and your family may god be with you always. My deepest sympathy. Dave you are super human.

Remeberance

I'm so sorry to hear of Dave's passing. Marni and I were hoping for a good outcome and were really saddened to come home and find out the news. Dave you will always be in my thoughts when I'm out riding. Though the harshness of the news fades with time, these kinds of things are impossible to forget and I can imagine a million times harder for your wife and daughter. If there is anything we can do for the family please let us know.

Chris and Marni Plesko

Even though I did not meet

Even though I did not meet Dave, I feel the loss of a man of great love, joy, compassion and generosity. I feel acutely aware that terrible accidents happen to the most worthy people.

Dave wrote, in his last blog entry:
"I also tried my best to be there for Linnaea, soon to be 4. She will miss me in ways an adult cannot truly appreciate, and I hope that our love will not be weakened by my absence. I hope that local friends will come to play, visit, and support Lexi and Linnaea while I’m gone, so that their time without me is happy and fulfilling."

Dave's own words are perfectly eloquent and compelling. Although I can't be there to play, visit, and support Lexi and Linnaea, I will try to honor Dave's legacy by being especially kind and generous to my family, friends, and neighbors.

Amy Lauterbach, Palo Alto

My condolences

As the sister of one of the racers I have been following and learning about this fantastic race.
I am so heartbroken to hear that this has happened to one of the racers.

Peace to Dave and his family and friends.

with love from missoula

I had a close encounter with a truck this past weekend on forest service road and all i could think about just after was my 4-year-old daughter.

I never pray but am praying now for Dave's family. My heart and tears go out to his daughter.

-Casey Greene
Cartographer
Adventure Cycling Association

I am just struck by how

I am just struck by how quickly life is taken away. This could have been any one of the racers, past or present. Lexi must be an incredible person herself as she supported Dave in his dream. I just hope for you Lexi-if you are reading this-that you know that you will never be forgotten. We out here cannot carry your burden of grief, but we will never forget for as long as we live that you lost your husband. I hope your lovely memories can sustain you through the toughest days and months and years.
Without knowing you, I hope it is possible for me to convey some sense of love to you and your family and Dave's family. We are all part of a larger family and our hearts hurt for you.
Take care.

A Huge, if Brief, Influence...

...in my son's life.
When Sam wanted to hike the Long Trail at age 14 and I balked, we ran into Dave who enthusiastically supported the idea. (So did Lexi - thank you!) Because of that meeting, I have agreed to let Sam hike it this summer.
We saw Dave recently at a Long Trail end to enders workshop and he was similarly enthused. What a guy to inspire so quickly, so forcefully. I still have his business card that he gave on the QT that I could call him with any questions, or if Sam had a problem on the trail.
Lexi, my heart aches for you. Truly, truly aches. I am so very sorry. No words are adequate.

- Sarah Strohmeyer

God speed Dave

My deepest sympathy to Daves family. You are in my prayers and in my heart. May God be with you and may Dave be cycling on to the other side where he waits for you all to join him in another adventure someday. God speed, and God Bless each of you. And to all the TD riders out there..take care, ride safely and may God be with each of you each day of your race.

Dave's Green Mountain Club legacy

Shock and grief. Dave was amazing, a beautiful man, and the Green Mountain Club has lost one of the most gifted, generous, multi-talented superpeople ever to set foot on the Long Trail.

Dave was a GMC board member, along with his wife Lexi Shear he founded the Montpelier Section’s Young Adventurer’s Club, he served on various committees. He was the project manager for A Century in the Mountains, our centennial coffee table book. He was the artist who created the Long Trail poster. The watercolor images he painted during his end-to-end hike are the division headers in the Long Trail Guide. He was the creator of the beautiful relief map table in GMC's visitor center in Waterbury Center, Vermont. He edited the maps for recent editions of the Long Trail Guide. He designed the Traveling Displays which will be on display at libraries throughout the State of Vermont during the coming year as part of the Long Trail’s centennial… the list of Dave Blumenthal projects goes on… in a nutshell, he was a renaissance man. We have lost somebody who cannot be replaced. --Ben

Thank you

for all the wonderful details of a life well lived.

An Inspiration

Agreed, Ben... Dave's numerous contributions are truly a legacy that will live on. Those who never even met Dave will be guided, educated and inspired by his creations and designs. And the spirit and memory of Dave will live on in the hearts of those who knew him, even briefly.

I first met Dave (and Lexi) when serving on the Publications Committee for the GMC. He was a driving force of energy, full of ideas. He took a short hiatus from volunteering when he and Lexi departed to hike the PCT. I was so impressed that he had designed and made much of their gear - shelter, packs, stove, etc - especially since the tarp I'd sewn for a JMT hike was not as functional as hoped. His slides of the PCT were a reminder of how small the trail community can be, as he'd met an AT and PCT thruhiker that I knew from 1998 (Too Obtuse).

Recently, Dave has come to mind as I consider heading out on the PCT next year. It's hard to grasp that he is no longer with us. For the community of hikers, bikers, outdoor adventurers, and environmental advocates - we have lost an amazing resource and inspiration. The loss for his family and loved ones is unimaginable. Lexi and Linnaea - my thoughts are with you. -- Deb

We will sorely miss you, Dave

Dave, you and Lexi were the first couple Melissa and I met when we moved into our Montpelier neighborhood three and a half years ago. Aside from your unusual hugeness, I was taken by your vigor for life and learning. You and Lexi had recently restored your 1800s home into a solar powered, wood-pellet powerhouse. And that multi-colored paint job cheered up the entire neighborhood.

Dave and Lexi fabricated a bouldering wall in their attic, installed beer taps on their kitchen counters (Dave and Lexi brew their own beer and cider), and cultivated a yard full of vegetables and flowers, and even grapes for wine. Dave dove into everything he did with immense enthusiasm and drive - it was contagious.

Tonight, after hearing of Dave's passing, the sun broke through the Vermont cloud cover and illuminated Dave and Lexi's home in evening light. A rainbow arched over their house. My family sat out on the porch to silently watch and Machlan, my 10 year old son, looked at the rainbow and said, "Look Mom, it's Dave." We all lost it again. When life's twists and turns feel so utterly unjustified, I at least feel some condolence that Dave was pursuing one of his dreams. I imagine a second's delay in that morning's routine could have made all the difference. It's haunting to think about. Dave was 37 and such a positive force in this world. I can't make any sense of it.

Lexi, we will help you through this, all of us. We love and support you.

My heart grieves

Even though I never met Dave in person, as a member of the GDMBR community I wish to convey my deepest sympathies. He was a very great man, and his loss will not be forgotten.
God's Peace!

Deepest condolences

Our great thoughts of Dave and prayers to his family. I have had the pleasure of being introduced to him via my neighbor and had the privelage of skiing some a backcountry with him near Camel's Hump a couple of winters ago. Dave was so comfortable a patience in the outdoors with folks and it truly shined by his smile.

He will be greatly missed.

Remembering Dave

In the last 24 hours I haven't gone more than a few minutes without thinking of Dave-- I even dreamt about Dave, Lexi, and Linnea. Now for the last 4 hours Liza and I have been full of tears, sharing memories, a general sense of disbelief, as well as a range of other painful emotions going out to all three... Someone used the term "super-human" in a previous post... and it's no coincidence that "super-human" is exactly the term I have used many times to describe Dave to people who do not know him. It is that quality that makes it so hard to comprehend that he is no longer with us... super-human implies a kind of immortality. I had the opportunity to ride with Dave on a 24 hour team event earlier this spring. Although the rules of the game (a fleche, for those of you familiar with randonneur events) dictate that the team stay together, it was clear from the start that Dave had the ability to ride away from us all if he was free of these constraints. He possessed a rare natural strength which, combined with his height and ability to consume unbelievable quantities of food, really did give the impression that this guy was of another breed. But what is most remarkable was that he never showed any kind of competitive edge... he was out there to enjoy himself and it didn't seem to bother him in the least that he could have finished hours ahead of us if only he was allowed to. (His performance in this year's Tour Divide was proof of his super-human strength.) Furthermore, our team was saved by the fact that Dave was so organized and prepared that when our cue sheets failed us, his GPS saved us time and again. On June 9th., when he came by the bakery to meet David Tremblay on their way to the airport to fly to the start of Tour Divide, Dave showed me his pages of laminated cue sheets and maps which marked every water source and brew pub on the Tour Divide route. The guy was the epitome of good preparation. Again, how could things go wrong for a guy with such immense mental and physical abilities? I have been checking in a few times daily with his progress and up until yesterday it had been nothing short of incredible-- not only in his place in field but in his almost daily upbeat call-ins. This was one of those rare people who was a true contender at a high level but was really doing it all because he absolutely loved it. I only knew Dave a little bit outside of the world of cycling, but he was a regular customer at our bakery... usually arriving by bike with Linnea in tow (literally) where he would sit by the window and teach her about bread baking and read stories to her. He was also a regular fixture at our local farmers' market, where I don't think I ever saw him in street clothes. He would stop just long enough to eat one pastry and pack another for the road while telling us where he was headed. The guy just loved life. This makes the fact that life has been taken from him all the more tragic and incomprehensible. He has been an inspiration to so many... Tonight I'm raising a glass to Dave, and extending all my love and condolences to his wonderful wife Lexi and sweet, sweet daughter Linnea (I have a four year old daughter too, so this part hits especially hard). A great adventurer, husband and father has been lost. --Randy George
Here's a photo that Liza took at the finish of the aforementioned fleche (he's the super-human one at the left if you can't tell):
http://picasaweb.google.com/RidingRandy/Fleche2010#

R.I.P. Dave

Ride In Peace, man.

Dave Blumenthal

Dear Lexi and Linnaea,
We recently returned from a trip to Breckenridge with Ian, Deb and the children. We were spending quality time together and enjoying each others company. The daily "big excitement" through the week of our vacation was watching Dave's progress in the race. Every time we entered the apartment the family ran to the computer to check on how Dave was doing. I think we tuned in about every hour. There were discussions about how steep the terrain was and if it were possible for him to reach his goal for that day. We checked weather forecasts and maps. Each night we wouldn't go to bed until we heard his call. We all were passionately engaged in his daily adventures.

Hearing the news of the accident today was devastating. It is so hard to accept that such a vibrant, determined, sweet and talented human being is gone.
Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with you. We know that you are loved by so many people and we hope that this love will give you strength through this very difficult time.

Sandi & Charles Brown

You are in our thoughts

Our deepest sympathy to Dave's family and friends.

Colen and Andrea Gereffi

Dave

I've never felt a profound loss of a near stranger until Dave. I met Dave for 15 minutes at the Subway in Island Park, ID after spotting his bike (and Eric Nelson's) in front. I wanted to take the pictures of the riders for the TD. Dave was immediately enthusiastic about the prospect and talked for the next 15 minutes about the Tour and his vast food consumption. "I just downed two foot-long subs and have room to spare." He was a person you gravitated to by the shear energy he gave off and the excitement of his quest to conquer the Tour. He was very proud of his position in the race at the time since he pointed out he and Eric were the front-runners of the rookies in the race. I asked him what he did for a living that allowed him to take off a month. He humbly mentioned he was self-employed. His blog and the other comments of his friends demonstrate he was a uniquely gifted man who could master anything to which he set his mind. He had so many skills it would have been difficult and too time-consuming to answer the question any other way. Dave was taken too early in life. He was special. To his wife and family, I'm very sorry for your loss. Todd Ison

Wish I'd known you Dave

I only knew Dave from his call-ins on MTBCast. However, every one of those gave the impression that he loved life, his family, the outdoors and riding his bike more than anything.

He sounded like the kind of person that I would really like to have known.

Rest In Peace Dave...

Dave will be missed from Vermont and beyond

I am not a mountain biker, but have known Dave for several years as a fellow resident of his hometown in Montpelier, Vermont. My friend Becka and I are on a trip in Denmark and the distance and not being able to share our grief with our fellow Montpelierites and Daves friends is rough. I especially feel for Lexi and all of Daves family and friends who will miss him and his fantastic attitude towrads life. I can only find some comfort in the thought that Dave died doing something he passionatly loved to do. He will be terribly missed. Thanks to all of you for your kind words. Knowing that Dave touched so many is also a comfort.

So many memories of sdventures .

Lexi -- from the many comments here, I can see that Dave touched many, many lives -- even those of people he never met. This doesn't surprise me at all, given his personality, his generosity, and his charisma. I first met you both almost 20 years ago, and you have been an inspiration to me ever since. You both have always had such enormous energy: physical, intellectual, and creative. I was a skiing and camping newbie in college, and I remember learning so much, and laughing so much, on everything from the most mundane day-hike to winter adventures in the Presidentials to exploration out West. Memory piles upon memory. As so many others have already said, Dave will be sorely missed. Lexi, I am thinking of you and Linnaea every time I look at my own family. I am so terribly sorry for your loss.

My earliest memory of Dave is

My earliest memory of Dave is of him painting trim (Dave and Lexi transformed a house in our neighborhood into a work of art). It was a summer evening and he was out there in the dark, on a ladder or the roof of the porch, with a paint can in hand, wearing a headlamp. As I walked by with my dog I thought "What a neat guy." But the memory that will stay with me is of him coming around the corner in front of our house - many times over - on his bike, either headed out on a ride or coming home from one. Sometimes Lexi was with him or Linnaea was in the trailer. This is the vision I keep seeing. For me, Dave will inspire a deeper commitment to the Long Trail and GMC. As fellow thru-hikers and constant users of the trail, we have already adopted a shelter and will look for many other ways to give back in Dave's legacy. I can't make sense of this; as Kip said in an earlier post, you shudder to think what difference a second would have made either way. And you grapple with the unfairness of never being able to know what lies ahead; life doesn't tell you when will be the last time you speak with someone, or see them, or hear their voice. My heart is broken for Lexi and Linnaea; the whole neighborhood and community at large will be here for you.

Dave

My heart breaks with the sadness of this news. Even though I only met Dave for a short period of time, I feel like my life is touched by every TD racer I meet. I too work at the Outdoorsman, where Dave hung out for a bit to warm up and fuel up. I remembered Dave in particular, because even though he was cold, dirty and hungry, he still had a huge smile on his face and was a blast to talk to. His love of life was contagious.

Dave, you passed doing what you love. A pleasure to have known you for a very brief period of your life. I pray that you are at peace, and that your family finds peace. You are in the hands of God.

My thoughts and prayers are with Dave's family.

"While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil." ~John Taylor

Never met you, Dave ...

but all of this love from friends and admirers tells me I would have enjoyed meeting you. My thoughts and tears go out to your family.

Strong

Great Guy,

Great Family,

You will be missed.

Only knew Dave for the last 5 years or so in Montpelier. We first met when i walked over to his house and started to check out suitability for a solar system. 5 years later i still can not keep up with him but he was always a great reference in more ways than one. Dave was a hard worker and true Rennaisance man.

Jon Budreski

Thoughts and prayers

My thoughts and prayers to Dave's family and friends. I'm so sorry for your tragic loss.

I've lost a dear friend...

If you knew Dave or followed his adventures on-line, you know what a special guy he was: a skilled outdoorsman, a creative thinker, a great husband and father, a gregarious personality and a volunteer with a generous heart. I am happy to say he was my friend and my companion on many seemingly crazy adventures. I will miss his company, but will carry a bit of his spirit with me everytime I venture outdoors. I cherish the memory of the giant bear hug Dave gave me the last time I saw him a few weeks ago.
Lexi and Linnaea, my heart aches for you. I hope to see you two soon.

Paul

The GMC is grieving today

I have had the pleasure of serving on the board of the Green Mountain Club with Dave Blumenthal for several years. His accomplishments were many, his intelligence was great, and his love for the outdoors was boundless. Dave was a valued member of the club and an asset to the board. He will be deeply missed.

My fondest memory of Dave was a hike that we took with our daughters last year in Stowe's Wissner Woods at GMC annual meeting. Even though Dave was larger than life, a conqueror of mountains, a long distance hiker, endurance athlete, etc., here we were on a hike with three preschool aged little girls, walking at a snail's pace, stopping often to admire the flora and fauna. We admired a fairy house along the trail and made up silly stories about the imaginary occupants of the mossy glen in which it was located. We stopped to admire newts that had made their way into the footpath. We may have walked a total of one mile that day, which took over an hour; surely a fraction of the pace that Dave would usually follow. But we had the best time, and the girls enjoyed themselves immensely.

Dave's many accomplishments were inspiring to the adults in his life, but his genuine passion for nature and the mountains did not limit itself to adrenaline-fueled peak-bagging adventures. Dave was also an inspiration to children; indeed, he founded a group that promoted hiking for the small set. Dave loved his daughter and wanted to share his love of the mountains and hiking with her and other kids. As the father of three girls, the youngest being about the same age as Linnea, I am devastated by this news and my heart goes out to Lexi and Linnea during this tragic time.

R.I.P. Dave, you will be forever missed here in the Green Mountains.

Richard Windish
Reading, Vermont

What we will miss

I had only known Dave for that last three months while we were involved in planning the Central Vermont Cycling tour CVCT. I thought a great deal of him, his talents and his warm creative way about him. After reading everyones reflections of him, I never fully realize what a gift Dave was to our planet. I know now and am very sad that he is not longer with us. My heart goes out to his family.

Andy
West Berlin, Vermont

Keeping you in our hearts

Dear Lexi and Linnaea,
Porter and I are heartbroken that Dave passed away after his accident. We cherish our memories of Wildflower and Packman on our hike of the Pacific Crest Trail--especially at Kennedy Meadows before we all headed into the High Sierra. We'll keep you in our hearts and deepest meditations, always.
Love, Gail and Porter Storey

Dave

Dave, Lexi and I shared many outdoor adventures in college and beyond, from the Moose River in Maine to the mountains of Wyoming. I am in shock and I am so sad that this happened to a person who loved his family, his friends, and the outdoors so much. Dave truly lived up to his ideals, loved to invent and build, challenged himself, and had tremendous energy and zest for life. He was at home in the wilderness and spent his whole life sharing his enthusiasm with others.

Dave I'm gonna miss you. Lexi and Linnaea, my heart goes out and we will keep you in our thoughts.

the experience of Dave

I had the opportunity to experience the essence of Dave at the 100th Anniversary celebration of the Long Trail during the weekend of May 21-23. I went up to Stowe area with my friend who is a member-at-large of the GMC. I had the time of my life eating, drinking and hiking with these wonderful people of the Club. I enjoyed Dave's slideshow presentation of his and Lexi's pub-crawl hike in Great Britain (where they "stealth camped" ;) to quote Dave). I did not get to meet him personally but I got a sense of him from his presentation and reading the Long Trail News and Green Mountain Club material. He seemed like a wonderful, generous, talented man and I can only imagine the great loss that his friends and companions feel and the devastation that Lexi and Linnaea are suffering. I cried myself and had not even met him personally. My heart goes out to you as well as my prayers. God bless.

So sorry...

I had the pleasure of taking my first backpacking course with Dave and Lexi (and a very young Linnaea) in the summer of 2007, which gave me the confidence and zest to through-hike the Long Trail the next summer. I saw Dave a few weeks ago at another Green Mountain Club event, and am so sorry to hear of his passing. He was full of life and an inspiration for many of us.

My thoughts are with his family.

I only met Dave a few times

I only met Dave a few times but felt that we shared so much: we hiked the same trails, called many of the same people friends, and held true the same values. Stories of his adventures fill my head just as his artwork fills my books and walls. He will always be in spirit larger than life. My deepest sympathies to Lexi and Linnaea.

A special person

Dave Blumenthal had a big impact on me. He was a special person. I feel blessed to have been in his company back in May at the 100 Birthday Celebration. I am very sad that he was only with us a short time. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his friends.

Our hearts are with you

May love surround you during this devastating time. Much love, much peace, much hope . . .

Dave

I'm so sorry for your loss Lexi. You're in my thoughts and have my deepest sympathy.

I'm Aidan's sister and Dave often reminded me of Aidan as I listened to his call ins. He made me feel like the distance from here in England to the TDR was just that bit smaller so it was easy to feel as if I knew him, even though we'd never met. As they rode together, I figured they'd be getting along. Since then, of course, I've heard Aidan describe him as awesome and talk about his strength.

The respect and good feeling between the riders is tangible. They're all so strong and the best kind of dreamers - the kind who put monumental effort in to make their dreams happen. Dave deserves to be there at the end of the ride - I hope he will be.

Sympathy

Dear Lexi,

Your Form of '89 hockey teammates are thinking of you at this time and are so sorry for your loss. Our sympathy goes out to you and your families and we are surrounding your net with prayer and love from afar.

Gracyn

My prayers are with your family and friends.

Dave, I trust that you are at peace in the universe. May you continue to watch over & comfort your loved ones as their guardian angel. You will live on in the caring hearts of those who love you. Peace and blessings to you always.

Dave

Dave and Lexi have been like family to my sister and brother-in-law for the past 20 years. They live on opposite sides of the country, and both families have children (truly beautiful children). This is usually reason enough to let friendships slip away, or at least become phone and email friendships. But Dave and Lexi and Deb and Ian and Linnaea and Micah and Nina had become family to each other, and prioritized each other in that way.

They would see each other a couple of times a year, with most visits including some kind of camping trip. When Dave and Lexi (and later Linnaea) would come to San Francisco, we would spend Shabbat dinner together, cooking, eating, drinking, and enjoying the kids. Dave was often a curious and lovable set of contradictions to me. He was opinionated and quiet. He was humorous and serious. He was intense and peaceful. He was strong and gentle. I always looked forward to him coming to town.

I never spend a ton of time alone with Dave, so there was a limit to the way that I knew him personally. However, I became very fond of him for a couple of reasons. I really liked watching him and Lexi spend time together. There are some couples that you enjoy being around because you feel warmed by the love that they feel for each other. The looks Lexi and Dave exchanged, the rubs of the arm, the kind words, and shared humor was a pleasure to be around. They made you want to be in love.

I will always also be grateful for the friend he was to Deb and Ian. He loved them, and they loved him. And he was so fond and appreciative of them. Ian and he were buddies in the truest sense of the word. Watching them trade jokes and share stories was a true pleasure. And it always meant so much to me that my sister had these two friends that I knew would do absolutely anything for them. I am so thankful that they got to experience Dave's friendship for so long, and am heartbroken that it was taken away so suddenly. Dave will be with them for the rest of their lives, and they will be enriched for having loved him and been loved by him.

My thoughts and prayers and love go to all of Dave's family. I know your loss is immeasurable. You have countless people who are there for you now and in the future. That is one of the many legacies that Dave has left behind. Dave, wherever you are, it is important to know that your family will not be alone. The thought of never seeing Dave again is becoming very real as I type this, and it is very sad. I will miss him for who he is, and for the part of my family that he had become. Rest In Peace.

Very sad to hear of Dave's

Very sad to hear of Dave's death. My condolences to his family.

Scott

A talented man who will be missed

I came to know Dave through his wonderful talents as a 3-D designer and builder of exhibits for the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington. He was terrific to work with... always friendly, on-time, and incredibly creative in his solutions to displaying historic and fragile objects. And always fun to talk to about his outdoor adventures both solo and with his family. My deepest condolences to his family & friends. Dave will be missed.

Peace,
Nicole

A tragic loss of the true Renaissance man

I found Dave three and a half years ago through the Vermont Arts Council website while I was searching for talented arts and designers to work with me on a traveling exhibition that combined science and art in new ways. Dave’s extraordinarily diverse body of work jumped off the screen. From designing rock gyms and creating architectural models to sewing his own tents and design/building green furniture, I saw a perfect for ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain’s exhibit design and fabrication needs but what I found was so much more.

I found an amazingly talented, seemly eternally patience, calm, enthusiastic, professional, creative, thoughtful, detail oriented, listener, collaborator, organized, funny, dedicated, easy to work with, problem solver, and a colleague that not only understood the needs of project and client but really embraced and was passionate about the environment. His passion for the outdoors and environment was so deeply embedded in his DNA that I didn’t have to explain ECHO’s environmental stewardship mission and how it guides our design and building choices, Dave lived it and was with us all along the way. I was so looking forward to our post-race July meeting to get our next project started together.

Dave’s absence will leave a very big hole in our hearts and in the creative world. My heart goes out to Lexi, Linnaea, and the rest of Dave’s family. Please know that Dave’s spirit lives on in everything that he built and the people he touched though every adventure.

With deepest sympathy,
Julie

A Rareity Lost

A passion for excellence. A drive subdued by empathy always with a goal of quality. An interest in all and in everything. The world needs more like Dave. Not less. But for those who saw his admirable qualities, he confirmed the need to maintain them in our lives. And we will. So though he is gone, he lives on in our own passions for excellence. He would be glad to know that.

sending love

Lexi and Linnaea,

our love goes out to you both.

the first time i met dave at play group he made me laugh. and his serious humor always gave me a chuckle. he was a warm, loving, gentle father and my daughter too saw these qualities as she always trusted in him to pick her up high and support her in athletic feats. her trust is a true compliment to his qualities.

i always admired his strength of character, interest and love for nature, his creativity and his determination.

he will be missed, but his memory and spirit will live on through those who knew and admired him.

we are here sending love and peace your way.

colleen, michael, ambiana and jakobi

Remembering Dave

I sang this at Dave and Lexi's wedding, setting by Ralph Vaughan Williams, poem by Ursula Vaughan Williams:

Sleep

Sleep, and I'll be still as another sleeper
holding you in my arms,
glad that you lie so near at last.

This sheltering midnight is our meeting place,
no passion or despair or hope divide me from your side.

I shall remember firelight on your sleeping face,
I shall remember shadows growing deeper
as the fire fell to ashes and the minutes passed.

..........

I also sang the following, by Charles Ives (his poem):

Nature's Way

When the distant evening bell calmly breathes its blessing;
When the moonlight to the trees speaks in words caressing;
When the stars with radiance gaze towards the sleeping flowers,
then does nature bare her soul, giving strength to ours.

.........

Missing you Dave. Grief overflowing for Lexi, Linnaea, Dave's family and many friends.

Bailey

Dave

We are so saddened by this.

We were enjoying following Dave’s progress in the race, talking about the beautiful places he was passing through, wondering whether he had time to lift his head and enjoy the view.

I used to chat briefly with Dave whenever we met but did not know him well. Now that I read the posts here and his blog I realize how remarkable he was in such disparate ways.

After we married, Julie and I bought a pair of walky-talky radios that would be good for all those ski-touring and hiking trips that we thought we would continue to do. Then we had children; we made no more big trips and never even used the radios. A few weeks ago we decided it was time to sell them to someone who would make use of them. Late one night there was a tapping at our door, and there was Dave, his mountain bike blazing with lights, coming to pick them up.

Lexi and Linnaea, our thoughts are with you.
Hugh, Julie, Clare and Adele.

Our deepest condolences to

Our deepest condolences to the family of Dave. Me and my family only met him for a few short minutes at the Brush Mountain Lodge where we were staying. We were sitting around the campfire and he was getting ready to start his journey and my boys were asking him questions like "Why are you wearing a trashbag?" He was so good natured about it and I think might have even got a laugh out of it. He had seen some strawberries that Kirsten was growing and he told us there was strawberries at home in his yard that his daughter would be enjoying soon he spoke about her with a lot of love. I am so sorry for your loss and will keep your family in my prayers.

The Campbell Family
Danielle, Nathan, Kyler, Cameron, & Carson

Great sadness

Having ridden the New Mexico portion of the Great Divide, I felt a connection to Dave, even though I never met him and it is with great sadness that I learned of his passing. From everything I read here and on his blog, he was a terrific guy with a fantastic family. My most sincere condolences to Lexi and Linnaea.

Dave in Ovando

Riding across Montana with several friends I was thrilled to meet several Tour Divide racers as they came through Ovando, MT on June 14th. I appreciated Dave taking the time to talk to us and getting to take a picture of him and his bike. Now home in Arizona I was shocked to find out that he had lost his life.

May God comfort his family and friends.

Bill Findley

David Blumenthal

I have not seen Dave since he ran on the Holmdel cross country team with my son Danny in 1989. But in the last 10 years or so I have seen him light up his mother's face as she would tell me of his new enterprises and accomplishments.

I heard of Jenni's grandaughter (born just a few months before Danny's first daughter), the color choices for his home, the treehouse platform that he just finished for Linnaea ("she is too young for an enclosed house up there"), and I heard that had started the ride down the Pacific Crest Trail on the 11th.

As one would expect Jenni and Ralph have dedicated much time and invaluable experience to our communty and to the AMC.

I am so sorry to hear of your loss and I feel it deeply.
Roberta

heartfelt condolences

i remember meeting dave and linnea on top of camel's hump 3 years ago - i was working for the green mountain club as a caretaker and was so impressed with dave's enthusiasm. he carried linnea up in a backpack - up the bamforth ridge (the hardest, longest way up). we talked for a long time and i learned of his love of the outdoors, his involvement with the gmc and his obvious love for his daughter.
lexi and linnea, i don't know you but i am so incredibly sorry for your loss - words cannot express and i can only imagine what you all are going thru. you all, his friends, family, the gmc, and the world have lost such a bright, positive light. may you always feel his love and support and may your community hold you up thru this dark time. much peace, karen

Re: Shock and Dismay

Words cannot adequately express the devastating impact this news has had on me.

I first met Dave way back in 1988 when he was a runner on the 1st XC team I ever coached at Holmdel High School in Holmdel, NJ. What we lacked in natural ability we more than made up for with grit and determination, and Dave was the standard bearer of that spirit on our team. He was the first winner of a team character award we started, and no one deserved it more.

It has been many years since I last spoke with Dave, but I had the good fortune to speak with his parents recently, who informed me of Dave's recent efforts - they even sent me links of his blog to follow him online -- how tragic that this would happen only days after we spoke.

We've all lost a beautiful human being -- take good care on your next journey, David - you will be missed.

Bill Loughran
Principal, Holmdel High School

As a parent who has lost a

As a parent who has lost a child, I know the pain you are feeling. My heart goes out to you both, Jennie and Ralph.
My sincere condolences,
Lois A. Morfit
Holmdel Township

Remembrance

I was one of Dave's teachers in High School. The memories of him were warm, fun, competitive Dave running X-country...now, they are cherished.

Our hearts are with you Lexi

Dear Lexi,

Our hearts at Pacem are aching for you and Linnaea. We're inspired by the amazing adventure that Dave was on! We send you our love.

Jaime

Condolences

Lexi & Linnea,

I just read the Cyclingnews article about Dave's death. I knew Dave from our time on the crew team at Harvard. Thinking back, I have distinct memories of Dave in boats and at Newell -- bespectacled and with long legs and arms that made him out-sized even among other rowers. While Dave and I have followed different paths and we have not kept in touch, the news of his death strikes a chord -- I, too, am a father (two boys, 4 and 7) and a cyclist.

I have been reading some of Dave's blog entries this morning. I don't pretend to know him, but it looks like he led a life of considerable quality (in the Robert-Pirsig/Zen-and-the-Art-of-Motorcycle-Maintenance meaning of the word). While many or our peers struggle to work through a checklist of things we think we should be accomplishing, Dave seems to have reached both a breadth and depth of life that many of us can only aspire to.

I am very sorry for your loss, and I wish you both the best.

Sincerely,

Garth Rosengren

So sad....

I never met Dave, or even heard his name mentioned before this tragedy. Yet here I am, late at night while my wife and kids sleep soundly, compelled to let his family and friends know that my heart is breaking thinking about their loss.

Words cannot express how deeply saddened I am at Dave's passing, despite having never had the pleasure of knowing him. I will pray for you tonight, Dave, God Bless.

souvenir

These words in order to express my sympathy to Dave's family and relatives. I followed was happened virtually on the web and have been touched by the terrible outcome of him fullfiling oe of his dreams.

Keep the faith, Dave left while doing something he liked...

Always remembered

Using warmshowers to plan a touring bike trip with my own daughter last night, I came across the tragic news of Dave’s accident. I knew Dave not as a cyclist, but as a hiker on the LT and as an artist. Indelible in my mind is our first meeting at the End-to-Enders workshop. His watercolors inspired me to backpack with colored pencils. I've admired his life, work, and family. My hope had been to meet you all on a child friendly hike in the years to come. I’ve yet to stop thinking of Dave, and Lexi and Linnaea. You will always be loved and remembered. My deepest sympathy, Millie “Early Bird” Mugica

Sincere condolences

I never had the privilege of knowing Dave, but he and his loved ones have been much in my thoughts since I learned of his accident. Dave's blog and all the tributes that have poured in for him make it clear that he lived his life fully, with so much heart and intelligence. He sounds like a man who was really present. I believe that he lived more deeply in his thirty-seven years than many do in a lifetime twice as long. His death is such a tragedy for those who loved him, but his life is an inspiration for us all. Lexi and Linnaea, please know that there are people all over the world who are holding you in their thoughts and prayers. I wish you courage, comfort, and peace.

Hey Dave. I enjoyed having a

Hey Dave. I enjoyed having a meal with you in Banff before the race and in Eureka, MT during the race. Man, could you put away some Mexican food!!!! You were a bright, passionate, deep thinker who I instantly liked, respected and wanted to be around. I sensed your interest in my life and know you enjoyed hearing about it. You proudly displayed your family photo and we talked of how we loved and missed our little kids back home. Talked of Nordic skiing and love of snow. We discussed the way we view life and what is "really" important in life. And damn could you go on the bike. You stayed ahead of me after that dinner in Eureka. I really wanted to catch up and ride with you some but never could. You were one who pursued your dreams and felt life is given to us to live to the fullest. The Tour Divide was yet another dream for you to catch and you were there living it. I didnt know how to react to your passing and you and your family were on my mind through it all. Like you, I was there to live a dream to Ride the Divide. The more I thought about it, the more confident I was that you would want me to push on to my dream. I think you would be disappointed in me if I didn't. Life goes on, the sun still comes up and you, I'm sure, are happy that I got to Antelope Wells. I can see that grin on your face. That is who you are and I will always remember the small amount of time we shared together within our dream, my brother of the Divide.

In memoriam Dave Blumenthal

I have first met Dave and his wife Lexi on the PCT in 04. Like everyone else I was amazed by their home-made gear (although Dave admitted that their tent was leaking...) - and so Dave's trail name became Pacman. I could use his exceptional skills when my glasses' frame broke and Dave fixed it with Super Glue and a paper clip. The glasses held up for the rest of my thruhike. Dave taught my a whole lot of new words. And he beat me in arm wrestling (well, that was to be expected). When we approached Portland, we decided to all share a room there. On a very memorable night we watched Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 in the cinema and decided to get "shit-faced" (one of my new words) afterwards. Long political discussions followed that night.... Dave and Lexi finished the PCT just a couple of days after me.

Next thing I heard from Dave was that he and Lexi had a daughter and were asking me for advice on where to hike in Europe with her. I was thrilled about that challenge (I don't know anything about hiking with kids) and recommended the Salzburger Almenweg. I sent them my maps and was very pleased to find out that they actually hiked that trail and really liked it.

So when I hiked the AT in 2008 it was only natural for me to visit Dave and Lexi in Montpellier. When Dave picked me up from the trail I looked like a drenched water rat and was thoroughly fed up with the whole AT. Leaving their home 2 days later I was up to the AT challenge again and finished my thruhike. Dave not only sewed me a new stuffsack for my tent and treated me with home-made apple cider, he also volunteered to be my "trail manager". I left all my back up gear with him. When I called him a couple of weeks later because my tent was leaking like a sieve, he sent me my back up tent the same day (including some incredibly good Vermont chocolate). I remember leaving Dave and Lexi's home in Montpellier. I wanted to take a picture of both of them, but Dave had gone for a bike ride... This was the last time I have seen Dave.

I continued my round the word trip on foot and bike. When I was back in Germany for a short holiday Dave contacted me again with some bike questions. He told me about the Tour Divide and long emails about the advantages of a Rohloff speedhub followed - although Dave never got one. I was very interested in the Tour Divide and when I found out about his website I asked him whether I could put a link to it on my blog. "Link away!", he wrote in his last email to me. I just recently discovered that he has a link to my blog on his website as well.

While cycling myself through the US I thought quite a few times about Dave and the Tour Divide. Two days ago I was in San Francisco checking the warmshowers website (sort of couchsurfing for cyclists) when something subconsciencely caught my eye. It was the name Dave Blumenthal on the warmshowers homepage. First in disbelief, then in shock and tears I read a short notice and the newspaper link. Dave had died in an accident with a car while MTB racing the Tour Divide.

I will never forget him.

My thoughts are with Dave's wife Lexi and his daughter Linnea.

Dave Blumenthal

I was very touched to read your words about your experiences with Dave and his family. I attended the 100th Birthday Celebration of the Long Trail back in May at the GMC Headquarters and I was lucky enough to be in Dave's prescence there. Dave gave a slide presentation on his trek across southern Great Britain. He stood right in front of me when he spoke. Dave also created a beautiful relief map of the Long Trail in Vermont which was displayed in the center of the room. His picture was used on the exhibits. He seemed to be everywhere! He inspired me to get in shape and to take control of my life! I was in a sporting goods store buying clothes for hiking when my friend called me with the news of Dave's accident. I reacted just as you described the way that you reacted, and I had only been in the same room with him! Amazing.
Thank you for sharing your story.

What a Nice Guy. So Sad!

I just heard this news, and I am so saddened by it. I remember a wonderful hike that Dave and Lexi lead over the Worcester Range. My sincerest condolences to Lexi and all of Dave's family. I am so sorry to hear this news.

Dave

As so many of us do after graduation from high school, we all lose contact. But with such a small school we all knew each other growing up. I remember going to a birthday party for Dave at his house when we were 11 or 12, or playing basketball with he and a bunch of guys up at ( I think it was called) Phillips Park. Everyone knew everyone.
What a tragic loss for his family, wife and daughter...
I just found out and read his blog, his last post on there is truly remarkable given the circumstances.
May God bring some peace to his family in this tough time. Dave really made a name for himself and left one heck of a legacy for sure..
Brian

I miss Dave

Lexi, you and Dave always shined with enthusiasm. Enthusiasm for the outdoors, for your next adventure, for the endless possibilities you saw in life. You took that enthusiasm, and you lived it, every day if I know you. Dave's exuberance was a pick-me-up every time I found myself in his presence. I'll always remember coming to the kitchen at the Center for High Energy Metaphysics for coffee at midnight. I was trying to finish a paper, and there was Dave at the kitchen table with his sewing machine, building a framepack or somesuch. Put my worries in perspective and put a smile on my face. He lived the (*&^% out of this life. I am honored to have known him. I am not ok with this.

Lexi, I knew you as a paragon of hope and optimism, courage, adventure, and the joy of life just like your husband. Somehow you and Linnaea will get through. Thank you for sharing your Dave with us. You are all in my prayers.

Nick Cowell

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