Father, son embark on nationwide journey to find 'Dave Smith'
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Pete Smith and Dave Smith know a thing or two about generic names.
Some estimate there are nearly three-million other people in the United States that share their last name, but Pete and Dave are a father-son duo that's distinguishing itself through an adventure that's anything but ordinary.
Pete, 54, and Dave, 17, are from Kennebunk Port, Maine. Dave is a student at Kennebunk High School, but admits he hasn't always done well in the conventional classroom setting.
With his school's permission, Dave is earning credits toward graduation by criss-crossing the nation with his father, visiting historical sights and journaling along the way. They've been driving from state to state and had planned to camp in national parks to save money.
"We wanted to camp," Pete says. "We wanted to do it on a low budget so it kind of transformed to 'Let's go see 48 states. Let's visit as many historic venues as possible.' We'll journal and take it from there."
But soon their trip took on a whole new meaning.
"Then the whole 'David Smith' thing came about," said Pete. "It was my wife's idea. Wouldn't it be neat if you could network with all the other David Smith's around the country?"
With that, 'Finding Dave Smith' was born, and on September 12, Dave and Pete set out from Kennebunk Port. Since then, they've traveled through 20 states and met 20 Dave, or David, Smiths.
Their journey has revolved around destinations near national parks where the pair could camp, but when the government shut down last week, Pete says they hit a big snag.
"We're just out here trying to go to national parks on a once and a lifetime trip and they're preventing us from doing that," said Pete.
For now the duo is staying in Seattle, waiting until at least Monday when they can continue their journey in hopes of the national parks opening up.
Dave said he doesn't know what he'll take away from the trip, but says it'll be a lesson he'll remember for the rest of his life.
"I don't know if I'll know that right away or in 5 years," said Dave. "But I'm getting a lot of experience out of it and just kind of trying to figure out what I want to do after the trip's over."
When the trip is complete, Dave will compile his journaling, photos and videos for his teachers to review as his senior project.
Dave and Pete are looking for more Dave Smiths to talk to across the nation. To contact them visit their Facebook page.