Day 179 on the Appalachian Trail Miles Hiked to Date: 1917 Hiked yesterday: 7 Trail Miles, Miles left to hike: 267
First, Maine is holding true to what everyone had warned us about: Cell phone reception is little to none and WIFI is tough to find. So, that being said, please be patient if Chipmunk's hike update is not posted as regularly as it has been or if we miss a day. To Editor and Brother Chip, will one of you please call Grammy and let her know the situation and tell her we're fine; that we'll be in touch as soon as we have reception again.
Second, I'm still working on plans for my weight loss/get healthy adventure ahead and I'm so encouraged by how many of you want to join me for this. Once Chipmunk finishes her hike, we return home and get settled, we'll all get started.
We awoke early and started our usual routine for the day. After the early morning phone call from Chipmunk, we were eager to get to the local McDonald's and pull up her SPOT page on the laptop. By 8 AM, we were parked in our usual spot in McDee's lot, and we were seated at our usual table. We opened the laptop to her SPOT tracking page and we could see that she was already moving. I posted the daily blog update and we checked back on the tracking page regularly.
I was relieved to see when she was clearly out of the Mahoosuc Arm section. She would still have Old Speck Mountain to climb but according to other hikers, if she made it through the notch OK, she wasn't likely to have a problem on Old Speck Mountain. I wish I could say I wasn't worried, but I was. It's a shame I gave up on dying my hair so many years ago ... the grays are really obvious now!
He told us that K Bizzie was in town along with Dutch; that they'd ZERO'd in a local hotel. He offered to tell us where so we could all catch up with one another but I declined, figuring they might not want to hang out with a hiker mom and dad during their down time. I told them to give 'em our best.
I noticed that she had a bandana tied around her knee and asked about it. She said her right knee was definitely sore and that the bandana helped. The other hikers joined in our conversation and noted that their knees have also taken a beating in the last few weeks on the trail. We've been so fortunate that Chipmunk has come this far without a major injury; an injury that takes her off the trail for more than a few days.
While we talked, Whisper arrived at the trailhead. She asked what we were doing for the evening and we told her that Chipmunk had some Chipmunk bucks to spend and she wanted Pizza. Ron, from Gorham, had recommended Pat's Pizza in Bethel, NH and we told her we were heading there.
We drove to Pat's pizza and Chipmunk talked about her previous days' hiking for a short time before moving onto other subjects. It was obvious that she didn't really feel like talking trail.
We stopped at Pat's pizza and she was eager to get on wifi. While we ate and trolled our phones for messages, updates, etc., Whisper and the other hikers arrived. They took a table near ours and soon had their heads down, scanning their phones, too. Ahh, 'tis the life of a hiker when they get "town time".
After dinner, we drove back to the trailhead, parked next to Whisper and climbed into our bunks for the night. It was soooo good to have our daughter back with us. We said our "I love you's" and "Good Nights" and turned out the lights. My body was finally relaxed. I actually ran my hand over my forehead to be sure my brow was not stuck in the "worried" mode. It wasn't. I fell asleep easily and slept well.
If you enjoy reading the story of our adventure, and you’d like to send some “Trail Magic” to Chipmunk, click on the “Donate” button at the upper right corner of today’s blog post. Chipmunk maintains a twitter account: @openlymtngoat where a common hashtag is #GoChipmunk . She (or we) will try to answer any questions you may have about her hike and this family adventure.
Thanks again for all your support,
Mama Chip, Papa Chip, Chipmunk and her dog, Chocolate Chip
(Tammy, Jay, Neva and Coco)