Day 132 on the Appalachian Trail Miles Hiked to Date: 1385 Hiked yesterday: 7 Trail Miles, Miles left to hike: 798
After eating breakfast, Papa Chip asked Chipmunk if she planned to hike and she said, "I don't know. I guess I should since I cut my hiking day short yesterday." With that, we started pulling snacks for her, filling her Camelbak, etc. I have to admit, I wasn't disappointed that she planned to hike. It's been a long time since I had some "quiet time" with Papa Chip. We hugged and kissed Chipmunk good bye and watched as she made her way through the grassy field and onto the trail where she had left off the afternoon before.
We also received a message later, letting us know that she thought she could squeeze a few more miles out before wrapping up for the day. We set up another meet up spot and we all found each other easily.
When I finally got my 2 loads of laundry done, I zipped up my rolling luggage bag (the best way to transport laundry on the road!) and headed out the door. As soon as I stepped outside, I realized that it was pitch dark and there were no outdoor lights. I slowly made my way down the rock and grass lawn to the roadway and headed towards the Ranger Station, which I could find by the glow of their INDOOR lights. I found a ranger, named Sean, who listened to my complaints before finally saying, "I just work 7:30 pm - 3:30 am. I know the place is a mess. It's been that way for a while. It's gotten better since we put up the 'no alcohol' rule." When I told him I didn't know if I could even find my way in the dark back to my campsite, he offered to give me a ride there in his Gator. I took him up on it and thanked him for listening. I asked him to please pass my complaints onto the supervisor. He suggested I could stop at the office after 9 am the next morning and tell her myself. I told him I honestly didn't think I'd still be there past 7 am ... and that I didn't see myself returning there for any other reason, especially not to camp. He said, "Yeah. I get that." I thanked him and he left saying, "I'm sorry you didn't know about the place before you arrived." Me, too.
It was near 10 pm when I climbed into the dark camper to find Papa Chip and Chipmunk quietly snoozing. Chocolate Chip's eyes glowed in the dark as I pulled the laundry bag inside. I quietly slipped into my bunk and Papa Chip half awoke, saying, "Why didn't you call? I'd have picked you up?" I shushed him, kissed him good night and rolled on my side. Within minutes, I think I fell asleep ... with not a real worry in the world. It was nice.
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)