Day 75 Appalachian Trail, VA Miles Hiked to Date: 736 Hiked yesterday: 12.5 Trail Miles Miles to Katahdin: 1477
This will be a brief posting since Chipmunk is taking two full days off to celebrate her birthday ... and if there's not a posting tomorrow, I will catch everyone up on Sunday's posting. Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding.
After she left, I posted the blog and then set the directions for this evening's campground onto both my phone navigation and on good ole Evil Vengeful Rosie the GPS. As I passed the trailhead closest to the campground, I saw two hikers I knew and stopped to see if they, too, were headed to the same campground. They were and climbed aboard for the mile and a half ride.
When I checked in, the camp manager said, "Wow! I've been waiting for you. You have a few packages and letters here." I explained that it was Chipmunk's birthday and we chatted about her hike, home schooling and raising kids. After I checked in, dumped tanks (Eww!), re-filled my water tank and checked out the spot I reserved for the night, I headed towards the first meet up spot we planned. I asked the campground manager what was the best way there and she gave me simple directions, although warned me that one of the roads was a gravel road.
The hikers truly believe in sharing. Many hikers leave food packages they don't want or need for other hikers that will happen through. They live by treating others the way they'd like to be treated and seem to accept one another just the way they are. After having lived through the gay bashing 80's, it's encouraging to see hikers of every orientation dwelling safely and accepted within this community.
I wished the hikers well and headed to my meet up spot. While I waited, I caught up with Papa Chip via text message and found out his bike tour is in Illinois. He also said he got an email from Adventure Cycling looking for a tour leader for a 10 day Florida Keys tour in November and wondered if he should take it ... from me, two words: DO IT! He loves riding his bike and "they" always say, "do what you love and it'll never feel like work".
I handed her my fleece to wear in the car ride back to the campground and I turned the defroster on warm. She warmed up pretty quickly and as we closed in on the campground, the rain leveled off, thankfully! We pulled into our camp spot, plugged in the electric and I microwaved Marie Callendar's Chicken Pot Pies for dinner. It was only 4 in the afternoon but we were both hungry. After dinner, we read for a while and both of us were sleepy by 6 PM. We decided to listen to our bodies and call it a night. We slept on and off until 8 this morning.
We left the campground and as we approached I-81, our phones dinged letting us know there were messages. Chipmunk read through and answered some texts for me as I drove and then we checked the movie schedules at the local theaters. Yeah! A movie Chipmunk has been waiting to see is playing today ... Let the birthday celebration begin!
f you’d like to send Chipmunk words of encouragement or birthday wishes (her birthday is mid-June), feel free to leave a comment here or email me directly.
If you enjoy reading the stFeel free to forward our website link (or email updates) to your family, friends, co-workers, etc, (www.ridethenation.org). 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. 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 of today’s blog post.
Thanks again for all your support,
Mama Chip, Papa Chip, Chipmunk and her dog, Chocolate Chip
(Tammy, Jay, Neva and Coco)