Day 137 on the Appalachian Trail Miles Hiked to Date: 1461 Hiked yesterday: 19 Trail Miles, Miles left to hike: 723
Second, my apologies to anyone who tried to reach me in the last few days ... I've had nearly no signal! I'll be in touch soon ... I hope.
Once our morning duties were done, we drove the short distance to the trailhead, gave Chipmunk hugs & kisses and confirmed our meet up spots. She was in a very good mood and we all felt like it was going to be a good day.
On the way, we got beautiful views of the water and rocky banks. The air was clean, crisp and cool and we both felt really good. So often I hear and read about our innate need to connect with nature in order to feel good ... and I believe it's really true. When I worked in road sales in the 80's, I often felt overwhelmed as I visited clients in cities like New York and Boston. I had a tough Monday-Thursday schedule that required staying in hotel rooms more often than staying in my own home. Every now and again, I'd find myself clearing my afternoon schedule so I could just walk in a park and relax. I like how this adventure has given me so much of that.
We walked on and found a rope swing tied to a huge tree that overhung the river. It made us both smile but neither of us was willing to give it a go. When we got back to the truck, we only waited a short time before Chipmunk arrived on the heels of "Snacks" and "Lady Mac". We offered them all cold drinks and they were glad to have them. As we sat and talked, we mentioned the rope swing to them and their eyes lit up. Snacks and Lady Mac said they definitely wanted to do it; Chipmunk said she definitely wanted to hike on since she was going for a 19 mile day. Chipmunk gave hugs and kisses and re-joined the trail. Lady Mac and Snacks followed us to the rope swing. They untied the bottom end of the rope and time after time made huge swings over the river and spectacular, splashy landings. They even did a few flips! It was a great way to while away an afternoon. After their arms and shoulders grew a little weary, they tied the rope back to the tree and pulled their hiking boots back onto their feet. (If you'd like to check out the video of the rope swing fun, go on my facebook page (Tammy Warren) and check it out under my photos tab) When we returned to the Chip Mobile, we pulled their packs from the camper and re-filled some of their water for them before they, too, resumed the trail.
Papa Chip and I drove to the evening meet up spot and waited until near 7:30pm before Chipmunk called to us from the woods. Chocolate Chip and we perked up and ran out to see her descend from the hill. She looked good but was quite sweaty. She said she pushed hard the final few miles because she wanted to make it to a flushing toilet. Whatever propels you, eh?? We pulled her pack into the truck and jumped in the cab for the short ride into town. We stopped at a coffee shop and she quickly found the restroom while Papa Chip got a cup of coffee. Then we drove to our evening camp spot and Papa Chip started making a dinner of chicken, broccoli and rice. Chipmunk fell asleep while he cooked and declared she didn't want to get up and eat when the meal was done. The 19 miles into CONNECTICUT (YAY!!) had wiped her out (AWWW!!!). Luckily, she had a ZERO planned for the following day.
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)