Day 183 on the Appalachian Trail Miles Hiked to Date: 1961 Hiked yesterday: 19 Trail Miles, Miles left to hike: 222
First, to Linda G., thank you so much for your generous donation. It truly is well timed. I'm looking forward to telling Chipmunk she has some Chipmunk bucks waiting for her. If I hadn't mentioned it before, although we budgeted fairly well for this adventure and we "live on a shoestring", we didn't have the extra money that make time off the trail a nice break for Chipmunk. Thank you again!
Second, to Talker's Mom, check your email ... I bombarded you with pics! and will try to get a few more as we venture forward.
She gave us hugs and kisses and we told her we loved her. She stood and looked at the pond and decided that she'd cross it with her boots on. She said she could see a pretty clear path from rock to rock and across a log to more rocks and then the bank and ultimately the trail. She adjusted her poles to lengthen them, saying it would give her more stability. If you'd like to see Chipmunk in action, click on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICi_n1VildI&sns=em She crossed it successfully and then disappeared into the woods.
We waited a while and then programmed Evil Vengeful Rosie the GPS for the town of Monson. We drove along dirt and gravel roads for about an hour, all the while looking for Moose. The GPS directed us to turn right onto a paved road and I must say I was glad to see it. Besides the fact that you can't drive much more than 30 mph on the logging roads, the truck and camper make creaking, groaning "I might die" kind of noises while we are jostled about over rocks and thru potholes. Pavement helps to smooth out the truck noises to more of a steady moan.
We continued down the road and soon the small town of Monson unfolded before us. It's a charming town with older 2 & 3 story clapboard sided houses with old fashioned sash weight and cord style windows. The town wraps around Lake Hebron and has the bare necessities: a gas station/convenience store, rooming houses, a few small restaurants and bars, a library that's open 3 afternoons a week and a church combination mission/thrift store. There was once a General Store but it closed last year.
We checked our cell phones and, of course, we didn't have reception. Much to our surprise, we did have free WIFI! Our phones whistled and dinged, alerting us to email, Twitter, Instagram and facebook messages. Since it was still early and there was nearly no one out and about the town, we sat in the truck with our heads down reading through all the messages.
After hanging out with hikers, we made our way to the Lake Shore House which had wifi, amazing food and beers! Rebekah, who runs the place, is a lot of fun! She keeps a lot of balloons in the air and the hikers seems to gravitate to her. She runs the hostel in the same building, provides "loaner" clothes to hikers while they do their laundry so that they can actually get ALL of their clothes clean at the same time. (TO THE HIKERS HEADED INTO MONSON, DO NOT MISS THE LAKE SHORE!)
As we drove into town, Chipmunk told us how she had to do a little trail running in addition to her regular hiking. She explained that she accidentally left her phone and a few other items behind when she took a break earlier in the day. She realized it about a half mile later and stashed her pack along the trailside. She ran the half mile back and was relieved to see all of her stuff laying on the rock where she left it. She gathered it all up and then realized she didn't have her pack to put it in. So, since she wanted to run, she stuffed all of it into her spandex pants and then ran back to her pack. She said, "It was kind of fun."
We drove back to town and stopped into the Lake Shore House where Chipmunk met up with a bunch of hikers she hadn't seen in a while. It was mini reunion of sorts. There were also a few hikers who hadn't met Chipmunk before and they met up and "talked trail" until Chipmunk's dessert arrived: a brownie topped with two big scoops of ice cream and whipped cream, then topped with Chocolate Syrup. She devoured it. Afterwards, we said good night to the other hikers and headed to the Chip Mobile for a well earned rest.
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)