Day 153 on the Appalachian Trail Miles Hiked to Date: 1663 Hiked yesterday: 0 Trail Miles, Miles left to hike: 520
After a relaxing evening at the movies and a night of sleep NOT disturbed by an alarm clock, we all got up with a bit of enthusiasm. For Chipmunk's Zero day, we planned to start the day at one of our family's favorite restaurants of all time: Sugar 'N Spice, in Mendon, Vermont. Since our kids were little, we've loved Vermont. We taught our two oldest children to ski there and at just 2 years old, Chipmunk demanded to ski, too. In fact, she bugged the daycare staff at Killington Mountain so much that they gave her a free day of "ski-wee" school just to get her out of their hair. She loved it and never went back to daycare while Papa Chip, Editor and Brother Chip and I skied. By 3 and a half, she was skiing half days with us, and by 4 years old, she was skiing intermediate slopes and some of the lower scale black diamond slopes with Papa Chip and Brother Chip. Editor and I much preferred the leisurely "easy" to "intermediate" slopes.
During every ski trip to Vermont, there was one consistent element: a stop at Sugar 'N Spice for amazing pancakes and sugar shack maple syrup. The restaurant is an old wooden structure with hardwood floors and maple slab table tops. Coffee is served in flower pattern cups straight from your grandmom's kitchen. Besides having Chocolate Chip Pancakes as a constant on the menu, they also offer Pumpkin pancakes, Sugar n Spice pancakes, Maple Walnut pancakes ... and of course, Buttermilk, too. Recently, they had S'mores pancakes as a special ... mmmm.
I wonder if all our kids recall how often (when they were little) we loaded them into our van and drove through the night to arrive in time for breakfast at Sugar 'n Spice; then ski at Killington all day. If we weren't completely exhausted, we'd drive to Fire 'n Ice, a restaurant in Middlebury, VT for dinner. Those were fun times during a crazy, hectic time in our lives. Our little even business was growing fast and the opportunities to spend time away with the kids were getting few and far between. I really treasure those memories.
Chipmunk found a "hurricane" simulator in the mall and decided to try it out. It said that in 2 minutes time, it would simulate winds up to 90 mph. She stepped in, closed the door and we all watched and laughed as her hair whipped all around.
We all walked around the mall a bit. I attempted to blog only to find that the mall's well advertised "free wifi" only worked intermittently. After Mailman picked up a shirt he needed and Whisper picked up a few trail items, we headed out. We stumbled upon a very affordable buffet with a sign saying, FREE WIFI. I was jaded but figured I'd give it another try. With the library closed and not very many other wifi options in town, I didn't have much choice.
A short time later, Papa Chip announced that he'd be right back. He made a vanilla cone and sneaked it out to Chocolate Chip. She loves vanilla ice cream and so deserved a treat; she's ever patient as she waits for us to finish our "outside" stuff and return to her.
We all finished eating and I looked up to find that all 5 of us were either on laptops or online via our phones. I was so happy once the blog was posted, even though it was much later in the day than I had planned. When everyone wrapped up their online duties, we all piled into the Chip Mobile and headed back towards downtown Rutland, Vermont. We said goodbye to Mailman and Whisper and then turned the truck towards the trailhead where Chipmunk would meet 3 Second Delay in the morning and resume her A.T. hike. It had been a nice relaxing day for all of us and we fell into our bunks by 9pm to get back into our regular schedule.
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)