found ourselves exchanging stories about our kids. When we brought Coco out of the camper, she, too, exchanged stories via dog sniffs with his dog, Lexi and Scotty’s dog, Happy. A few hikers arrived who knew Chipmunk and told us they’d seen her earlier in the day; that she looked energetic. Storm-Bringer offered us all beers and it was a great way to relax while we awaited Chipmunk’s arrival.
I looked at the AT Guide sheets that I tore out of the book and I realized that we have gotten a little too comfortable in our daily routines of giving her just the sheet she needed for the day’s hike. When I looked at the listing for the meet up spot that was on page 41, it
referenced page 43 next to the hostel info. Chipmunk didn’t have page 43. I didn’t worry about it initially but when I took a moment to read page 43, I then realized that page 43 gave the detailed directions to the hostel from the AT: “2 miles north of Walnut Mtn Rd., on AT there is a vista and bench. 200 ft. farther, take trail at green/white AT sign downshill (SW & SE) under powerline 0.3 mile to hostel.” Hmm. Was Chipmunk going to figure her way there without those directions?? Papa Chip said, “Don’t worry. She’ll find it. Trust me.”
tattooed a-la “prison” style just below his knee. He met a girl on the trail that knew how to do it using an ink pen, string and a pin. He did the same tattoo for her, in the same place on her leg. Apparently, he posted a pic of their matching tattooed legs on his Facebook page and his grandmother assumed that the two of them were now a couple. He explained that she was married to someone else, that they were just trail buddies. Nothing says love on Mother’s Day like a“prison tat” … And you wonder why Moms drink??
Chipmunk devoured 2 cheeseburgers herself and looked very pleased.
By 10 pm, we were tucked into our bunks and snoozing.
This morning we woke to one of the coldest mornings we’ve experienced since leaving Florida the end of March. When we spoke, we could see our breath. I was the first up and started water boiling for oatmeal and coffee. I roused the other two, passed out vitamins, bowls of oatmeal and coffee for Papa Chip. Chocolate Chip
poked her head out from beneath the covers and made her way to the back door of the camper, letting us know she had to take care of business. She quickly squatted and turned tail to get back into her warm spot under Chipmunk’s down covers. Once we were all dressed and ready to go, we saw Mike out on the porch and thanked him for letting us stay and all of their generosity. He let us know that it was a record cold morning of 31 degrees.
Woof! I knew I had good reason to be shivering. However, he mentioned that it’s supposed to be sunny most of the day and warm up. We kissed Chipmunk good bye and watched
her walk up the hill to the path back to the Appalachian Trail and then we said our good byes and drove back down the mountain.
FYI, We are trying to build support and maybe even get some sponsors to help in the
expenses of Chipmunk’s quest to become the youngest solo thru hiker to complete the Appalachian Trail. We could use your help. 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 left of today’s blog post. Feel 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 and she can receive personal messages directly to her email: firstname.lastname@example.org. She or we (email@example.com) 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)