Day 101 Appalachian Trail, West Virginia Miles Hiked to Date: 1016 Hiked yesterday: 5 Trail Miles, Miles to Katahdin: 1167
First, Thank you to Spicy Jesus and Mayor for your generous donation. Chipmunk’s eyes grew big when she saw the message and said, “Wow! That’s a great way to celebrate hiking past the 1000 mile marker!”
Second, thanks to all of you who sent emails, tweets, texts, facebook messages, etc. congratulating Chipmunk on passing the 1000 mile mark. We enjoyed reading all the messages and it felt good to know you care about what Chipmunk is trying to do.
Third, to the Editor, we all can’t wait to see your new car. We hope that you’ll have a day or two available to come see your kid sister as we get closer to your neck of the woods.
Chipmunk woke up in a good mood and dressed quickly. She ate breakfast while I pulled her day’s snacks and filled her water pouch. By 7 AM, she was ready for the trail. She had a smile on her face when I kissed her goodbye and she said, “See ya in Harpers Ferry!” With all the challenges of the past week of hiking, I could hardly believe she'd be arriving in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia! (#GoChipmunk)
I watched her disappear into the woods and then set Evil Vengeful Rosie the GPS to the address for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy office in downtown Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. I arrived within 10 minutes and the office didn’t open ‘til 9 AM. On the porch, I recognized “Papa Smurf” and pulled over to talk to him. Unfortunately, there was no viable parking nearby so I drove the truck to a church parking lot a block away and walked back. Papa Smurf told me that after I last dropped him in Blacksburg, VA that he has run into some money issues. He lucked out and did some work locally for a former AT hiker who also gave him a place to stay and meals while he was there. He planned to re-connect with his hiking partners soon.
At 9:30 AM, I returned to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy office and walked in to find a few staff members and a few hikers. One hiker, “Tumblr”, recognized me and asked if Chipmunk was there. I told him that I figured she’d be there by noon. He said he wanted to wait to meet her. I was pleasantly surprised when she walked in at 11:15 AM, after leaving her pack on the porch. The ATC staff welcomed her and told her she was welcome to relax in the hiker lounge. In short order, Chipmunk found the foot massager, removed her boots and enjoyed a little foot magic.
She and another hiker talked about the “Whites”, a challenging mountain range near the northern end of the AT. Chipmunk noted that they didn’t look nearly as bad as some of what they’ve already hiked.
We wished Tumblr well and drove out of Harpers Ferry toward a well earned ZERO day. We checked into a Red Roof Inn, where pets stay free, for the first of night of a two night stay. In the past, we’ve checked into a room at the end of a hiking day, checked out by noon the following day and then had to find somewhere to hang out where the dog was welcome. And that’s harder than you think … in terms of, places where Chipmunk wanted to enjoy Zero time (like a mall, movie theater, etc.). This time, we checked in around 2 pm with the plan to just rest and watch TV the first evening. Then do things Chipmunk wants to do the following day while Chocolate Chip chills in the air conditioned room; spend the night and then hit the trail early the last morning there.
When it hit 9:30 pm, we both started falling asleep. We left the TV on and Chocolate Chip started out on Chipmunk’s bed and then jumped up to mine, much like she does at home … always keeping an eye on all of us. We slept well and both of us woke up around 6:30 AM the following morning … “creatures of habit”.
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)