Day 113 Appalachian Trail, Pennsylvania Miles Hiked to Date: 1158 Hiked yesterday: 0 Trail Miles, Miles to Katahdin: 1025
First, thanks to Amy H. for your generous donation and I'm sorry for not posting that yesterday ... I had a pre-written blog that I posted from my phone and couldn't make any edits from it. Chipmunk is looking forward to seeing you in Vermont and sharing some Ben and Jerry's and a hike with you!
Second, to Tune's mom ... welcome! He texted me this morning and mentioned that you're following the blog, too. Unfortunately for us, he's a good distance ahead of us now. We enjoyed his company and we hope to catch up with him soon; when I do, I'll add a pic just for you.
Third, to Sheena ... Thanks for your patience! Wink! Wink!
As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, we spent the night in a campground a short distance from Hershey Park. I fell asleep to the sound of raindrops on the roof of the camper and was surprised when I awoke at 6:30 am that I had slept so well. I guess my new sleepy time song ought to be, "Raindrops keep falling on my head..."
I woke Chipmunk up and she pulled together her outfit for the day while I walked Chocolate Chip. When I returned, we grabbed our shower bags and headed to the shower house. I wasn't pleased to hear they had coin operated showers at this campground; I've yet to have a good experience with those. We each unloaded our soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc. and Chipmunk said, "Uh oh, I think I left my bottle of conditioner behind at the last campground." I told her I'd toss my bottle over once I finished with it. (FYI, I'm very good at throwing bottles full of liquid contents ... especially across a room; Derrell, I'm still sorry about the spaghetti sauce stains on your good jeans.)
Once I put the quarter in the slide plate, I saw that I would get 10 minutes for my 25 cent investment. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the shower was the perfect pressure, lasted plenty long enough and stayed the consistent temp I adjusted it to at the start. So, I was wrong to pre-stress about the coin operated shower. About halfway thru my shower, I hollered "Incoming!!" and tossed the conditioner bottle over the shower. Chipmunk laughed and said, "Got it." I finished washing and rinsing everything before the shower ended so I lingered under the shower head just enjoying the feel of the water rolling over me. It was nice ... my phone wasn't ringing, no one needed me, I was clean and good smelling ... good start to my day.
We dressed and blow dried our hair and then I drove to the dump station while Chipmunk put on make up. Whenever female hikers aren't on the trail, they do their hair and make up ... even if it's just a trip to an amusement park with family.
After breakfast, we drove to the park and secured a spot for Chocolate Chip in the air conditioned "Barking Lot" kennel at Hershey Park. She's such a good girl that she calmly walked into the kennel, sat down and looked at me while I removed her leash and all the other dogs were barking. The attendant said, "Wow. She's well behaved." I nodded, blew her a kiss goodbye and headed out the door.
My phone rang shortly after and it was the Editor letting me know they were there and parked close to me. Chipmunk and I walked to meet her and she showed me her new car, an '07 Chevy Cobalt, that she bought when her truck was on its last leg. Although she was apprehensive about buying a vehicle without Papa Chip's and my help, she did well and was proud of how well it worked out. Good job, Editor! And thanks to Dillon (her boyfriend), who chauffeured her to many a car lot before she acquired the pretty blue car with the manual transmission (which she loves!).
So far, the day was going wonderfully. I must admit that I was apprehensive meeting the Editor's boyfriend who she's been dating for about 10 months. Like most parents, I want my child to be happy and I want her to be treated well by her mate. But like most parents, it's easy for me to think that "no one is good enough" for my child. I have to make an effort to remember that it's not my job to pick my children's mates and if I did, they would not likely be the right one for them.
All that said, the Editor has had some boyfriends in the past that we weren't too terribly impressed by (i.e. "Cabbage Patch" and "Prince", etc.) and in the end, neither was she. I've often told my kids that dating is like buying clothes: you've got to try on a few (sometimes quite a few) before you find the right fit. To her credit, she has not lingered in relationships once she knew they weren't a good fit for her.
Also, Papa Chip, this time I remembered NOT to ride the Wildcat Coaster, which I hate! Chipmunk and the Editor were surprised that I remembered it and were disappointed they weren't able to "pull the wool over my eyes" this time around.
Ha! I'm getting wise in my old age!
A few days ago, she told me how her friend, Janina, dreams of working in theater and costuming but that her mom won't let her even talk about that. She wants Janina to focus on becoming a lawyer. Chipmunk was saddened by that and told me that I was a really good mom because I don't squash her dreams. Thanks, Chipmunk! Being a good mom means more to me than anything I've ever done. And besides, how many of us have found ourselves in jobs we hated because we (or our parents) thought it was the right path? And besides that, I remember dreaming of being many things long before I entered the working world. I truly believe that you cannot continue to say to your children: "You can do anything, be anything" and then set the narrow parameters of what you hope for your children. In the end, my true hope is that my children wake up each and every day feeling loved and wanted; feeling proud of who they are and all they've done. I hope that they are not too hard on themselves for the mistakes they've made along the way; that they (and I) realize that it's all just part of growing up in this world and figuring out life. In all honesty, I, too, am still figuring it all out.
Chipmunk and I said good bye to the Editor and Dillon and then soon hit the road ourselves to get back near the trailhead for the next day's hike. It was a good day. Taking a zero day so soon after the last one might not be what most would recommend, but it's what was right for us. We drove to our camp spot for the night and talked about our day until we couldn't keep our eyes open any longer.
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)