Day 181 on the Appalachian Trail Miles Hiked to Date: 1931 Hiked yesterday: 4 Trail Miles, Miles left to hike: 252
First, to Marylen K., thanks for the message but according to my AT Guide, she had 256 miles left and now has 252 miles left. FYI, I don't add in/subtract the tenths of miles when calculating the milage, just to keep it easy. Also, thanks, Marylen, for the weight loss tips ... please let me know what your dr. says when you see him again. Better yet ... take a picture of his surprised face and send it to me!
Second, to Mari, thanks for following our story and you are most welcome to join us on the next adventure: tackling weight loss.
Third, to Travis, thanks for the update regarding how the government shutdown may affect the AT hikers. According to a few different sources, the hikers who have made it past the Whites in New Hampshire are relatively "safe" for summiting, at this point. Plus, the locals in Maine have assured us that "where there's a will, there's a way." Again and again, these thru hikers have proven to be quite resourceful and very driven.
Fourth, to Julie, I'm sorry to hear about your torn meniscus; that must be painful and inconvenient at the very least. Thanks for your concern. Chipmunk has had and used a knee brace since about a month into her hike. She still uses it on occasion but has found that she has morning stiffness that is best dealt with by stretching before hiking. She's learning to listen to her body and we trust her to tell us what's working well.
Fifth, the other day, I posted a picture of Beeline. He fell asleep on the pavement after hiking into Grafton Notch. I've since learned that he is hiking for a very good cause: Andrews Helpful Hands Foundation that helps children with cancer. If you'd like to learn more about his cause, please visit his site:
http://www.gofundme.com/Hiking-For-AHH Thank you in advance; I'm sure Beeline appreciates your support.
After 20+ miles on somewhat well maintained gravel and dirt roads, we arrived at the trail crossing. The sun was just starting to peek over the horizon and we woke Chipmunk. While she dressed, I made coffee and gave her a "crumb cake" muffin I had picked up at a Dunkin Donuts the day before. When the morning routine was done, she pulled on her backpack and her bright orange hat. She hugged and kissed us and we told her we loved her. She had a 4 mile hike, a NERO (near ZERO) planned for the day that she originally thought she'd have a ZERO. Since she was Leapfrogging forward, she wanted to squeeze in a few miles, do the river crossing during the 9-11 AM scheduled hours and then rest for the balance of the day.
We stopped and compared GPS's and maps and it looks like Evil Vengeful Rosie was right. However, the roads she took us down had more than a few older, possibly handmade bridges like this one. I gladly got out and walked across this one for picture taking purposes; I figured it was going to collapse under the weight of the Chip Mobile so I was prepared to be out of the vehicle and call for help. I was wrong and I'm glad I was. It looks like there are quite a few bridges over quite a few streams here in the great state of Maine!
The canoe operator goes back and forth ferrying Northbound and Southbound hikers across. There were no SOBOs on the shore while we were there. Here's a pic of Lady Mac and Saga (in the front) as they were ferried across.
They all were glad to see one another and quite surprised to see Chipmunk. She explained about leapfrogging ahead and they all walked together up to the parking area just across the road from the canoe crossing.
The canoe operator recommended a local place for breakfast, saying he believed it was an AYCE (all you can eat) restaurant. All of the hikers lit up like it was Christmas morning. When they learned that it was a good distance down the road, they turned to us and asked if we were going to breakfast there, too. We weren't planning to go to breakfast but Chipmunk was so glad to see old friends that we agreed to give a few of them a ride in the Chip Mobile. The other ones piled into Lady Mac's grandfather's vehicle and we all met up for breakfast.
Papa Chip and I took a walk around the campground when Chipmunk fell asleep. It was quiet and there were very few campers there. I wondered to myself how we'll deal with dumping tanks, etc. when most campgrounds close by Oct. 15th, especially in the North. We decided to cross that bridge when we get there. At the very least, we'll dump tanks just before the 15th at whichever campground is closest. Then, I guess we'll "hold it" for a while ??
Speaking of Laura P., she also sent a super lightweight phone re-charger, that's the size of a small flashlight (and in fact also has a built in flashlight). We plugged it into the cigarette lighter receptacle in the truck, charged it up and then gave it to Chipmunk to test during her 3 nights in a row away from us. When her cell phone battery was near dead on day 2, she plugged her phone into the charger device via a USB cord. Within an hour, her cell phone was fully charged again! Awesome! Thank you, thank you, Laura!
We had done laundry in the late afternoon and asked the manager if it was OK to plug in and recharge our electronics in the laundry room. She was very pleasant and told us that was fine. With the laptop battery fully charged, after dinner, we watched a few episodes of 3rd Rock from the Sun, on DVD. Chipmunk was cracked up and we all had some good laughs before calling it a night.
Just before saying "I love you" and "Good night" to one another, Chipmunk said she had a really good day. I was so glad to hear that. We hadn't done anything spectacular, just re-connected with old friends, spent some leisurely time next to a beautiful lake, got nice and clean and went to bed with full bellies. Yep, it was a good day.
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)