Day 168 on the Appalachian Trail Miles Hiked to Date: 1830 Hiked yesterday: 9 Trail Miles, Miles left to hike: 353
First, I need to answer a few blog comment questions:
To Loretta, Yes, Siren is doing great even though she and all of the hikers are having a tough time in the Whites. She and I texted just yesterday evening and she is pretty close to where Chipmunk is hiking. I'm hoping they'll connect and hike together soon. She looked great the last time I saw her.
To Ellie ... YOU BETTER NOT HAVE A HEDGEHOG THAT'S WAITING TO SAY HI TO CHIPMUNK! We are hoping our little Chipmunk's latest obsession will pass. I think we set a bad precedent by caving into her desire to have white mice, a goat, a snake, chinese hamsters, an English Bulldog (especially when we already had 2 boxers at the time), a turtle and a couple of porch cats. We miss you, El! (But, I worry when Chipmunk and you get in cahoots!)
To Shelli P., regarding your 4 year old's interest in BMX, one place to start the research is at www.usabmx.com where you can read about the organization that oversees the American part of BMX racing. There's a tab to click on to find the track closest to you. It's been a few years since Chipmunk has raced but when she first started (and also when she later returned to the sport), the local track had loaner helmets on hand and usually offered an inexpensive or free one day pass so a rider can try the sport out without making a financial commitment. FYI, when Chipmunk raced, we were members of the now defunct National Bicycle League. In 2011, the National Bicycle League was bought by the American Bicycling Association and the combined leagues are now USABMX. Our time in BMX was truly one of the best family oriented sports we ever experienced! Good luck!
To Julie, I'm inspired that you do 3.1 miles at the gym! I may need to talk to you soon about a project I'm considering; (more about that at the end of this blog). As for your question about Log resuming his hike, the general consensus is that any hiker who completes the entire trail in 12 months is said to have thru hiked it. Here's how the Appalachian Trail Conservancy puts it on their website: "A thru-hiker is a hiker or backpacker who has completed or is attempting to walk the entire Appalachian Trail in one uninterrupted journey." Many a hiker takes a break, does a flip flop (hiking half North then resuming the other portion and hiking South from Katahdin typically to Harpers Ferry), etc. There's also a 2000 miler badge given by the ATC and I believe that may cover every hike that's not the traditional uninterrupted thru hike.
(NOTE: Because Chipmunk doesn't often take pictures with her phone, to reserve the battery for emergency use, the next 3 pictures are from Google Images website.) We've had limited contact with Chipmunk but followed her on her SPOT GPS tracking and saw that she made it to the intended hut for her night's stay. She also sent out her "I'm OK" SPOT device message.
As I mentioned yesterday, the huts are enclosed buildings that are much warmer than the shelters, even though they are not heated. As far as I know, they do not have electric there either but some huts do have limited solar power. As you can see from the pic, many a hiker arrives and airs out (or dries out) their sleeping bags on the porch.
When a hiker does "work for stay", they are offered a spot on the floor or on a bench in the dining area or common area. I don't believe they get a bunk, even if there are open bunks. I'm not positive of that so we'll have to see if Chipmunk can shed any light on that soon.
When this adventure is over, my next challenge in life may be shedding this extra 100 lbs. of weight that I've been dragging around with me since before Chipmunk was born. Any thoughts? Please do share.
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)