Day 163 on the Appalachian Trail Miles Hiked to Date: 1794 Hiked yesterday: 0 Trail Miles, Miles left to hike: 389
First, thanks to everyone who sent words of support after reading yesterday's blog. It truly, TRULY makes a difference.
Second, I'd like to share a request by one of our readers and friends, Brittney Anderson. She contacted me and asked me to post the following for her:
"Okay, so I am in a club at my college called WHC Cares. It is a community service club. Each year we do the Kidney Walk and Cystic Fibrosis stair climb. Currently I am raising money to do the Walk. We have to raise $25 but last year I made it my goal to raise $200 and i reached it. This year I am determined to raise $300 but I can't do it without the help of others sharing it. All they have to do is go to the link below and follow the steps I have provided.
Go to "support a walker", Type Brittney Anderson, And Donate.
This means a lot!
Thanks, Brittney and to all our readers for considering this.
Third, I have EXCITING NEWS! I have an update about a hiker named Boone whom I met many moons ago early on this adventure. You may recall that Boone is the hiker who came into the Blue Blaze Cafe in Damascus one evening (in May, I believe) and collapsed. He was unable to talk and emergency services were called. He was transported to the hospital and days later, I was still asking everyone involved if they had any information on him. Because all of us in the "hiking family" call each other by trail names, I wasn't even able to get an update on him from the hospital without his real name. I received this message yesterday via the blog comments and I cried (truly tears of joy!). I was so worried about him that evening and for months later ... I was so relieved to read his words:
Boone has just posted a comment on your blog post, ...Welcome to the Whites:
You are doing so awesome Chipmunk. That story was tough to read for me and I'm glad everything was fine. I can remember that day in North Carolina when you got the cake from the trail magic for your mom. You are an inspiration to me.
I am glad I came to the blog, it is nice to see you doing well and hear about everyone still going.
I also want to say thank you to Tammy for helping me in Damascus. I can remember everything that happened and remember your voice clearly encouraging me. I am doing fine now, but it turned out I had a stroke that was probably due to a heart defect. I had surgery to repair it in July and now I have no limitations from the stroke or surgery.
I am sorry that I did not reach out sooner.
- Boone, no apologies necessary! I'll spread the good word to the other hikers who also heard about your incident and worried about you. Papa Chip, Chipmunk and I were so glad to hear that you are OK! Also, Chipmunk said to ask if you have any way to contact CheatahBeav; she enjoyed hiking with both of you and would love to hear how he is doing, too. If you do, feel free to email me (email@example.com). Until our paths cross again, stay well and be happy! All the Best from the Chips.
Chipmunk asked if she could take her time in getting dressed and doing her make up and I said, "Sure." Then she said, "But I'm hungry, too. So, can daddy drive towards Polly's Pancake Parlour while I stay back here and get dressed?" I ran it by Papa Chip and he said, "Yeah, that's fine."
Once we stopped the truck, I snapped this pic and wondered if that's why they are called the "WHITE" mountains.
We walked into Polly's and were seated in charming antique red wooden chairs. Within minutes, Chipmunk said she'd much prefer the other style of wooden chair at a neighboring table. She asked if she could switch chairs out and the hostess said, "No problem." She did and said, "Oh yeah, that's better."
She ordered buttermilk pancakes, which they serve 3 at a time and they measure about 3" across. She buttered them, cut them up and started eating them. Chipmunk has never liked syrup, even really good maple syrup. She's a bit of a "pancake purist" ... only real butter. She also ordered a side of breakfast potatoes, declaring that "it's like having french fries for breakfast!"
While we waited for our second round of 3" pancakes, we read about the history of Polly's Pancake Parlour. It has been around and in the same family dating back to the 1800's and over 6 generations! There are cool old music sheets, advertisements, etc. plastered between the beams of the ceiling; there's an old rocking horse out front (which 3 Second Delay says she's had many a photo taken on .. hmm, AT WHAT AGE??). It also has the traditional diner style pass thru where waiters pick up their orders fresh off the grill ... and believe me, the plates do not sit there long! It smells amazing!
Papa Chip had plain pancakes with a side of sausage and I had the special: pumpkin pancakes. The 3" pancakes were charming and very yummy but both Papa Chip and I didn't "get filled up". Of course, getting "filled up" might be why we've gotten so "filled out" ... so maybe this Polly chick is onto something, eh? Our visit to Polly's was fun and yummy but I don't know if we'd wake the kids from their slumber to drive through the night to get there (i.e. Sugar & Spice, Mendon, VT) but we would definitely add it to our stops when traveling thru that section of Vermont in the future.
This is a 1947 Crosley, one of Chipmunk's fave cars ... Yep! She's into cars. Favorite TV Show? The BBC show, Top Gear, which is one of the best shows I've ever watched. It is one of the BBC's longest running shows PLUS is the most watched show worldwide. The American version pales in comparison.
We found an ornament for our Christmas tree amongst the souvenirs: a moose with a backpack, hiking the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It reminded us of something.
We often buy ornaments from places we visit. When we put up the Christmas tree each year, we get to relive our memories related to each place. We also give our kids each an ornament representing something about their life in that year. It's a tradition I like and now that our oldest 2 children live on their own, we might have to expand/adapt that tradition to help them build up their own ornament collection.
We walked around the store a bit more, checked out the rest of their antique car collection and then purchased the ornament and left. We drove into town and hit the laundromat first. While the laundry was washing, I visited a local internet cafe and soon, Chipmunk and I were surfing the web. I was mid-blog when the laundry was due to be switched to dryers so Papa Chip said he'd handle it. (I love that man!) I finished blogging after my friend, Whisper, joined us at the internet spot. We talked and I didn't realize that Papa Chip not only transferred laundry to the dryers but also folded it and bagged it up after they finished drying. Niiiiiice!
From there, we checked out the stores in the strip mall and then checked out the local movie theater. Movies are truly one of Chipmunk's favorite ways to ZERO. The only movie she hadn't seen was "The Butler." While Papa Chip and Chipmunk checked the movie times, I made up some Tuna Fish sandwiches. They returned announcing that the afternoon one started in 6 minutes. Augh! I passed out the sandwiches and we "wolfed 'em" down. We half-ran to the theater, taking our seats just as the previews started rolling. We all enjoyed the movie. It was quite moving and a terrific look at some of the most significant events of our country's history. It was a little bit of "accidental home schooling" and Chipmunk liked it.
We returned to the truck and drove up to the trailhead for an early night of sleep. It started raining on the way up the mountain and by the time we parked, it was hailing. We ran into the camper and all took up some light reading for the remaining evening hours. The storm outside continued to build and hail pummeled the camper roof. The two usual "leaky" spots in the camper roof started to unleash more than usual. Oh boy!
Papa Chip scrambled to put a pot under the leak where the air conditioner once was and I covered our bunk with the repellant wool blanket that usually does a pretty good job of sloughing water off of our bunk. Papa Chip also took some para-cord and wedged it into the crevices and gaps. That helped immediately. For those of you who are thinking, "Why don't you just repair the roof?" We have done some patch jobs on it and they've helped. The major problem is that the structure was jolted during my "no brakes/tree smacking" incident atop McQueen's Gap. The camper needs an "overhaul" but we've decided not to "throw good money after bad" in this case. We've got about a month more of "trail time" and we'll likely "retire" the camper upon our return to Florida. I don't think we would ever sell it; it has way too much sentimental value. We have entertained the thought of storing it and then bringing it to the 2014 Trail Days Festival in Damascus, VA.
We all read until we were tired enough to sleep. We said "good night's" and "I love you's" before we turned out our bunk lights. I drifted in and out of sleep with all the different storm sounds, hoping that the old camper would hold up. It did. Sometimes, I wonder what we'd do if the camper had a true "melt down". Oh well, one more month, right?
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)