Day 61 Burke's Garden, VA Miles Hiked to Date: 586.9 Hiked Yesterday: 17 Miles to Katahdin: 1613
Second, Congrats to Sydney who got her cast removed and should be out "raising hell" at a bmx track, soccer field or playground near you soon!
While she changed out of hiking clothes and into PJ's, I ran 2 plates of mac 'n cheese with broccoli out to Dutch and Pound Puppy, who had built a really nice campfire. They thanked me and dug in. Chipmunk also gobbled up the macaroni and cheese with broccoli and then said, she really needed a foot rub. I squeezed some creamy petroleum lotion into my hands and gave both feet a good rub. I tried to crack her toes as she requested but my hands were too slippery. She said they got a little cramped during the long climb and she was dying to crack them.
Chipmunk and Chocolate Chip climbed into her bunk and were out before I even finished cleaning up the kitchen. I, too, fell asleep quickly but woke up fast around 5 AM when it sounded like someone was trying to open the back door of the camper. I froze and hoped that the lock would hold. Again, there was more rattling of both the door and the ladder rack next to it. I thought at first that a local was trying to break in or steal my bike off the ladder rack. I deepened my voice and said, "Yo! What do you want?" When I got no response, I launched myself from the top bunk to the floor, purposely landing loudly, in hopes that whoever was out there would perceive there was a big guy on the inside who they didn't want to mess with. As soon as my feet hit the floor, I realized how stupid it was for a 200+ pound 49 year old woman to go from a prone sleeping position to a Spiderman move! Pain shot up my right heel. Then my left knee started pulsating and making weird cracking noises. I ignored the pain and hobbled over to the kitchen window where I peeped out through the slit where the curtains meet. OH MY GOD! It wasn't a local ... or rather it was. It was a local bear! It was bigger than the one from the night before and was now about 25 feet from the camper. It was walking away from the camper and the tents and I watched until I couldn't see it any more.
Chipmunk asked, "What's going on?" I told her that the door rattling was a bear. She said, "Oh. Going back to sleep." I couldn't sleep so I laid in bed looking at Facebook, email, etc. I was stunned that I had a signal at the top of this crazy mountain. So, AT&T ... when I turn on my phone and it says "Re-Think Possible", does it mean that I should think it's possible to get a signal unless I climb a crazy mountain road and risk my life with bears?? Eventually, I made Chipmunk some "goat"meal and she pulled her hiking clothes on. She checked the A.T. Guide and decided to hike 15 miles today into the town of Bland and meet me at the Route 52 entrance to the trail. There are no coordinates for this pickup spot nor any parking so, hopefully, this will work out. Bland looks like a town that's so small they may not have a Laundromat ... But, they do have a library that allowed me to download pics for my blog! Small Victories are celebrated every day in my world.