Day 74 Appalachian Trail, VA Miles Hiked to Date: 724 Hiked yesterday: 1.5 Trail Miles Miles to Katahdin: 1460.2
First, Hello to Ashley! Thanks for the supportive comment! Chipmunk and I have been enjoying your town and have met some really kind people here. I'll be sure to share your comments with Chipmunk this evening.
Second, Thank you, Sheena for the email this morning; it's always good to hear from you. Yes, we have heard that there is severe weather coming later today and we structured her hike accordingly ... All that said, I hope that the models are close to correct and she is off the trail before the storm starts.
She seldom complains so when she does, I listen and take it seriously. I asked her if she felt well enough to hike and she said, "I think so. I mean I'd much rather rest today but I don't want to screw up my average. I want to make it to Katahdin before the snow storms close the park." I told her to call and/or text me updates. I hugged and kissed her and watched her leave the trailhead. I walked back to the truck and waited for a short time, thinking she might turn around and come back. She didn't.
However, about an hour later, she called and said, "I don't know what to do. I'm exhausted and my arms and shoulders are so fatigued." I told her that she didn't have to hike; that if she took this day off, it wasn't a problem. I also reminded her that one extra Zero spread out over the next few months would only affect her average by a 1/4 mile or so. She thought about it and then asked if I could pick her up at the next road crossing. I did.
She looked more tired than when I left her this morning and I was genuinely glad she decided to call off the day's hike. After she shed her pack and removed her boots, I told her I had a good idea of how to recover easily and yet still have a fun day. I asked her if she'd like to do a movie marathon day. Her eyes lit up and she nodded.
While I drove, she texted her dad and let him know that she was taking the day off. He, too, was supportive and wished her a fun and relaxing Zero day. We arrived at the theater and experienced one of the most awesome benefits of going to the early, early shows on a weekday: AN EMPTY THEATER! It felt like we were having a private screening! We watched a comedy and laughed until our belly muscles hurt.
If you’d like to send Chipmunk words of encouragement or birthday wishes (her birthday is mid-June), feel free to leave a comment here or email me directly.
If you enjoy reading the stFeel free to forward our website link (or email updates) to your family, friends, co-workers, etc, (www.ridethenation.org). 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. 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 of today’s blog post.
Thanks again for all your support,
Mama Chip, Papa Chip, Chipmunk and her dog, Chocolate Chip
(Tammy, Jay, Neva and Coco)