Day 73 Daleville/Troutville, VA Miles Hiked to Date: 722.5 Hiked yesterday: 20 Trail Miles Miles to Katahdin: 1461.7
First, Thanks to Whisper for hanging out with me and being a “Barbie” for me!
Second, to Uke’s mom and Talker’s mom and the other hiker moms who have supported my daughter’s adventure … thank you! I am so proud of my child and all the hikers who have become my family, too.
Third, to our new readers who have expressed “concerns”, thank you, as well. I truly believe in my and your right to the freedom of speech. I realize that my family and I have made unorthodox decisions and have taken risks that other families may not be comfortable with … and I’m O.K. with that. We live our lives in a way that’s right for us; and figure that everyone else has the same right.
After taking my luxurious hot shower and blow drying my hair (a real treat!), I headed to the nearest library to post the blog. Like most of the other patrons there, I plugged in my laptop and phone charger and started typing. As I did, my phone whistled, beeped and vibrated, letting me know there were emails, texts and facebook messages waiting for me.
When I told her I was looking for a dress for Chipmunk to wear on her birthday, she offered to try some on so I could see how they looked. Since they both wear the same size, I was able to get a good idea of how it would look. She also found a couple dresses she liked and asked my opinion. It was a laid back “girlfriends afternoon out”. While we shopped, we ran into “Rain Apple”, who I met earlier at the firehouse; I introduced them.
Whisper invited me back to her hotel room to hang out until I could see that Chipmunk was closing in on the trailhead via her SPOT GPS Satellite device. The T.V. was on and I realized I hadn’t seen television in months. I’d like to say it didn’t capture my attention but it did. Wheel of Fortune was on and we laughed that Vanna White still has to “touch” the letters even though it’s a completely automated system now. We also watched some Jeopardy and I was impressed that Whisper knew the answers to practically every question. It made me miss Papa Chip who also seems to know a lot of obscure facts … “he’s a genius”. That’s a phrase many of our old staff from our event business would use when talking about him, especially when he solved mundane problems with a common sense approach.
We turned out the lights and said good night at 11:15 PM. I swear to you that I heard light snoring by 11:17 PM. I awoke around 6 AM and quietly laid in bed while she and Chocolate Chip snuggled. At 6:30 AM, the alarm went off and she started dressing for hiking. She asked if I would make her some Sturdiwheat pancakes and I told her that we had run out of the packets. She waited a minute and then asked if she could use some of her “Chipmunk Bucks” for a breakfast out; anywhere that had Chocolate Chip pancakes on the menu.
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.
FYI, we are trying to build support and maybe even get some sponsors to help in the expenses of Chipmunk’s quest to become the youngest solo thru hiker to complete the Appalachian Trail. We could use your help. 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. Feel 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.
Thanks again for all your support,
Mama Chip, Papa Chip, Chipmunk and her dog, Chocolate Chip
(Tammy, Jay, Neva and Coco)