Day 63 & 64 Appalachian Trail, VA Miles Hiked to Date: 605.5 Hiked last 2 days: 19 Miles to Katahdin: 1578.7
This posting will be brief because the library computer and I are not getting along ... UGH!
Chipmunk came into Bland, VA and was pretty tired. We spent the night in the nearby Kangaroo truck stop and then she returned to the trail the next morning. About an hour after she left me, she texted me that she couldn't find the trail. I had heard from a few southbound hikers that the trail is hard to track from the roadway at Route 52 to the path into the woods about 2 miles away. I texted Chipmunk and said I'd try to find her and see if I could help her sort it out.
I crossed a bridge that she texted me about and thought that I would see her there. I didn't. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something waving to me from about a 1/2 mile away. I turned down that road and there was Chipmunk. She was proud that she had found her way on her own but she told me that she already felt exhausted. We talked and decided that she'd shorten her miles that day to 9.5 and meet me at VA 611. About an hour after that, it started raining like mad. I drove up to 611 and waited for her. When she finally came in, she was tired, wet and hungry. We had decided to camp up at that gap so I made her a hot plate of spaghetti while she changed. She ate and fell dead asleep until around 6pm, when she woke, ate and again fell asleep.
The next morning, she woke and dressed and we decided she would do 10 miles and meet me at Trent's Grocery. She left with her pack and I turned the truck around and eased it down the mountain road. Although the back brakes on the truck are great (since having been replaced), the front brakes have started screeching and grinding and I'm finding it harder to bring it to a dead stop, especially downhill. I'm planning to take it to a mechanic in Pearisburg this week.
Chipmunk arrived earlier than I expected
This morning, Chipmunk got up feeling a little sore but well rested. She is hiking to Sugar Run Gap today where we plan to meet our friends, Spicy Jesus and Mayor, who are joining us for a relaxing evening at Woods Hole Hostel. They're bringing their tent and camping out; we're camper-ing.
Thanks for the suggestions for Chipmunk's upcoming 15th birthday; keep 'em coming. If the budget works out, I'd love to give her a hotel night and a zero day, maybe a trip to the movies. It all depends on where she is on the trail and if there is a town nearby.
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 left 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 and she can receive personal messages directly to her email: firstname.lastname@example.org. She or we (email@example.com) 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)