Day 87 Appalachian Trail, VA Miles Hiked to Date: 842 Hiked yesterday: 16 Trail Miles, Miles to Katahdin: 1342
Chipmunk got an early start and we had a "tiered" plan for her hike day. Since she's been having some heel pain, we decided that I'd meet her midday at a gap along the planned hike and together assess if she could do the miles she had planned. She had a 3000 mile ascent to start the day over a 7 mile stretch.
She rejoined the trail where she left off and I watched until I could see her no more. Chocolate Chip and I climbed into the cab and headed towards town. We had a nice long wait, WITH A VIEW!, as the road crew worked on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Once traffic rolled, I checked to be sure I could make it into the first planned meet up spot. Then I continued on into town and settled in at a McDonald's with a cup of coffee for my online work.
My phone dinged about an hour later. It was Chipmunk. She had a signal near the top of one of the uphill sections and texted me an update with her location and time. She said it was getting hotter as she climbed upward and she was looking forward to a cold Dr. Pepper when she met up with me.
I wrapped up the blog and as I was putting the laptop away, I caught a little of the news on the overhead T.V. It only held my attention for a few moments and I had a wave of tension come over me. I realized that without T.V. on a daily basis, I just don't worry about what's going on in the world. It's much more peaceful. I used to be a real news junkie and now I find myself tuning the radio to a different station if it's broadcasting anything but good music. I guess this adventure is changing me, too, in small ways.
I drove up to the gap and paused before parking. I searched for a shady area but there was none to be had. I apologized to Chocolate Chip, opened the pass thru window so she could relax in the cool ventilated and self shaded camper. After turning off the truck, it was only a few minutes before the cab heated up so much that I joined her in the camper. (FYI, I used the back door since I figure I'd get wedged in the pass thru window ... smart thinking, huh?)
While she drank a cold soda, we talked about how her body was feeling. She said everything was feeling alright; that she was just hot. She said she was drinking a good amount of water and that the trail was mostly shaded so she thought she could do the next part of her planned hike day. Once she was rested, she pulled her pack on, kissed Chocolate Chip and me good bye and rejoined the trail. I drove to the second meet up spot after taking in a few more views along the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway.
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 (not 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 . 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)