Day 79 Appalachian Trail, VA Miles Hiked to Date: 764 Hiked yesterday: 14 Trail Miles Miles to Katahdin: 1419
First, Hello to Audrey and Rosie! Thank you both for your messages. It's good to know that friends can have a healthy debate over something, have differing points of view and still be friends. It's also great to have both of you following our story.
Second, Hello to my new followers, David and Al of Canada. It was great meeting you both and I'm sure you are going to love the Tail of the Dragon roadway. FYI, if you ever tire of riding those hogs, I'll trade you a '93 Dodge Ram with a Cummins turbo diesel engine and a fine po' white trash truck camper! It's been tried and true ... and has survived Tail of the Dragon! Happy trails, guys!
Although they hadn't all earned their trail names yet, they wanted to sign the truck camper and enjoyed talking with Chipmunk. One of the 5 accidentally cut his thumb just before leaving and we helped him out with antibacterial treated band aids and some duct tape (great for keeping pressure on wounds). Have a great hike!
FYI, many a hiker LOVES the Paramount Fit Foods packs, including the fellows blogging at: http://thru-at.com, a site well worth the visit.
After hiking, Mama Goose offered to treat us to dinner in town if we'd be willing to give her a ride since she needed to do a little re-supply. We gladly embraced the opportunity and found a local family owned place called "Good Times". Allison, the waitress, took great care of us while Chipmunk cracked up at Mama Goose's Copperhead snake video. YES, THERE ARE SNAKES ON THE TRAIL. Mama Goose and a few other hikers had some hilarious antics as they attempted to scare the snake off the trail ... she posted it to facebook and got tons of funny replies. Chipmunk cracked up watching it. (Before anyone sends me messages about "snakes should be taken seriously" ... I KNOW. If you watched the video, you'd see that the snake was quite small and the antics quite large!)
Speaking of snakes, I had a "funny" exchange with a clerk at one of the visitor center stores recently. I stopped in to pick up a map so I could cross reference the info to my A.T. Guide. The clerk tried to push local hotel coupons and restaurant info on me but I said that I was camping and following a hiker on the trail. Her eyes grew big and she said, "You're not the mother of that 12 year old girl on the trail, are you?" I said, "No. My daughter is 15." She said, "the one that was on the news a few nights ago?" I said, "Yes." And she said (I swear), "No, I went to the website. She's 12." Considering I just said it was my daughter and she was 15, I figured there was no point in correcting her; her mind was made up ... Chipmunk is TWELVE!
She said, "I can't believe you are making her do this." I said, "Well, actually, I'm not making her do this. I'm assisting her as she pursues an adventure she dreamed up." She said, "Do you know there are bears out there? And there are snakes!" I told her I (and my daughter) were well aware of the bears, snakes, spiders, etc. Then she said, "Oh my god! My daughter just got bitten by a Copperhead Snake! She had to be rushed to the hospital." I said, "Oh my, that's terrible. Where on the trail was she?" She said, "No. She wasn't on the trail. She was gardening in her yard."
Not wanting to be disrespectful, I didn't point out that her daughter (an adult) was bitten in her OWN YARD, not out in big beautiful NATURE. I nodded, thanked her for the map and left as I heard her start ranting (with incorrect facts about my daughter's hike) to the new person who just ventured in to ask where the restroom was. I joined Chocolate Chip in the truck, glad to be headed back into the feared land of the great outdoors.
Here's a quote my friend, Rosie, sent ... and I like it:
"A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles"
So very true, Rosie! Thanks!
If you enjoy reading the story of Chipmunk's hike, 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 and Papa Chip and I tweet (@ridethenation) 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’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)