Day 151 on the Appalachian Trail Miles Hiked to Date: 1651 Hiked yesterday: 10 Trail Miles, 1 access trail mile, Miles left to hike: 532
We dressed and walked into Amy and Wayne's house to find Amy making lattes for us ... Woo Hoo!! Amy and Wayne have some pretty fancy coffee equipment because they once had a coffee shop at a local ski resort. Like many, there business, too, suffered and closed during the last economic fiasco. It amazes me how many Americans paid with their livelihoods while Corporate Conscience ran amuck!
FYI, you'll notice that Amy is wearing gators over her calves and boots. Because of the way she hikes, she gets stones and dirt up into her boots and said the gators solve the problem. Chipmunk doesn't have that issue so she forgoes gators. (I hope that answers your question, Heather ... and thanks for following our crazy adventure.)
Chipmunk and 3 Second Delay headed off for their adventure in the woods and Papa Chip and I headed into town to take care of blogging and re-fueling. The price of diesel for the truck has run the gamut; up here in Vermont, it's hanging around $4-4.15 a gallon. There were sections of New York where I was alarmed to see $4.60 a gallon for diesel ... we call those sections "Are you flipping' nuts?"
While we were in town, I received a few text messages from Chipmunk. She told me that she found a sad message in one of the trail registers. It was written by Hail Satan and indicated that he was ending his A.T. hike here in Vermont. It didn't give any detailed explanation and I was saddened to see another hiker leave the trail. Recently, Joe Cool left the trail and I was especially saddened to see her go. She was a strong hiker and often hiked with Snacks, declaring almost daily that she just couldn't go any further (as many hikers do). Snacks always laughed it off and told me that she'd been saying that for the last thousand miles. He said he didn't mind if she said it, smiling as he said, "In fact, I'll be glad to listen to her say that all the way to Katahdin." Sadly for Snacks and the rest of us, Joe Cool has finished hiking the A.T. for this year but said that she isn't finished with the A.T. altogether. We'll miss you, Joe Cool! We hope to take your signature on the Chip Mobile all the way to Maine with us and toast all the miles you put in on the A.T. together with us.
Chipmunk hiked the full ten miles, taking her time over the muddy sections. She kept us posted as to her location and time and we headed to the meet up spot a little early since it was along a US Forest Service Road. We found it easily enough, parked and waited for her. Along the way, we saw a lot of the damage that Hurricane Irene had wrought on the area. There were tons of dead and uprooted trees that were washed down through towns to the stream areas. It was eery to see how such mighty trees were tossed about by the forces of nature.
Soon, we heard the familiar call from the woods. It was Chipmunk and hen she arrived, she looked good ... just a little soggy from the day's weather. She shed her pack and poles, scooped up Chocolate Chip and headed for the front seat of the truck.
We arrived post haste and found that Amy and Wayne made a dinner that included the left over pork and chicken, removed from the bones, the left over butternut squash made into a yummy side dish and the left over peppers and cheese combined in the mac and cheese ... soooooooo good!
Papa Chip and Brother Chip like snowboarding. Editor and I have tried it but prefer skiing. In fact, the last time I tried it, I declared that I would not "continue to spend good money to kick my own a$$ down the mountain over and over again!" Apparently, Amy is much more gifted at snowboarding than I will ever be. Go, Amy!
As we sat around the fire, we heard something fall rather loudly from the large tree that bordered their driveway. We all looked at each other and then Wayne started walking towards the sound of it. We all followed, staying far enough back to be able to run if the mysterious thud came from a person eating animal. With Wayne safely out front as prey, we made our way towards the sound ... only to find it was a large branch that broke free. Wayne, in true military fashion, picked it up, looked it over and said, "Cool. More firewood." We laughed and returned to the chiminea. Soon, it was time to hit the sack and we spent another night in Amy's driveway. Amy had to work the next day so we told her we'd quietly drive out in the morning and catch up with her some time over the weekend. We thanked them again for a terrific evening and headed off to sleep.
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 corner of today’s blog post. 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)