Day 178 on the Appalachian Trail Miles Hiked to Date: 1910 Hiked yesterday: 8 Trail Miles, Miles left to hike: 274
First, to Star C., thanks for your generous donation. When I told Chipmunk, she said, "Ahh, Miss Star! Tell her I said Hi and that she was the funnest teacher I ever had (and no offense to mom)".
Second, to Rosie S., thanks for understanding and supporting us in this adventure. I so admire that you initially found us after reading all the negative filled blogs about us ... and then thought for yourself, instead of jumping on the "mommy blogger" bandwagon. Thank you, Thank you for coming along for the ride (er ... hike) with us!
I remember being a bit scared to do some things when I was a kid. After a close call health wise when Chipmunk was a toddler, I vowed to say "yes" to more fun stuff; to overcome my fears and get that "butterflies in my belly" feeling more often. In 2011, I got the opportunity to go on the BIGGEST WATER SLIDE ever at Ohio Dreams Extreme Sports Camp. Although it was scary, it was soooooo fun! If you want to see 200+ lbs of belly butterflies and quivering fear fly through the air, check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HvZ7IT-0T8 Until there really is a time machine, I'm going to keep saying yes to exciting opportunities to feel alive!
While we were out, we stopped at the local post office and found out there were no packages for us. We also stopped at the laundromat and caught up on laundry. We drove to a local thrift store and I found a few inexpensive items like an extra blanket for the camper for only $1.00 ... and it was free of stains, rips, etc. Sweet! Doing all of this did keep me distracted for a while. Eventually, we drove to the library and went online to check Chipmunk's progress. It was 5:30 in the evening and we could see that she was practically through the Mahoosuc Notch.
We were somewhat relieved. We've heard of quite a few injuries on the trail lately. A few days ago, a section hiker was hiking near Chipmunk, Uke and Siren and fell about 15 feet. He broke his glasses and got a bit banged up but luckily, didn't break any bones. Before that, we heard about another section hiker who fell a substantial distance on Mount Madison and broke both legs and one arm. Little Bear's hiking dog, "Riner", also got hurt recently as he and his fellow hiker came out of the Whites. Riner is currently recovering at a kennel. We have been so fortunate that Chipmunk has remained injury free for the most part.
We drove to our camp spot after the library closed at 6 pm. We fixed and ate dinner. Then, we watched another Redbox movie, "The Avengers". After we received Chipmunk's "check in/ok" message from her SPOT device, I dozed off early. It was comforting to think that she had hiked through the toughest section of the AT with hiking partners and that she reached her camp spot for the night.
The Mahoosuc Notch requires hikers to remove their packs and negotiate over, under and through a jumble of boulders. According to other hikers, when "Black Squatch" was hiking this area, one of his poles got caught in a tight crevasse. When he leapt ahead to the next boulder while still holding his pole tight in his hand, it pulled a muscle in his shoulder. The resulting injury made it extremely painful to carry his backpack. Other hikers helped get him and his belongings back to town.
A short while later, we heard from Chipmunk. We were shocked to hear that she ended up hiking Mahoosuc Notch totally alone. Although she had spent the night before with other hikers, and she confirmed that one of them planned to hike together with her, she said that he chose to sleep in a while longer. She said she figured he'd catch up to her since she's a slower hiker than he is. She stopped and waited a few times and then decided it was better to tackle the Notch alone than to risk waiting too long and being "caught" in the Notch with nowhere to camp when it got dark. She said the Notch was difficult but also a little fun.
I asked her what time the other hikers showed up at the campsite. She said, "They didn't show up. I hiked Mahoosuc Notch alone, got to the Bull Branch campsite right along the trail and set up camp. When it got dark, I was so tired, I fell right asleep. When I woke in the morning, there was no sign of them. I think I would have woke up if they came through." She sounded pretty good for having done what she'd done on her own. She ended the call by saying she loved us and was looking forward to seeing us at the road crossing.
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)