Day 99 Appalachian Trail, VA Miles Hiked to Date: 997 Hiked yesterday: 7 Trail Miles, Miles to Katahdin: 1186
First, to Todd M., thanks for your generous donation. Chipmunk and I admire what you are doing with youth in your STEEP Hiking Camp and we are glad to hear that Chipmunk inspired them during their encounter the other day. We hope they, too, find magic in hiking.
Second, to Chrissy … thanks for your message and for following our crazy adventure. Since you work with Mike, you know he’s a sweetheart of a guy; even on vacation, he took time out to make Chipmunk’s and my daily life “cooler”.
Third, to David, thanks for your message of concern. Chipmunk is ever aware of the pressure to finish this hike before Baxter State Park closes the trail up to Katahdin. We knew from the beginning that she (and all the hikers) face a limited amount of time to complete their thru hikes in the 6-7 months of viable hiking season. We truly hope she makes it and if need be, we will explore contingency plans as we near the end of September.
We talked for a while after dinner and Chipmunk reluctantly went to bed by 9 pm so she’d be ready to hike the next morning. Mike, El and I talked until around 11 pm and it felt good to converse with old friends. We talked until my voice was shot. So often, I meet and talk to new friends during the day and the conversations never have the depth of talking with old trusted friends. I needed some honest advice and they both shared their thoughts freely with me about the road (er, trail) ahead.
I really didn’t want the evening to end, knowing that Mike and El would be leaving in the morning to resume their vacation. I told them that we planned on leaving for the trail around 6:30 AM and they insisted that I wake them so they can see us off. I thanked them for another great dinner together; so nice not to eat a pasta-based meal! I climbed into the camper and found Chipmunk sound asleep with the fan keeping her cool. Chocolate Chip also found a spot near the fan and barely lifted her head when I walked into the camper. The PWTTC definitely is more livable thanks to Mike and El!
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)