Day 158 on the Appalachian Trail Miles Hiked to Date: 1742 Hiked yesterday: 17 Trail Miles, Miles left to hike: 442
First, to Aunt Carol ... I DIDN'T SAY I WAS BACK ON THE BEN & JERRY'S TRAIN. Personally, I don't recall meeting any ice cream I didn't like. I'd give Haagen Dazs a try for sure! (and thanks for the correct spelling; I don't know how to get the dots above the letter like you did.)
Second, to Tom K., we like you, too! It is refreshing to read your irreverent and so "on the money" facebook postings. I see that you are now friends with Rosie S. ... you're gonna love her! She's so much fun.
She headed off, hollering back, "Love you." We watched her walk through the field until we could see her no more and then we stood hugging for a little bit before we returned to the Chip Mobile.
Since Chipmunk had targeted arriving in Norwich, VT by day's end, we pointed the truck in that direction and drove towards a McDonald's in a nearby town. We ordered coffee and plugged into the wall outlet for blogging and online bill paying. Once the stores opened around 10 AM, we called the nearby Eastern Mountain Sports to see if they had gotten the Fall issue of Womens Adventure magazine yet. They had not. Papa Chip and I are dying to see the print version of Chipmunk's interview. We hope to buy a few copies and keep them nice for her and our memory boxes.
We paused at this commemorative plaque and thanked Captain Alden Partridge for "conducting topographical surveys before there were any marked trails to follow." Sir, you are an inspiration!
Although it was warm and sunny, the pole looked like it would be cozy warm when winter hit with all of the hand knitted scarves that were sewn together to form a sleeve, covering nearly the entire light pole. It was charming whimsical stuff and it made me smile. I love Vermonters!
We walked through a few crosswalks where cars were eager to stop for the pedestrians That was nice and comforting since Chipmunk would walk the same roadway as she ventures from Vermont into New Hampshire. While crossing the bridge, we found the actual Vermont/New Hampshire borderline. It hit us hard! Wow! Chipmunk is practically to New Hampshire! And after NH, there's only one more state she has to walk thru before completing the trail. I got a bit emotional.
Both of us are most unnerved by the times when the Appalachian Trail comes thru towns. Although most every town has been friendly and receptive to hikers, Chipmunk comes in contact with so many more non-hikers and it is then that we most worry about her. We both feel that the trail is where she is the safest.
I rested after such a strenuous sprint and we strolled hand in hand back to Norwich. Both of us were "antsy" when we reached the camper so we decided to drive down the road that Chipmunk would be walking as she entered town.
To our surprise, Chipmunk was on the side of the road enjoying trail magic that was left in Rubbermaid bins at the end of a driveway. We pulled over to see if she was OK and she came up to the truck, eating a cookie and smiling. She looked great for having hiked all the miles she had so far. She told us that she felt pretty good and decided that she'd hike on into Hanover... NEW HAMPSHIRE! WHAAAAAT? We didn't expect her to hike into New Hampshire until the next day! This was fabulous news!
We spotted her as she approached the intersection and again, I got emotional. I still can't believe she has walked all the way from Georgia to New Hampshire! We watched as she chatted with a few people while she waited for her time to cross the intersection. I snapped this quick pic as she walked up to us. Her temporary poles were sticking up in her pack and she walked up and hugged us both.
She asked if there was wifi nearby and if we were planning to do anything. We asked what she had in mind and she said that she noticed there was a movie theater right along the way and was wondering what was playing.
Since she had put in a strong milage day, we thought it would be a good idea to reward her. I knew I was tired and would likely fall asleep at the movie so it would be a waste of money to buy a ticket for me. I suggested that she and Papa Chip see the movie while Chocolate Chip and I snuggled in the camper. We all agreed to eat a quick dinner of Ramen Noodles blended with a hearty, chunky can of soup before they headed back to the theater.
I straightened up the kitchen while they were gone, caught up on emails and facebook and fell asleep with Chocolate Chip at my side before they returned. Chipmunk climbed in the back and changed for bed while Papa Chip drove us to our (recommended by the local police) camp spot for the evening.
It had been a very good day. Way to go, Chipmunk!
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)