Day 86 Appalachian Trail, VA Miles Hiked to Date: 826 Hiked yesterday: 0 Trail Miles, Miles to Katahdin: 1357
First, thanks to ALL OF YOU who pointed out that I mistakenly typed Chipmunk's screen saver of Jackson was on "his" phone instead of "her" phone ... oops! And, kudos to Papa Chip who caught the history mistake (yep! Luckily, Papa Chip is Chipmunk's history teacher, not me!).
Second, here's a link to a news article that ran in a new online magazine called "Womanscope": http://www.womanscopenewsmagazine.com/discussions/2013/06/20/nevas-hike-girlscope-news-article-written-by-corinne-bishop-asst-editor/
Check out who the writer is!
Third, we heard from Womens Adventure magazine yesterday and they are planning to tell Chipmunk's story in their Fall edition ... I'll keep you posted.
We showed Sheena and Phil the chapel and the museum. Chipmunk wasn't terribly interested in the firearms section but we were, so she found a comfy area to access wifi and touch base with old friends while we checked out all the firearms that were invented and used during battle. We also looked at the black and white photos of cadets receiving their school rings, the beautiful white gowns that were worn by their dates and sadly, photos of former cadets who have lost their lives in recent wars.
After the morning's museum tour, we ate lunch at Macado's, a Virginia based restaurant that has a TGI Friday's decor without the loud atmosphere. Unfortunately, their air conditioning wasn't working but other than that, it was enjoyable. Afterwards, we strolled down the streets as Sheena looked for a nice gift for the lady who was taking care of their home near Toronto. She found a beautiful set of coasters with the Virginia State flower, the white dogwood (at least that's what the clerk told us).
We all had a bunch of hugs before Phil and Sheena drove off towards the great frozen North. Yes, little known fact: Canada has snow year round! Actually, even I can't stand behind that statement! Sheena and Phil told me how my fellow Americans think that. They actually have 4 seasons like ours; however, their winter season is about 1/2 the year and the three remaining seasons split the other 1/2.
Chipmunk and I picked up Nightingale, as we promised, and drove her up to Waynesboro. We enjoyed hearing about her life, pre-trail, while she played with Chocolate Chip. Her own dog is being cared for by her parents and she misses her. We dropped Nightingale at a Waynesboro hotel and then Chipmunk and I decided to take in a movie before driving back to the trailhead where she would re-start her hike. She chose the G-rated "Monsters University", proving again that even though she does "big girl" stuff, she's still a kid. The movie was a great way to let Chipmunk rest her heel (and the rest of her body) and still be entertained.
After the movie, we programmed Evil Vengeful Rosie with the coordinates to the trailhead and headed back down the Blue Ridge Parkway. Again, she guided me to take Campbell's Mountain Road, which looked a bit daunting. I decided to give it a shot, considering the extra amount of time it took to bypass it a few days before. It was steep initially but then it turned into just another winding dirt forest road ... not the worst I'd been on so far. The last two miles of it were paved and had room for 2 vehicles to pass!
We arrived at the trailhead and I was pleased to see only 1 other vehicle in the parking area. I pulled the truck in and in one smooth move, parked it in our camp spot for the evening. Chipmunk walked Chocolate Chip while I fixed dinner. After dinner, Chipmunk pulled out the laptop and set up her new DVD in the player. I was tired and climbed into my bunk. Within minutes, she was giggling and I was drifting off to sleep. I awoke in the night only once when Chocolate Chip tried to jump up to my bunk and missed. She looked at me a little embarrassed and then I helped her up. We slept soundly until about 6 AM when Chipmunk woke and dressed for the trail.
FYI, we are trying to build support and maybe even get some sponsors to help in the expenses of Chipmunk’s quest to become the youngest solo thru hiker to complete the Appalachian Trail. We could use your help. 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 (not left) of today’s blog post. 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 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)