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14-year-old attempts record on the Appalachian Trail

By Dan Dennison
Published On: Jun 10 2013 06:57:12 AM EDT
Updated On: Jun 10 2013 11:47:28 PM EDT
14-year-old attempts record on the Appalachian Trail
CRAIG CO., Va. -

Her name is "Chipmunk", she's 14 and she's out to set a record.

We caught up with this hiking prodigy on the Appalachian Trail in Craig County over the weekend.

And this is a story you'll find only on WDBJ7.com.

Chipmunk is Neva Warren of Florida and she got her trail name because of her chippy cheeks.

On Sunday she took a rest break at the Audie Murphy Memorial on the Appalachian Trail on Brush Mountain. The memorial is near the spot where America's most decorated WWII veteran, turned movie star, died in a plane crash in 1971.

Chipmunk's record attempt is to solo hike the entire 2,100 mile length of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, this summer.

She got the idea after a short hike during a family vacation in Shenandoah National Park.  She told us she trained on a flat, paved, bike trail in Florida, "No hills, nothing.  I could only get up to about 12 miles and (now) the trail has done a lot of training for me and I can do about 20 miles now."

In about a week she'll be about 1/3 of the way to Maine.  She feels she will complete the entire length of the AT and says her adventure has given her the confidence she'll need to tackle college, the workplace, and just about anything else life throws her way as she grows older.

Her mother is following along in a camper and meets her at trailheads, though so far she's spent two, three-day long spans out on the trail without seeing her folks.  Her favorite spot on the AT so far has been Grayson Highlands State Park and its herd of semi-wild ponies.  She said, "The ponies are so cut, they're adorable.  There was a little baby one.  I was so happy."

At the Audie Murphy Memorial other AT hikers asked her about her experience and what is motivating a young lady of just 14 to take on a task that people twice her age find arduous and challenging?  With a smile on her face she answers their questions and then sets off once again, shouldering her 35 pound pack, for points north.

You can continue to follow Chipmunk's progress toward the record books on a blog her mom is writing at www.ridethenation.org.