Appalachian Trail Journals 07-14-03

Journals From A 2003 Thru-Hike of the Appalachian Trail (by Loony)

Entry #95 – July 14, 2003

9:15 PM – Had a good night’s sleep last night. I was in the tent ASAP to escape the bugs. Fell asleep before 9. That was good, because I woke up at 5:30 and we were able to escape Bake Oven Knob Shelter before 7. Maybe our earliest start yet.

Another rocky day to begin with. After the rocks, we entered the Palmerton SuperFund Site Area. Walked a ridge full of dead trees & not much cover – due to zinc smelting that was shut down probably 20 years ago. Though it’s growing up, the destruction is obvious and a lot of it still needs to be revegetated.

Along this ridge were tons of blueberries – more than I’ve ever seen! Unfortunately we didn’t have any as we were thinking of all the heavy metal contamination warnings. There was even a sign saying that the section of the trail should not be used by children on a daily basis. Also saw a covey of (baby?) grouse.

When we got down into Lehigh Gap, we caught a ride into Palmerton. The Bourough Hall lets hikers stay in the basement for free & use the shower, too. At night now we pretty much have the run of the place, since it’s all locked up to outsiders.

The town is cool – everything is close by – the library, grocery store, restaurants. Had some great ice cream across the street for dessert tonight. Andy has been very hungry lately. Me not as much, but I’ll still eat as much of anything & everything I can, of course.

Found another tiny tick on me while I was at the library, of all places. Had some itchy bites near where I found it, too, so, I’m hoping it’s not serious!

Tomorrow we have a hideous climb up a barren rocky wasteland, it seems. Also, there’s no water for 16 miles. Oh, the joy!