This morning I got back to the trail by 10am, was momentarily distracted by trail magic soda near the parking lot, then got started up the slope of Blue Mountain. It is the location of the Palmerton Zinc Superfund Site so I was interested to see what it would look like. There was a lot more foliage than expected but it’s not natural stuff so they are working on reforestation.
There was a very steep and rocky one mile climb up from the road that involved a lot of scrambling and took me 45 minutes. Once I popped over the top of the mountain, it was then a scramble across, eventually making it back to actual trail. The AT is set on a long term detour right now due to the superfund but once up, it was relatively easy trail. There were so many raspberry bushes along it, but I finally was able to resist, due again to the superfund. They were all full of ripe berries too, telling me that other hikers also skipped eating them.
Today was incredibly dry, with the few springs being way off trail, and some of them dried up. I packed out extra water from town, which made the rock scramble extra fun with the added weight. I still rationed my water throughout the day though, hoping to fill up at a shelter I’d hit later, although I never could find the spring there. I decided to stop wasting my time looking for it and just head for town before dark.
After 20.3 miles, I made it into Wind Gap. There is a bar here called the Beer Stein that lets hikers camp for free and in the morning, the owner opens it up for us to go in and cook anything we want for breakfast. I found some friends already here, had dinner and hung out a while, and finally set up for bed. It’s going to be a chilly night again.