21, 1983 Thursday (925.6 mtg) From
Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal
all woke again at 4:30 am, and I hiked off with Marcel and Paul
Nichols. The trail dropped 500 feet in just over a half of a
mile on it's way down to the Lehigh River running in the valley
below. We followed the path as it made a huge hairpin turn to bring
us into position for access to the bridge that crossed the River.
the ascent was steep, I had expected worse, and the only really
tough part came just as we began to join the crest. The trail became
rough and nothing but rock. Apparently the zinc industry located
below in the valley had produced so much toxic pollution that the
vegetation of the area had been killed off, leaving just a pile
of rocks. Not just rocks, but BIG ROCKS. The reward came
as we were treated to a great view into the valley. As if the real
trail was not tough enough, I decided to do a little bouldering
along the side of the trail to make the final ascent a little more
of a challenge.
The trail leveled out on the crest and followed along a jeep path
for several miles over a burned out area. Except for the initial
descent and ascent in Lehigh Gap, I hiked along the crest of Blue
Mountain for sixteen miles before reaching Leroy Smith Shelter,
where I took a siesta before moving on to Wind Gap. The trail along
the ridge was mostly level (but with rocks of course) except for
the dip at Little Gap.
At Wind Gap, the trail crossed PA 33 near a Motel. While we were
hanging around the Motel, we became aware of the darkening of the
sky, so I, Marcel and Pete decided to take a room for $22 total
between us. Got a nice shower and were able to stay out of the rain
that fell later. The next shelter was still almost nine miles farther
and I had already traveled twenty-one miles. I think that is enough.
Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983