Lehigh Gap

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July 21, 1983 Thursday (925.6 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

We 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.

Although 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.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

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