Tonight’s accommodations is an Army cot in a garage for $5. Tomorrow the same. It is Spartan, but at this point better than a tent or a shelter. I am taking a zero in Palmerton, PA, to rest myself mentally and physically, especially my left knee. It aches a lot, and tends to feel very weak and unwilling to support weight toward the end of each day. The hike out of Lehigh Gap is very steep and rocky. I need a respite first. Palmerton actually has a lot of little shops It will be fun to look around. Plus a library. I’m looking forward to sitting down at a library, opening a book, and losing myself for a few hours. It has been a month or more since I’ve done that.
Delaware Water Gap is 37 trail miles away. I will cross over into New Jersey there and leave Pennsylvania behind. You all know how eager I am to do that. Pennsylvania is known as the “Dreamkiller” among Appalachian Trail hikers for a reason – more people have to quit due to injuries here than in any other state because of the rocks. Fortunately, the worst I have had so far has been some scrapes, a slightly bent pole, and a slightly wrenched left knee. *crossing my fingers*
The others staying here tonight have gone to buy groceries; I will do that tomorrow, so I stayed behind. I am enjoying the quiet when I am not in motion, too. It is great to meet a lot of new, interesting people on trail, but sometimes it saps my mental energy when it comes to socializing at night.
If I time things properly, and I think I have, I should be able to attend Mass in or near Wind Gap in Saturday or Sunday… I sincerely hope so. I /need/ to get to Mass. It is hard to time things to be near a town on the weekend, but it was what I had planned originally. Man plans; God laughs.
37 miles out of Delaware Water Gap means I have completed approximately 193 miles in PA, 41 in MD, and .5 in WV. 234.5 all told, not including blue blaze trails, or the extra miles walked to get into Palmerton from the trail today (and btw, I hated crossing over the Lehigh River). That’s more than 1/10 of the trail. Getting there, slowly, but surely… I have decided to stop worrying, and not even try to increase my mileage past 10-12 miles a day until I hit New Jersey. Then we will see.
One month, three days out and counting. Living the dream!