AT Miles 21.4 / 1268.0
Other Miles = 0.4 / 44.2
Total Miles = 21.8 / 1312.2
I was up early and out this morning, as I knew the climb up Blue Mountain after Lehigh Gap -- the Palmerton Superfund Site -- would be tough, and exposed to the weather. If it was sunny, it would be hot and sweaty work, and if it were wet or there was a lightning storm, I would be exposed. The forecast called for a 50% chance of thunderstorms today, but as it turned out the morning was sunny and I was glad to be climbing the ridge in the cooler early morning.
A few hours into the day's hike I ran into Red Leg on the trail. We talked for a bit and I mentioned to him that I was trying to figure a way to get some miles past the Leroy Smith Shelter today and get closer to Delaware Water Gap, even though there is no water shown on the map or in the book. Looking at the book I saw that a bit less than 5 miles past the shelter we would come to Wind Gap, with the town of Wind Gap a mile to the east. Red Legs and I both decided to come into town and get a room here at the Travel Inn. We hiked together most of the day.
Red Leg told me that he saw Sir Richard in Palmerton last night. That's strange, as I know Sir Richard planned to be in DWG tonight and should have been quite a ways ahead of me, but instead he ended up behind me today. I wonder if maybe he is having problems with shin splints again.
I stopped at the last shelter before town for a break this afternoon, and was surprised to find MD3 (three young women from Maryland) there with a few other hikers, cooking up a big pot of pasta. I think the last time I saw MD3 was 5 or 6 weeks ago. It's strange how that kind of thing happens on the trail.
So, I hiked 21+ miles today instead of 16, and that leaves me with less than 16 miles to get to DWG tomorrow. That should make all the difference in the world. If I can manage to get a hitch back up to the trail in the morning (I ended up walking about 3 miles to the motel this afternoon), I should be able to get into DWG in midafternoon, leaving me time to get a few things I need at the outfitter, get to the post office to get my packages before it closes at 4:30, maybe stop by the diner for a bite to eat, and walk across the bridge into New Jersey to meet Paul. Paul, I will turn my phone on as I get near DWG, so feel free to call if you are wondering where I am.
"Home is where I hang my food bag"