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Friday–July 16, 2021
Location–PA-248, Lehigh Water Gap, Palmerton, then to Blue Mountain Dome Hostel, John Mechanical Man & Linda Crayon Lady Stempa, Kunkletown, AT Mile 1,260.1
Coffee is ready at six, breakfast on the patio at six-thirty–tank-stoking blueberry pancakes with high-octane syrup. Great way to start the day!
My stay with Blue Mountain Girl at the Shanty at Blue Mountain was memorable. First class B&B/hostel, just a great stay. Thank you Blue Mountain Girl!
Redbeard loads me and St. Paul and hauls us back up the mountain and we’re out and hiking before eight. Redbeard has come a great distance to support me, again. Thanks, Redbeard, for your continued generosity and kindness.
Another fine hiking day in the making. St. Paul will be hiking with me today. We’ll be helping each other through what is considered one of the five most difficult sections anywhere along the AT. We’re soon introduced to trail conditions that qualify it as such–boulders heaped up, some places boulders heaped upon boulders–Bears Rocks, Knife Edge, and Bake Oven Knob. Progress is incredibly slow and treacherous. I manage to fall twice, hitting my head, then smacking my right shoulder.
Lehigh Gap is a very busy crossing. Backed up traffic on the bridge. Mechanical Man picks us up at trailhead parking on the other side. He’s brought Emily Kress, reporter with Blue Ridge TV-13. A thunderstorm is moving in, so the interview doesn’t take long.
It’s been a grueling day. John takes St. Paul and me by the little family run deli in Kunkletown where I reward myself with a burger, fries, and chocolate milkshake.
A soothing shower and this day’s a done deal…
Challenge and adversity are meant to help you know who you are.
Storms hit your weakness, but unlock your true strength.
(Roy T. Bennett)
Sunny, you are wise, strong, and kind. The rocks of Pennsylvania are softened by the touch of your steps. Of your many journeys, I suspect you will be proudest of this one. And that is why I know you will succeed. I am proud of you and honored by every moment of your company. Oh, and just a reminder, there’s a rock or two north of Pennsylvania…We don’t have all of ’em. Love and peace, Redbeard.