7/24 Stealth Camping outside Palmerton (7)

July 28, 2013 at 3:08 pm

We had a gloriously slow morning today. Between the good company (and breakfast) in Scranton and the comforts of civilization in Palmerton, we took our time getting to the dreaded climb out of Palmerton. We had heard enough from the locals about it to adequately forestall our ascent up the steep rocks lugging a full resupply and four liters of water each. The prospect of hiking through a superfund, in general, does not usually appeal to nature minded people; It is hard to picture an area that has been devastated by zinc smelting and pollution to be aesthetically pleasing. We ate as long as possible in town, adding to the total weight we would be lugging up the mountainside:

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But then something fantastic happened and we ran into LadyMac and Flicka! After over a month of following on their heels, we have finally caught up!

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We also found Limey lurking around the diner and roped him in to our climbing party. Prepared as we would ever be, we started our day well into the afternoon.

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We decided to ignore the conflicting signs…

…And the obvious warnings… And we forged onward:

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We were prepared for steep rocks, exposed ridges, and no water, but what we were not prepared for was for Pennsylvania to be absolutely beautiful.

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We can put our feet in our mouths and stop complaining. The climb out of Palmerton was by far the best part of PA, and actually a big highlight of the AT overall. We walked for five miles along a beautiful, smooth, mostly rockless ridgeline surrounded by wildflowers and delicious berries.

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We took our time, enjoyed the views, and made our peace with Pennsylvania up on the ridge that had been deforested for zinc smelting.

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We took breaks frequently to snack and set up camp as the sun was setting. We talked into the night and fell asleep feeling very revitalized and finally excited again to be hiking.

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