The legends of Rocksylvannia unfortunately proved to be true. The first hundred miles or so wasn’t too bad, but it got progressively worse. The trail began nice, be slowly turned into miles of small pointy rocks, which I am fairly certain must have been dug up and buried point-side-up, and large boulder fields to slowly stumble across. In spite of the rocks, PA was pretty great off the trail. Towns were many and frequent, so I didn’t have to haul tons of food, instead I had to carry lots of extra water because the springs were often dry. The people were great with many nice locals putting up hikers and showing us a good time.
The craziest part was definitely the climb out of Palmerton, PA at Lehigh Gap. I had heard it was a tough climb, but in no way expected it. I waited out several heavy storms in Palmerton with Irish, Wicked and Azalon and headed out to tackle it about 10pm to avoid the heat. Instead of just steep switchbacks, it turned out to be a rock climb. These are not fun with a big pack on at any time of day, especially not at night. At least we couldn’t see where we were going to fall down to. At times, the blazes would be several feet over my head on a pretty shear rock with no obvious way up. I’d have to take off my pack, and toss it along with my hiking poles up, and then climb, hand over hand after them, while a heavy fog set in in the darkness. Needless to say, I was glad when it was over and camped at the first place I saw. The next morning, we awoke to great views all along the ridgeline back down to town.
I bought new socks in Hamburg, PA at the Cabela’s. It’s not a big deal, but I must say it is probably the first time I’ve ever been excited about socks.
I’ll update more when I can. I realize this is far behind. New Jersey was great and New York is going well, but much tougher than NJ. I’m glad the crazy 100 degree heat seems to be behind me for now.