June 12, 2013
Today’s mileage: 16.7
Total mileage: 1269.1
After resupplying in Walnutport and getting breakfast at McDonalds, we had a steep and rocky climb up from Lehigh Valley. It was all exposed boulders and I enjoyed climbing up and over the rocks, the wind blowing in my face. The rest of the hiking today was not as much fun. The small rocks hurt my already worn out feet. The 16.7 miles today felt like a lot longer.
We hiked near a Superfund site where they are resorting a zinc smelting area along the mountain above the valley. It wasn’t as barren as I thought it would be and the new vegetation they introduced seemed to be doing well. We had to hike along the Superfund Detour due to restoration. Everyone found so many ticks on them today. I only found two on me, but Miles found eight!
We saw a ton of thru-hikers today. It’s like we’re back in North Carolina where you see 15 to 20 people a day, if not more. We have caught up to a lot of people that we hadn’t met before, but also saw a few people that we’ve hiked with before.
The best part of the day was our two wildlife sightings this afternoon. We encountered a rattlesnake just off the trail! It certainly let us know that it was there. Coiled up by a tree, it shook its rattler several times. I was nervous to pass by, but he just rattled at me and I survived. Phew! Not five minutes later, we saw a bear not too far ahead on the trail! This was the closest that we’ve seen a bear so far. It was just passing through and glanced at us for a few moments. As it walked off the trail, we made our presence known by talking a bit. It stared at us from off trail as we hiked by, only curious as to what was passing through. The bear didn’t scare me at all; the snake was definitely more threatening.
We are sleeping in a full shelter tonight and hoping to stay dry before the big rainstorm we’re supposed to get tomorrow. We are attempting to wake up very early to beat out the worst part of the storm. Wish us luck. We may need it. Especially for waking up at the crack of dawn. I’m not looking forward to that.
It’s hard to believe that we’re almost done hiking in Pennsylvania. I hope we can make it to the border by tomorrow afternoon. Our motivation is a hot dog dinner hosted by a local church. Bring on the dogs!