Monday, July 30, 2001

day 79, Bake Oven Knob S, PA

Start:  Eckville Shelter
End:  Bake Oven Knob Shelter
Miles:  17.4 today, 1230 total

Took some time leaving the shelter this morning.  At first I didn't know exactly where I was going to stay tonight.  Roland (not Rollin', I discovered) said that the town of Palmerton was a great place.  You can stay in a jail(!) there for free and there's some great restaurants, even a library, laundromat, etc.  So, really, aside from the location, Palmerton sounds better than the Delaware Water Gap.  So that was Option #1, hike 25ish miles and then possibly 2 more along the road to Palmerton (depending on how easy a hitch would be).  Option #2 was to stick with my original plan and hike 24ish miles to the Outerbridge Shelter.  I was kind of skeptical of that because I read that large amounts of metal contamination polluted the area around the Palmerton area, where the Outerbridge Shelter is.  (For a long time, a big industry in Palmerton was zinc smelting.  The EPA put a stop to that in the early '80s, but much environmental damage still remains.)  So I was afraid of using the spring at that shelter.  And finally, Option #3 was to do 17.5 miles to Bake Oven Knob Shelter.  The only drawback there was the crazy guy who sometimes comes up to the shelter and harasses hikers (according to Roland).  Virginia G-Man said he was headed to Bake Oven, so I figured the two of us could take the guy if he tried anything.  So now I'm at Bake Oven, no sign of any lunatics yet.

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