Let’s try this again
Even after the debacle out by Hawk Mountain, I can’t say that I was the least bit hesitant to get back out on the trail. I was however, slightly more prepared, especially as I rolled through the small, historic district of downtown Slatington, the clouds seemed to follow. I would not be deterred this time.
The Lehigh Gap is a different type of hike than can be found a few miles north or south of this AT stretch. The hillside has been decimated from years of industrial activity (with towns like Slatington, you can take a guess how this area once made its bread and butter). Once you pass the first 1.5 miles, you come to an area akin to a lunar landing sight or the aftermath of a volcanic explosion. In a word, the landscape is otherworldly. Or as was posited to me, “It’s almost impossible to get lost up there.”
What I like about this stretch of the AT is the juxtaposition between nature and man’s use of it. For the 3 hours that I wandered the hillside I was almost never out of sight of the road and towns below, nor out of earshot of the traffic. Normally, I find that to be one of the most annoying things to encounter on a hike, but it’s appropriate to this landscape.