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Nothing gets me up faster in the morning than knowing I’m getting off trail to get town food and get cleaned up. I was on trail by 6:30am. Man, my feet feel every step and every rock over the last 7 days since my last hotel stay. (I had a stay at Zipper’s house but that was still a massive hiking day followed by another the next day.) I was definitely ready. By the time I got to the parking lot where my friends would pick me up, my phone was at 10% battery and all my battery banks were dead. The hike down wasn’t bad. I’m just exhausted. There were some nice views down to the town and Lehigh River. I saw a tiny 6-inch rattlesnake crossing the path. Didn’t even have a full rattle yet but the pattern was unmistakable. I hear the venom from the babies are worse so I definitely let it cross the path before I moved on. Saw a couple more deer this morning and then waited at the parking lot for Alyssa and Zach to arrive.
What an amazing day I had. I am SO thankful to Alyssa and Zach for driving over an hour to get me and bring me to their home. I ordered new Lexi poles and I absolutely LOVE them! I cannot wait to use them on trail and to hold up my tent. They are top of the line trekking poles but thanks to all the Venmo trail magic from all my friends, I’m going to crush this second half in style. Not only am I rocking top of the line trekking poles but I also have a new sun shirt, new shorts and most importantly, my 4th pair of shoes. I was scared to change shoe styles but with the painful rocks that have beating me up, I decided to go ahead and try out the Altra Olympus 4 shoes. They’re just like the Altra Lone Peak shoes I’ve been rocking except that they have much thicker cushioning. Walking around town has been like walking on a cloud. I’m going to be decked out in all new gear, I’m going to look like I just started hiking (except for this out of control beard I have going on). Alyssa and Zach took me to a burger joint where I had a double burger with cheese, peanut butter and jelly. Strange, right? I tore that thing up along with tater tots covered in chili and cheese. After, we went to a beer garden where I met the bartender, Kyle. He wants to hike the AT and ended up giving me some cocktail magic. So much appreciated! I love my service industry brothers and sisters! After, we hit an ice cream shop where I had cookies & cream ice cream with Reese’s Pieces. Trying to fatten up but it isn’t working. With how sore I am and how beat up I am from the last few days, I am spending a Zero here. I’ll get back on trail on Friday, which might be rainy but I plan a short day as I climb back into the ridge line and the rocks. That’s when we see how these new shoes hold up.