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Yesterday was an amazing zero. It was much needed to give me time to give my feet a rest after being torn up on these rock so badly. I’m so thankful for Alyssa and Zach for driving over an hour to pick me up and take me back to their place. I chucked my broken Black Diamond trekking poles and had an amazing pair of Leki poles ordered and shipped to their place. I feel I traded and Honda Civic for a Rolls Royce. Best part is I hear they have a lifetime guarantee so if I ever break one of these, they’ll replace it. That makes their hefty price tag worth it. I also decided I had to have more cushioning than the Altra Lone Peaks I’ve been wearing so I pulled the trigger and ordered Altra Olympus 4. I should have done that a long time ago. Yes, it’s a heavier shoe but that extra cushioned feeling is exactly what I needed on these rocks. After Alyssa drove me back to where she picked me up, I walked over the Lehigh River and along a busy road where I had to walk up to a streetlight, cross, and then walk back to get to the trail into the woods. I had to take a picture of the light pole where they had the white blazes. The blazes were right under a “no pedestrian” sign. Uh, how can you have a no walking sign right on a hiking path? What idiot decided to put that sign there? The initial climb out of Lehigh Gap is infamous. It’s the first real hand-over-hand rock scramble. I started the day with my new poles folded up and in my pack because I knew they weren’t needed until I finished the climb. Man, was that insane! There were plenty of white blazes on the rocks to follow and they did a great job cutting in hand and foot holds. There’s still some sketchy spots where your feet are just on a thin ledge and thinking about the weight of your pack pulling you back is enough to cause vertigo. What’s sad is all the spray paint graffiti up there. Someone even sprayed their Instagram name. I was so tempted to go onto Instagram, post a picture of theirs graffiti and call out what a piece of human pond scum they really are and they need to get back up there and scrub that crap off the rocks. While doing a video of a new reroute section of trail that just opened (about 3.8 miles of trail was moved), I noticed a buck standing right in front of me. I’m still bummed I haven’t seen a bear yet (from a distance) but I’ve definitely seen lots of deer! I bumped into a ridge runner named Skittles. She was very nice and we had a long chat. Well, she asked questions and I did a lot of talking. You know me! I’m a talker! I got to the shelter where I was going to stay, set up my tent in the camping area, walked the .1 miles down and back up from the water, had dinner and got into my tent. It was an great 16+ mile day. My trekking poles are awesome. I’m happy with my new shorts and sun shirt and definitely happy with my new shoes. Suck it, rocks! You don’t hurt me so badly anymore! Ha!