Bert's is a hostel, too

Wednesday, May 24th
Palmerston, PA 

We are all up early, and ready for trail at 6:15. The three amigos are putting in more miles, so let them go first and follow shortly after. 

Trail is again rocky in spots but am moving well. Hit one rocky field with a break then another. The three friends are going to Palmerston for a late breakfast at Bert's Restaurant and I'm considering going to that town for some medical (ibuprofen and bandages) and light food resupply. There's a sign on a random tree saying Bert's also has a hostel, and perhaps I've found a place to rest and repair feet. Decide to give it a try. 

Quality of random water source on the AT, not guaranteed. Let me count the ways....
Trail crosses a bridge who's first predecessor, built in 1827, was a private chain toll bridge built for $1,200. It allowed easier transport of slate to a nearby canal system. As you crossover you begin to see the massive supports put in to restrain rock outcropping as part of a SuperFund cleanup effort starting in the late 1980's. large sections are still in the process of reforestation. Zinc mining gone amuck.

Both guides say to follow a blue-blazed "Winter Trail" to get from AT to Palmerton. Get to end of bridge, cross four lane highway after trying to hitchhike for a few minutes, and find Winter Trail. It runs parallel to the highway heading for what appears to be the town, but then veers up the hill. I double check both guides, both say to follow Winter Trail, so up hill I go.  Up and up, it seems it might possibly-maybe-kinda going to town, but after looking at where I was and where AT is, conclude it's another half truth by the guidebooks. It will reconnect with the AT if I continue, which is not good. 

Trundle back down the trail, muttering. 

At bottom, follow foot path which is gradually diminishing. Ends up at jersey barriers , what appears to help form a large old parking lot, and a guardhouse-ish building. Hop barrier, walk toward house and beyond that a bridge and through an open gate. Walk past "guard" who doesn't seem interested, across short metal bridge and through gate. It's the entrance to a waste disposal facility. 

Figure out how to get to Bert's, and arriving, check out hostel which is in a former managers office holding six beds. Sign up for two nights. 

Others show up including, yes again, Laken and Dixie. Shivers is here along with Shivers Dad, Dave has no Trail name yet, is hiking with the Shivers, lives in Australia, formerly from the U.K.

Burger for lunch at Bert's followed by stop at the pharmacy for meds. Lazy afternoon, and dinner at decent pub. 


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