Waking Up On the Appalachian Trail: Chapter 12

Day 71, Palmerton, Pennsylvania

“So, this town has a very industrial past. Fact, this whole state has an industrial heritage, coal, and steel, really. But this area especially—all around Palmerton, really—had lots of industrial plants and refineries and that sort of thing. Are you sure you two are okay?”

I couldn’t tell what was poking my back, either it was a hiking pole or my knee.

“Fuel-efficient, but not good for much else,” she said, slapping the faded dash. “Anyway, where’d you boys like to get dropped off?”

“Library, please,” Ben squeaked from between his knees.

The car whistled to a stop after cutting into a downtown parking spot.

Ben opened the door and pushed both packs off his lap and onto the pavement, crawling out after them. He reached into the car and hit a lever, flipping the passenger seat forward. I stuck out the hiking poles and a leg into the light of day. “Take these!”

Grabbing hold of the doorframe, I pulled myself out into the parking lot, unfolding myself like a transformer. “Thanks for the lift,” I smiled, snapping the seat back and shutting the rusted door.

N. B. Hankes

N. B. Hankes

Founder and best selling author of "Waking Up On the Appalachian Trail."
Humboldt County, California