Sunday, July 30, 2017

Lehigh Gorge State Park, PA - D&L Trail from Rockport to Mile Marker 114

Lehigh Gorge State Park - Pennsylvania DCNR

GPS Coordinates to Rockport Access 40.96575, -75.75699
Rockport Access parking at 8 AM.

Lehigh Gorge State Park Trail Map - Pennsylvania DCNR
Trail Section: Rockport - Glen Onoko -  Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
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HIKE DISTANCE:  11.8 miles (5.9 miles each way)

From the parking lot, continue on the paved road down the steep hill.  There is no parking at the bottom of the hill.
Three weeks ago we headed left across the bridge.
For this hike we turned right, heading south towards Glen Onoko.
Passing a restroom building which, trust me on this, you will not want to use later in the day.
Heading south the Lehigh River is almost always in view to the left of the trail.
Luke's Falls
Those two little dots up ahead ...
... a fawn and her mom.
Skritches are always welcome.
The trail is so peaceful early in the morning with no rafters in the river and hardly anyone else on the trail.
That orange blob up above is a train going by on the other side of the Lehigh River.  It was the longest train I have ever seen and seemed to go on for forever but it was the only train I saw all day.
At Drake's Creek coming in on the other side of the river ...
...  rafts are still sleeping.
She only walked about a mile before going into the stroller.  She wanted out again and walked about 3/4 of a mile.  She is walking less and less :(
Stony Creek spilling into the Lehigh River on the other side.
She still prefers walking in the grass when at all possible.
Shawnee now nudges the stroller when she wants back in but we had to wait for that picnic table up ahead ...
... because it is perfect for wedging the stroller against to get her in.
We started to run into some full exposure areas with no shade so the sun roof was closed.
Mile marker 114 would have been just a short distance ahead but with no shade in sight, made this our turnaround point.
Heading back.
It's been a rough week for her and I was thinking this might be her last time out.  She developed two gaping sores and woke me up at 2 AM laying in a pool of diarrhea.  Yet she perked back up and when we got home ate like she hasn't eaten in weeks.  Maybe it wasn't the last time.  Things are on a day-to-day basis now.
A mourning dove - the only bird I was able to capture.  It's impossible to photograph birds once bikes start zooming by.
Rounded the bend back into the fully shaded part.
Let the rafting begin!

This is at Drake's Creek where the rafts were still asleep earlier.  Now they are lined up and spilling out of Drake's Creek.  That raft on the right was already stuck on a boulder.  The guide eventually got them loose.
Finally going down ...
... for a nap which is what I would be doing if I were in there especially after cleaning up a big mess at 2 AM.
Three weeks ago rhododendron was in bloom everywhere.  This is one of the last remaining blooms.
Remember how I mentioned earlier that you do not want to use that restroom later in the day?  That crowd ahead is the line for the restroom and you really want to hold your breath going by.
As was the case 3 weeks ago, I left Shawnee in the stroller by the park ranger directing traffic and walked up the hill to get my car to drive down and load her and the stroller up.  There is no pushing 100 pounds up that steep hill.
The parking lot at 1:30 PM when I arrived to get my car.