All drama aside, there were a lot of re-forestation efforts obvious to the naked eye. And the hazardous chemicals are pretty much gone. All that remains are rocks. Lots and lots of broken up pieces of rubble and a long stretch of no trees.
Fortunately for us, our Independence Day trail angels, Lisa and Jay, agreed to slackpack us for the day. We emptied our packs of all but food and water needed for the day and put the rest of our gear (sleeping bag, clothes, cook systems, etc) in garbage bags. Then they shuttled the garbage bags ahead to Wind Gap. Woodman had decided he was going to yellow blaze ahead to Delaware Water Gap, because the rocks were really getting to him. He had fallen a number of times in the past week, and was walking on knee replacements! So Woodman got a room at the Budget Inn in Windgap and all our garbage bags went into the room with him. See the beauty of that? Big day. Big climb. Lots of rocks. No pack.
Lucky for us we found such trail angels, too. Because even with no pack, it was a hard day. The climb up from the gap was a CLIMB: hand and feet, scrambling up a near vertical surface. Then the superfund rubble. Then the stretch of deforested land (did I mention it was over 100 degrees this day). The more rocks. More rubble piles. And very little water.
But we did have trail magic! In addition to the slackpack magic, we did run into a former thru hiker who had set up a tarp with a grill and coolers. Hot dogs, hamburgers, sodas, snacks. He had his kids with him, who were telling jokes and setting up "Carnival Games". Knock over the the empty soda cans by throwing a rock. His daughter informed me that the male hikers were all "Nobos" (north-bound) but I was a "Nobette". And that collectively we were all known as "hippies." That's okay. I answer to hippie now.
By the time we emerged at Wind Gap, I was exhausted! And my feet hurt. But I was rewarded by a shower and a hot meal at a diner.