It is currently raining on Mt. LeConte so I thought I would leave you with some sunny images from yesterday morning. The high yesterday was 68 with a low of 49.
The crew at LeConte Lodge wanted to say thank you to our very own Sergeant First Class Henry Neel for the time he spent in Iraq defending our country. We also would like to remember all of the men and women who have lost their life while defending our freedom.
The Sand Myrtle is in full bloom. This patch is my favorite. I love how it grows on top of this dead tree. Cliff Tops and Myrtle Point are impressive these days. The rain held off for a little while yesterday. The high was 65 with a low of 47. We received .35" of rain. It is cloudy this morning and looks as though we will get a little more rain before the weekend is over.
Wilson Patterson from Tennessee.
Who knew the Tooth Fairy would visit Mt. LeConte? Wilson Patterson had an exciting trip up Mt. LeConte when his tooth decided it was time to come out. His parents pulled it out right on the trail. The question of the night was " Will the Toothy Fairy know to find Wilson at the Lodge?". She did!!!! She came in the middle of the night and left Wilson a gift for his tooth. I am happy to know if I loose a tooth up here the Tooth Fairy will know how to find me.
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail access for Trillium Gap/Grotto Falls trailhead will not open on May 29 as originally planned. The reopening date is still to be determined. The one way section of Cherokee Orchard Road has been reopened, but some delays could occur while paving continues. Please call the reservations office during regular business hours if you have any questions. Also check the National Park Service website for updates. www.nps.gov/grsm.
Watching the full moon come up over the tree tops is spectacular on Mt. LeConte. The clouds finally moved out and gave us a great view of the stars and the giant moon rising. The high yesterday was 66 with a low of 47. We were socked in for most of the day until the clouds broke just in time for sunset. You never know on this mountain, you are covered in clouds one minute and the next minute you are watching the most incredible sunset.
Yes, even living on this mountain, sometimes I just need a little inspiration. The clouds are hanging low this morning and I am having difficulty finding some. We have been socked in for the last few days and I am ready for sunshine. The high yesterday was 60 and the low was 47. The forecast is calling for rain. I hope to get a run in before it hits us.
We are gearing up for a busy Memorial Day weekend. It should be busy on the mountain. Don't forget you can hike up and have lunch at the top. Enjoy the long weekend and hopefully I will see you on the trails.
I had some questions about bears and how we handle them on the mountain. I thought I would take a few minutes and address this. As you know, if you read the blog, we have had some bear activity. The first signs for us are usually finding fresh scat in camp early in the morning. Now, this is a good sign. This means the bear is only coming thru camp at night. As long as the bear is not causing problems, this is the best time for the bear to move thru camp. Most of the time they are on their way somewhere else.
A problem bear starts coming into camp during the day. This is when it is crucial for us to take action. We first scare the bear out of camp by running after it an yelling and throwing rocks. This works most of the time. We will scare a bear out of camp a couple of times and they move on. We then educate our guests and day hikers on the importance of not leaving anything out. They should take all backpacks, cups, food, drink cans, etc. inside so the bear does not get rewarded for its actions. We also stress for people to keep their doors shut when not in their cabins. A bear is not going to come in the cabin while a person is in it, but it will try if there is no one around. This is how a bear becomes habituated. Education is key. A fed bear is a dead bear. We do not want this to happen. We have been fortunate and not had to euthanize a bear. We try our best to educate people and contact the Park Service as soon as we have a potential problem. Most of the time the Park Service can hike up, trap the bear, and tag it and this works. The bear is so traumatized by the process that it will not come around again. That is exactly the outcome we hope for.
It is crucial that the bears remain wild. I know how cool it is to get to see a bear in the wild. It is even cooler when all you see is their behind running from you because they are truly wild and scared of you. We have to keep it this way. If you are out in the backcountry, take necessary precautions to not bring harm to these animals. Cooking in shelters, leaving trash in pit privies, not hanging your packs up in shelters, and feeding squirrels are all ways of harming wildlife. Enjoy nature with out making an impact on it.
The hike back up the mountain was extremely pleasant. The weather was somewhat cool and the rain held off. The lodge was socked in when we got to the top, but the clouds moved out and made way for blue skies. The high yesterday was 62. It was great seeing the rhododendron blooming at lower elevations. I love that time of the year when they line the trail and you are walking thru a canopy of rhodo.
I was asked to post information about some delays that will be taking place this week. The Park is doing more work on Cherokee Orchard Loop. Here is the information that was forwarded to me. I hope this helps with what trail to take up.
The NPS and contractor have agreed on a plan to do the paving of the
Cherokee Orchard Loop and the Rainbow Falls parking area. This work
will begin tomorrow morning, May 25 and go through noon on May 28.
This will result in limited access to areas accessed by the road and limited
parking at Rainbow Falls. The contractor will be making an effort to
reserve space for LeConte Lodge overnight guests in the parking area.
There may be delays getting to and from the Rainbow Falls parking area
on these days of up to 30 minutes each way.