I love the way the rhododendrons hang over your head in the ice.
It is officially cold. We had a low of 17 last night. It only crept up to 22 yesterday. It was 20 and cloudy at observation this morning. We got another 1.2" of snow, bringing us to a total of about 2 inches. It sounds like it will be partly sunny today, but still bitte
I hiked out the Boulevard trail yesterday. It was already dangerous negotiating the Slide. I followed bobkitten tracks for the first half of the hike. I'm putting it out there - all I want for Christmas is a bobkitten sighting!
I haven't seen another person in two days. This is a new experience! I finished David Brill's 'As Far as the Eye Can See' yesterday. New hike and new book today!
My little cabin in the snow!
Snow is BACK! I hope it stays for good! We had a high of 44 yesterday. It rained for the majority of the day. It dipped down to 18 last night and we got about an inch of snow. I heard some conflicting reports about whether the Gap road was open today. At best, it will be very icy coming up. The drive to the trailhead is statistically the most dangerous part of your hike, so proceed with caution!
To celebrate the new snow, I'm going on a long hike today. I had my first day without seeing a soul yesterday and finished my 3rd book of the season (David Witherspoon's 'Song of the Winter Wren').
Have a safe hike!
A llama picture from last week to make you forget about the nasty weather!
Things are looking rough up here today! We had 1.6 inches of rain yesterday. The low was 38. The high was 44. It was 43 and drizzling at weather observation this morning. There's a 100% chance of precipitation up here today. Be ready to get wet! Be aware that sitting around is uncomfortable when you stop moving. The wind gusts have been intense.
I've had to get used to the creaky noises that the kitchen & my cabin make in these conditions. It was so beautiful just a few days ago! That is life in the mountains.
It looks like another day spent primarily indoors. We may get some light snow accumulation tomorrow. Can't wait!
This is the view off the back porch when it isn't stunningly beautiful.
We had a mild day yesterday. It was a high of 40, a low of 38 and it was 40 at observation. Very high winds today. The title of this post came from the NOAA weather radio. It sounds very ominous coming from the automated robot voice! We're supposed to get some potentially nasty weather, so be prepared.
I spent yesterday talking to day hikers, reading and familiarizing myself with the kitchen. I think I finally know where everything goes! I made some kale chips to extend the shelf life on some tasty veggies.
I'll be battering down the hatches in anticipation of a few days of storming up here. Be careful today, folks. Wish I had a Sunday NYT to stave off cabin fever!
Kale chips, inspired by Jim Kirkham! Thanks for the idea, buddy!
The rime forming in the trees outside my cabin. It got colder as the day went on yesterday.
We had a low of 23 last night. With the wind, it felt a good deal colder than that. We had a high of 37, which was also the temperature at observation. It sounds like it's going to be clear and sunny the next few days. The trails should be very icy this morning, so beware!
Ron & Gary are still here helping out with the solar panels and all sorts of other camp chores. Gary made some great biscuits this morning. Another reason I am happy to be back in the South!
There's been a little bear cub spotted in camp recently. I'm going to try my best to get a picture of him today.
I am going for a little hike this morning, then doing my last bit of chores before I'm up here on my own. Looking forward to our Thanksgiving feast tonight!
Sunrise this morning. There's some inversion in the valley after the high pressure system left the mountains.
GM Tim & Backroom Braintrust member Ron boarding up the dining room. We won't be serving folks again until mid-March!
We had a high of 48 yesterday. We had 1.6 inches of rain yesterday. The temperature was down to 35 degrees at observation, which was also the overnight low. We're expecting a serious cold front. It should get down to 10 degrees up here tonight.
The end of the season is always chock full of closing tasks. In between all the winterizing, Chris made a great turkey gumbo last night. Allyson made Eggs Benedict for the crew this morning, then everyone hiked down. I'm looking forward to seeing them again this March.
There were a number of crew guests up to celebrate the end of the season, including a few former winter caretakers (Thanks for everything, Henry, Ron & Gary). They've been kind enough to answer all my questions and help me get adjusted to the lodge. Alan & the llamas were kind enough to pack up all my winter belongings and a final food run this morning, in spite of brutal wind, rain and generally foul conditions. Thanks again!
I'm all moved into my cabin and am looking forward to getting settled in up here. I ordered a pair of snowshoes this afternoon and look forward to stomping around all winter. I finished my second book of the season last night (Jack London's 'The Call of the Wild'). I'm looking forward to a good night relaxing with Ron & Gary, who'll be spending Thanksgiving up here with me.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
VIP Guest Greg negotiates a ledge hiking down the Alum Cave trail.
We had a high of 49 yesterday. It rained most of the afternoon. We had .8 inches of rain yesterday. The overnight low was 43 and it was 46 degrees and overcast this morning at weather observation. We're expecting a 100% chance of afternoon rain, so be ready!
I hiked down to Gatlinburg yesterday afternoon. Greg was kind enough to give me a ride to the Kroger in Sevierville. From there, I went to the office to organize all my gear into boxes for the llamas to pack up on Wednesday. It felt like a great luxury to use a cart in a grocery store (breaking my rule to only use a basket), knowing that I wouldn't have to pack up any of the food I bought.
I started hiking up Rainbow Falls at 4:45 and got to the Lodge at 7:15sh. The rain relented and it turned into a nice evening. I got the opportunity to relax with the old winter caretaker Henry for the evening.
Looking forward to moving into my new digs for the winter this afternoon, Chris' famous turkey gumbo and our final night with guests!
Nearing sunset on Cliff Tops. Take notice of the strong wind blowing in the tree tops.
We had a high of 51 yesterday. It felt a bit muggy all day. The overnight low was 42 and it was 47 degrees and overcast this morning at weather observation. We're expecting a 60% chance of afternoon showers, so be prepared for rain!
We had crew thanksgiving dinner yesterday. Allyson prepared an amazing(!) meal. It's going to be tough going back to lentils and veggie soup.
I went for an evening hike to Cliff Tops. The wind was blowing hard from the valley. It was overcast, but you could see some nice orange hues in the clouds. I hiked back in the dark and finished my first book of the season (Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit).
I'm hiking down to Gatlinburg today. I'll be picking up some staples and repackaging them for the llamas. Looking forward to getting all my gear, books, etc. up the mountain on Wednesday and really settling in.