It is another beautiful morning up top. There was a fiesta of colours as I awoke to report the weather this morning - pinks and purples were gently shading the horizon line as I walked to the kitchen, some of Nature's fine watercolour strokes. The air is crisp and I expect to see lots of folks up top burning off yesterday's indulgences!
_The high yesterday reached 34 degrees. The low was 16 degrees. It was 28 degrees and clear at 7am observation. We had abundant sunshine yesterday afternoon and an inch of melt, bringing our snowfall total down to 5 inches up top. I would imagine that the trails are still in pretty rough shape, as there were hardly any visitors up top yesterday with 441 closed until mid-afternoon. It sounds like 441 will be open today and the Park's road crews are currently working on Cherokee Orchard Road as I post this. Rainbow Falls trail is open again - reports of a bridge being out were unfounded. Keep in mind that the sun is setting around 5:21, so if you aren't up top by 3pm, I would advise turning around unless you like stumbling around in the woods after dark.
_I had a lovely hike out to watch the sun set yesterday evening at Cliff Tops. In past seasons, I've returned like an eager puppy, in a rush to drop my bags and see High Point, Myrtle, and all my favorite secret spots on the mountain. That kind of enthusiasm is fun, but it's been rewarding to slowly let the mountain reacquaint herself with me again. There is a new gift awaiting me every day. Heading out to Cliff Tops through one of my favorite sections of pines with the low slanted evening light was phenomenal. The sky was glowing golden and the snow reflected it in a subtly different shading, the contrast was sublime. It felt like a very clear sign that I'd made the right decision to come back for another winter. I have not yet had my fill.
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