Good afternoon to all of you. This is Nathan, and I'll be patching in for Allyson for a few days. I'll try to keep you up to date on the LeConte news and may try to introduce you to a couple more crew members in the next week (Walt and Chrissy are up next).
First of all, I'll pass along the weather report. The blustery weather has been mighty ugly today, not exactly chamber of commerce conditions. The rain and wind started up about 4 a.m. and really haven't given us much of a respite, though the rain hasn't been a downpour. The forecast calls for worsening conditions throughout the afternoon and evening, so be prepared and careful if you're coming up to see us. All morning we've been experiencing robust wind.
Sunday's high topped out at 58. The official low was 33, but that's a little deceiving. That temperature reading of 33 degrees actually came just after our Sunday morning weather observation. It didn't get colder than 48 degrees Monday morning as the clouds insulated us on LeConte.
Had that 33 degrees occurred with this morning's rain, we likely would have had a winner in the crew's annual LeConte Guess the First Snow Contest. Chrissy got on the board first with an October 1 guess. Allyson has won the last two years, so people pay attention to the date she picks. It's something fun to do as the season winds down and the activity of October ramps up. Our Guess the First Snow Contest is kind of like a poor man's Price is Right, except no one ever wins a car or gets to spin the big wheel. You enjoy what you have.
The llamas were up eight strong about 11 a.m. They didn't have much of an adoring public to greet them, as the nasty weather conditions kept most dayhikers below in the land of thick air. Even though it was rainy and windy, the llamas much prefer that to the searing heat and humidity of summer. They are definitely boys of spring and fall.
After we got the llamas loaded, Mitch, our llama wrangler, said something that you won't hear very often down below (I hope). Mitch was tying the llama string in preparation for the descent down the mountain and placed Rex behind Earl (who is Rex's father). "I've got a bad feeling about you being tied up with your dad," Mitch said. Had that been uttered anywhere else in this fine land there may have been kidnapping charges brought, but life on top of LeConte is a little different. Here's hoping Rex and Earl played nice on the trip back to the farm.
Thanks for reading. We'll try to ride out the storms up here and hope crystalline October blue skies are on the way. Happy trails.
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