The wind picked up last night and breathed life into all the tree limbs on LeConte. The boughs of the magnificent spruce tree overhanging my cabin slow danced with the wood shingles on my roof, sounding much like a turkey call. Alas, I was the only turkey being called. Although last night was a new moon night atop the Smokies, that same spruce filters the full moon glow over the summit of LeConte through my bedroom window. Last night's new moon allowed for a lovely dark canvas to stargaze over the Tennessee Valley. Skywatching is always one of my favorite things to do on the mountain.
If the forecast holds true, skywatching may get more interesting this evening with a fast-moving storm front moving through. If you're hiking in the next couple of days, I'd expect the trails to be muddy and carrying plenty of water to the valley. However, as of early afternoon Thursday, the morning clouds have lifted and given way to mostly sunny skies and comfortable temperatures in the 50s.
In trail news, the National Park Service trail crew hit it hard yesterday and completed clearing Bullhead Trail of blowdowns. We can now recommend Bullhead as a sound option to arrive at the lodge (or use for the return descent on a day hike up Rainbow Falls Trail). As I mentioned yesterday, hiking Trillium Gap Trail should become easier Friday when the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail reopens. We had some guests who arrived via the Boulevard Trail Wednesday but reported it tough going and still slippery in some troublesome spots. I like the Boulevard Trail, but I'd opt for any of the other main trails to LeConte at this point.
Thanks for reading. Have a fine day. Happy trails.