We are covered up with happy hikers with a bevy of interesting stories. Not long ago, Allyson justly mentioned how fortunate we are to meet some fascinating people here at LeConte Lodge. We do have the best guests in the Smokies.
This morning I was honored to welcome Ray and Faye Kiser of Morganton, N.C., to LeConte Lodge. They are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with a day hike to Mt. LeConte. They've been hiking our fair mountain for quite a while and rate Alum Cave Bluff Trail as their favorite. It's "about the prettiest one you can do," Ray said.
Just recently, we were pleased to welcome everyone from chess prodigies to Appalachian Trail through hikers to LeConte. Two separate families joined us as part of their trip to compete in the youth chess championships in Nashville. I won't give away their names, as their competitors may try to copy their high altitude chess training regimen complete with kerosene lamps.
I talked to two hikers who utilized the Boulevard Trail this morning. They still report patchy ice and a few slick spots, but it appears conditions are beginning to improve.
Allyson and Chris have returned from a well-deserved set of days off. Thus, I'll be handing the High on LeConte reins over to Allyson for a while. I thank you for reading and your kind comments. I hope to see all of you in person on LeConte soon. Happy trails.