After soaking up a beautiful four previous days (which, regardless of the season, means you're living on borrowed time on LeConte), we've seen quite a change in the weather overnight. Sunday's high was 63 degrees and sunny with an overnight low of 43. We registered no precipitation yesterday, but that changed today around lunch as the rains began falling up top. It's a wonderful day to pull our fine Hudson's Bay wool blankets up around your neck and catch up on some afternoon dreaming.
Overnight the winds began to howl. The nearly full moon was filtered by thin clouds racing away from the strong winds to follow over the top of LeConte. Before the thicker clouds moved in, the effect caused the moon to look like a flashlight dropped in a shallow stream as the clouds tempered and dappled its talents.
Afterward, the wind picked up in intensity. The branches of the majestic spruce tree outside my cabin scrape against my walls on windy nights. It sounded like someone chalking up a pool cue outside; Minnesota Fats beckoning me for a friendly nocturnal game of Smoky Mountain snooker. With a long workday ahead, I opted for my pillow instead.
When I take over High on LeConte updates for Allyson, my work schedule usually demands that I post sometime in the afternoon. When site managers Chris and Allyson are off the mountain, I combine most of their duties. Thus, the times when I can update the website are dictated by taking care of LeConte Lodge guests first and foremost. Similarly, I will probably only be able to approve comments late at night when my workday ends about 10:30-11 p.m. So don't assume your comment has been blocked, it's just really busy up here trying to take care of our guests like they deserve.
As with Chris and Allyson, this will likely be my last season manning (nearly) the top of Tennessee at LeConte Lodge. It's been a wonderful run, and I hope this is the best season yet. Although it's early in the season, I've already been glad to see so many familiar faces of friendly guests and day hikers I've met over these four years. I also look forward to meeting plenty of nice, new folks on LeConte, always one of the highlights of my job (though for the record I really enjoy the scenery, good food and paycheck, too). Happy trails.