Afternoon to you all. You'd surely love the weather on top of LeConte today--just about perfect. Our high Monday was 47 with a low of 29, the mildest morning since Friday. Just after lunch today, we're looking at 50 degrees and plenty of sunshine. We've been fortunate enough to have so many sunny, clear days lately that I've not had to use a drop of gasoline to pump water up to our tanks--our solar pump has been humming along and up to the task.
The forecast calls for a pretty wet Wednesday, followed by better weather on Thursday. Please make sure you bring some rain gear any time you come to see us.
The remainder of today's update is kind of a gumbo of events from the mountain the last few days. I mentioned that toward the end of last week the wind whipped wildly up here. It blew down a partially rotten tree about 18 inches in diameter across Trillium Gap Trail not too far from the lodge. The llamas had to climb the bank to get around it. Llama wrangler Alan and I went down on his descent with the llamas to move it off the trail. I think it's interesting that one of our veteran llamas is notorious for jumping a five-foot fence early in the morning to escape having to work. However, that same llama wouldn't consider jumping an 18-inch tree in the trail. Priorities, I guess.
During all the wind I noticed the juncos ably carving their way through the turbulence, earning their wings as esteemed fighter pilots in the LeConte air force.
We noticed red streamers of brake lights piled up during the weekend on the Pigeon Forge strip. Turns out there was a "Rod Run" for car enthusiasts down there. However, from our perch atop LeConte, we didn't see any of the hot rods (or anyone else on the road) moving very fast.
Last night about 11 p.m. as I was doing my final checks for the night, my headlamp caught two glowing orange eyes about 10 feet away from me, just behind the steps to Old Lodge (or No. 1, as it says on the door if you've stayed there). It seems that the deer, some of our favorite neighbors, have returned to the top of LeConte in anticipation of spring greens. I did see one wandering around in the snow earlier this season, but there wasn't much for that deer to eat and it must have headed down below. That deer looking for good browse in the snow seemed like a vegetarian trying to get a suitable meal at a Brazilian steakhouse.
Finally, to wrap up, we were glad to see Pat and Jeanie Lawley, frequent readers of High on LeConte. They hiked up to visit and gave us a promising flower report on the lower elevations in the park--from Cades Cove to the lower stretches of the Alum Cave Trail. The color will be working its way up the mountain soon, all the better reason to journey to LeConte.
Thanks for reading. Allyson and Chris are scheduled to be back on the mountain this evening, so I'll turn over daily reports to her. Have a fine day. Happy trails.
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