It is an absolute perfection and virtually divine to know how to enjoy our being rightfully. We seek other conditions because we do not understand the use of our own, and go outside of ourselves because we do not know what it is like inside. Yet there is no use our mounting on stilts, for on stilts we must still walk on our own legs. And so on the loftiest throne in the world we are still sitting only on our own rump. Montaigne
It was another beautiful day on LeConte. The high was 37. The low was 21. It was 33 and clear at observation. The ice on Alum is still rather treacherous, so be sure to use caution.
Please remember to use the Park Service's reservation system. It is a violation of Park policy to tent camp in the 'backcountry' on Mt. LeConte. You need a backcountry permit to stay in the shelter. That is the only place to stay on Mt. LeConte while the lodge is CLOSED. If I'm being redundant, it's because people are being ignorant, stubborn, lazy, obstinate or some wonderful combination of the previously mentioned uniquely human qualities.
The intensities of my feelings make me shudder and laugh. Several times I could not leave my room for the ridiculous reason that my eyes were inflamed - and why? Each time I had wept too much during my walks of the previous day. My tears were not sentimental, but tears of joy. I sang and said nonsensical things, filled with a new vision that puts me ahead of everyone else. Nietzsche
It was a beautiful day up top. The high was 25, but it was clear and the air was still. The low was 15. It was 21 and clear at observation. It looks like we'll have another clear day today. There is still a lot of water draining down the mountain and the ice is treacherous on Alum. Beware.
It was a nice day on the mountain yesterday. The high was 28. The low was 11. It was 15 and clear at observation. It was cloudy much of the day, then cleared up just after dusk. The stars were fantastic. It looks like we'll have a cool, clear day today.
It was a mild day up on the mountain. The high was 36 up top. The low was 21. It was 27 and clear at observation. It looks like it'll be a beautiful, clear day up top. There's still quite a bit of water on the trails.
I got a few nice pictures of sunrise this morning. I'll be posting them tomorrow, as I already have a pile of good shots from Alum and sunset yesterday. LeConte is just too beautiful lately.
At present I am subsisting on certain wild flowers which Nature wafts to me, which unaccountably sustain me, and make my apparently poor life rich. Within a year my walks have extended themselves, and almost every afternoon (I read, or write, or make pencils, in the forenoon, and by the last means get a living for my body) I visit some new hill or pond or wood many miles distant. I am astonished at the wonderful retirement through which I move, rarely meeting a man in these excursions, never seeing one similarly engaged, unless it be my companion, when I have one. I cannot help feeling that of all the human inhabitants of nature hereabouts, only we two have leisure to admire and enjoy our inheritance. Thoreau
It was a blustery day atop LeConte. The mountain received 1.42" of precipitation. The high was 44. The low was 30. It was 30 and flurrying at observation! Surprise snow! Really?! Nature! You're so considerate!
yearning for nothing
if i'm dreaming, don't wake me
It felt like a May day on LeConte. The high was 51. The low was 40. It was 41 and on the verge of a gray, blustery storm this morning at observation. Be prepared for some wet trails!
i live as i live
i intend to die likewise
eyes pure, heart agape
It was another brutal winter's day atop Mt. LeConte. The high was a mere 45 degrees. The low was 32 degrees. That is cold enough to freeze water! Brrr. I can't believe I have to endure 5 more weeks of this.
Just kidding. Maybe sarcasm will bring back the snow. It was ridiculously nice up top, sunny and clear. Looks like we'll have some more of that over the next few days. I was hiking in my Tevas yesterday. I brought them as camp shoes. I never thought I'd be going on 4 hour hikes with them in January. Incredible.
the smell of balsam
a dimly remembered past
i go back to Maine
He rose from where he lay on the ground, and though perplexed as to how she came to be there he longed to hold her and went to do it, but three times as he reached his arms to her she fogged through them, vague and flickery and grey. The fourth time, though, she stood firm and substantial and he held her tight. He said, I've been coming for you on a hard road. I'm never letting you go. Never. Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain
It turned into a nice day up top. It was stormy in the morning, then cleared up around 1. The high was 41. The low was 31. It was 37 and clear at observation. The mountain received .57" of rain yesterday. It looks like it'll be another nice day. The trails should be very wet with all the rain we've had lately.
night after eternal night
i listen, then act
The most spiritual men, as the strongest, find their happiness where others would find their destruction: in the labyrinth, in hardness against themselves and others, in experiments. Their joy is self-conquest: asceticism becomes in them nature, need and instinct. Difficult tasks are a privilege to them; to play with burdens that crush others, a recreation. Knowledge - a form of asceticism. They are the most venerable kind of man: that does not preclude their being the most cheerful and the kindliest. Nietzsche
The high was 44. The low was 33. Not even freezing in January! I give up trying to understand this weather. It was 40 and raining at observation. The mountain received .72 inches of rain, most of it overnight. The trails will be flowing like rivers, so be prepared to get wet.
In spite of the numbers, it was a pleasant day on LeConte. The early morning held the promise to burn off the previous days clouds. I was treated to my own private showing of these mystical specters flying up from the valley and over Myrtle Point. I'd be surprised to hear that Tolkien didn't watch a similar showing and then write inspiredly of the Nazgul's impalpable grace. Strong storms hit us overnight and continue to rattle the windows of my cabin. It's amazing how vulnerable you can feel in such an idyllic place.
Top photo: I scrambled up some rocks to get a different perspective at Alum Cave. Above: One of the few times I wish I had a fancy Olympus, Nikon, etc. This bird (peregrine falcon?!!? red-tailed hawk would be my 2nd guess) is perched on a tree just above Alum Cave. Whatever it is, it looks justifiably proud and capable of taking off my scalp with some vicious talons should the mood strike.
It was a rather nasty day up top. The high was 42, but it was in the mid-30's and grey for most of the day. It was some serious dying weather. The low was 29. It was 34 and clear at observation. The mountain received .66" of rain yesterday. We had 16" of snow on this date last year. Sigh.
A special thanks to Wes, Richard and Kim from the Tri Cities for bringing me up some veggies! There is nothing better than a fresh salad on the mountain. I hope to be thanking someone tomorrow for a Sunday New York Times!
As I watched the sun emerge through the clouds this morning at Apollo Overlook, I couldn't help but contemplate the immaculate pines & spruces & firs nearby. They were knotted and windswept in a perfect accordance with their harsh environs. I one day wish to follow their righteous example.
Welcome to the official blog of LeConte Lodge. We hope you find the information provided here both helpful and enjoyable. Thank you for visiting the site, and we hope to see you on the mountain!