He could not resist the long ritual, the companionship and freedom of falling weather, or even the cold drenching, the heavy soack and chill of clothes and sobbing of fingers and sacrifice of shoes that earned a baking by the fire and washed fatigue after the wandering and loneliness in the country of rain. Robert Morgan
It's another beautiful, clear morning up top. The high yesterday reached 44 degrees. The overnight low was 27 degrees. It was 44 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received the liquid equivalent of .02" of snowfall, which melted overnight. The trails are in great shape. Be prepared for some rain this afternoon!
My friends and I went out on a nice day long jaunt along the Boulevard trail yesterday. It was blustery as it could be, with the gray clouds arcing overhead through the day like great and mighty spectres. The wind made the 30 degree temperatures feel consistently harsh, we all returned with mussed up hair and bright tomato cheeks. We didn't see another hiker along the Boulevard, smelt the great fire smells at Icewater Springs and saw a few dopey tourists in boat shoes trying to avoid the ice out towards Charlie's Bunion. We took an obligatory photo, in spite of the fact that we couldn't see Mt. LeConte in the background. We hurried back, fighting flurries and thinking happy thoughts of a cast iron full of nachos. It was another day well spent up top.
It's a beautiful, clear morning up top. The high yesterday reached 33 degrees. The overnight low was 12 degrees, recorded early yesterday morning. It was 32 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is no snow remaining up top. I am sure that there are a few little slick spots on the trail, but they are easy to get around. The trails are in good shape and Microspikes are not required. Get out and enjoy this seemingly quiet day in the park!
It's a beautiful, cold morning up top. The high yesterday reached 34 degrees. The overnight low was 11 degrees. It was 13 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is no snow remaining up top. The trails are in very good shape. There is no need for Microspikes, but there should be a few little slick spots after last night's hard freeze. Get out and enjoy this taste of wintry weather! A big thanks to my smoothie benefactors who brought me a great variety of flavors that will last the remainder of the season! I really appreciate it!
But I must wait. Wait and listen. That inner stillness is the only way to reach these inner marvels, these inner miracles all of us possess. And when truth strikes, that brief, blinding illumination tells me what every writer comes to know. If you would write the truth, you must first become the truth. George Sheehan. Photo by my friend Emily Melick. Chimney Tops, March 2014.
It's another beautiful, warm morning up top. The high yesterday reached 54 degrees and the overnight low was 39 degrees. It was 39 degrees and clearing at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is no snow remaining up top. The trails are in great shape, get out and enjoy the spring temperatures with 'winter' crowds!
Grace and I spent another lazy day enjoying the lodge yesterday. We took care of some closing/opening (depends on your perspective!) chores, read on the porch and watched the clouds. The end of things is always bittersweet, but change is what makes this itinerant life so sweet. Without contrast (new yet familiar mountains, dear old friends), things would grow too familiar for my taste. While packing up my beloved books and saying goodbye to my sweet little cabin always brings a tear to my eye, I know it is for the best in the long haul - it is paramount that the adventure feels fresh.
It's a beautiful, spring morning up top. The high yesterday reached 43 degrees. The overnight low was 39 degrees. It was 41 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new measurable precipitation. The trails are in phenomenal shape, with no ice remaining up top. It looks as if it will be a beautiful day, get out and enjoy it!
Grace and I enjoyed a lazy, foggy day yesterday. We didn't even go out for a sunset stroll - it didn't look like much, to be fair. We cooked, did some chores and read our books. As much as I love a good deep winter snow, I would be lying if I said I was not enjoying the pleasures of these unexpected spring-like days. The birds are out in full force and there is no hard, cold edge to the wind. I'll be down in 12 days and I am looking forward to jumping in a few streams before we migrate back North!
It's a warm, foggy morning up top. The high yesterday reached 46 degrees. The overnight low was 36 degrees. It was 42 degrees and foggy at 7am observation. The mountain received .12 inches of rain last night. The trails are completely clear, without even a smidge of ice on the infamous Rainbow/Alum junction 'glacier'. Get out and enjoy this wildly warm weather!
I had an impromptu adventure yesterday. I was planning on relaxing around the lodge and stretching, doing yoga and reading my birthday away up top. However, I discovered that with my current drivers' license expiring (yesterday!), I still had time to order a new Social Security card in person. Long story short - I am headed to Puerto Rico after the season and can't fly with my expired license and need to stockpile copies of other legitimate forms of ID. At 11:30, Grace and I hiked down and went to the Social Security office in Knoxville. I was able to get a new SS card mailed up north, so that I will have every kind of identification available to a boy with no permanent residential address. I guess this is the inconvenience I get for not paying rent since July 2011! It wasn't the most exciting birthday of my life, but I will get to celebrate in Puerto Rico after the season! It was a great relief and it felt like I floated up the trail afterwards. We started up at dusk, just around 6:20pm. I strapped on my headlamp, my little running pack and started off at a swift jog. I was full of excitement. It is that time of the season where everything shines a little brighter with the end coming so quickly. Instead of just being another trip up Alum, it felt like one of my last few opportunities to savor this trail I love so much in the pure darkness. As I picked my pace up Monotony Ridge, I was able to see some headlights driving down the 441. Occasionally, I get frustrated by the visible lights up here, but tonight I just thought about how lucky I am to experience the pleasures of the park on two feet. I reached the top with adrenaline coursing through my veins, saw two beady eyes on the homestretch (bear or deer?!?), clapped a bit and my fellow nightwalker ran into the woods. I took a few deep breaths at the top of the staircase, turned off my headlamps and looked up at the stars. I took a slow, dark walk down the main staircase and got settled back into my cabin. I still can not believe my good fortune - it is a gift to live in this park, even in the lightest winter on record. Adventure is what you make it.
It's a warm, blustery morning up top. The high yesterday reached 60 degrees, which is the highest I have ever seen up here! The overnight low was 36 degrees. It was 36 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is no snow remaining up top. The trails are in summer condition, with no ice remaining. Get out and enjoy this unusual warmth!
I had a remarkably fun early morning run down Alum yesterday morning. My friends had to catch an early flight, so Grace hiked out with them at dawn and I gave chase 45 minutes later. The air was thick with the fast approaching wet spring scents and the temperature was warm enough to run down in shorts and a tank top. I typically fall into a habit of blogging and hanging around drinking coffee until 10sh, so it was nice to need to get out the door and see Alum in the early morning light. I passed a few folks along the way and got into a great rhythm, catching my pals a half mile from the trailhead. We had a tasty breakfast at Crockett's, then Grace and I headed back up. We didn't need any supplies, so it was a great day to hike back up quickly with my little pack. Considering how full I felt (those cinnamon rolls!), it was a great hike and I made good time. I was back up a little after noon and got to enjoy the rest of the warm afternoon reading on my porch. It was the kind of day that made me really grateful to call this wild and unruly place home.
It's a beautiful, clear morning up top. The high yesterday reached 41 degrees. The overnight low was 33 degrees, recorded early yesterday morning. It was 39 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is no snow remaining up top. The trails are in fantastic shape, get out and enjoy them!
Grace and I enjoyed a leisurely Sunday with our friends Alex and Rob yesterday. We spent most of the afternoon reading and talking on the porch of cabin 6, lying in the sunshine and watching the ravens swirl from thermal to thermal. The squirrels were out in full force and I am half surprised that with the high temps and abundant sunshine that we didn't see any larger mammals. We had the luxury of time and let it stretch out as it does only on the mountain.
The pain is a toll I willingly pay on my way to the top, for here, amid these mountains, I restore myself and lose myself, knit together my ego and then surrender it, detach myself from the mass of humanity so I may learn to love them again, all while coexisting with creatures whose kind have lived here for millenia. Phillip Connors
It's a warm, foggy morning up top. The high yesterday reached 49 degrees. The overnight low was 32 degrees. It was 33 degrees and foggy at 7am observation. The mountain received .05" of rain yesterday. There is no snow remaining. There is very little ice remaining on the trails. Get out and enjoy the beauty!
The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside by a generous hand. But- and this is the point- who gets excited by a mere penny? But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. Annie Dillard
It's a beautiful, clear morning up top. The high yesterday reached 30 degrees. The overnight low was 12 degrees. It was 29 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is still about an inch of snow remaining up top. The trails are in good shape and I believe that it is possible to reach the summit without Microspikes. Be careful on the slick spots, but the warm weather today should cause some significant melt... Get out and enjoy the day!
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