Hello to all of you. I've been fortunate to meet several High on LeConte readers on the trail and at the lodge recently. I've enjoyed visiting with you. Thanks for coming to see us. Allyson and Chris are enjoying some down time, so I'll try to provide you with LeConte Lodge news for the next week.
As of Monday afternoon, the weather on LeConte looks fine, but with thickening clouds. However, there is a chance of rain in the forecast. I did see a dark cloud rising over the mountain around lunch that made me take my drying laundry off the clothes line. Maybe that will jinx us into good weather. Sunday's high registered 60 degrees, while the overnight low was 44.
Chrissy made the crew homemade strawberry ice cream for Sunday dinner dessert, the crew's most anticipated meal of the week. She used fresh strawberries from below -- carefully tended by farmers in the land of thick air -- to flavor her labor-intensive concoction. There won't be any wasted.
I think if the election were held today Chrissy would be elected mayor of LeConte Lodge in a landslide after bribing her constituents with fine ice cream. I've heard about old-time politicians bringing out the tobacco and libations to swing an election in the frontier days. However, it's hard to argue with ice cream on our frontier at the top of Tennessee. If LeConte had its own commodities and precious metal exchange (not that I expect us to join the financial centers of the world anytime soon), ice cream would be listed every bit as highly as gold, oil and platinum--all pretty tough to come by up here.
I expect we'll be plenty busy through the next week as school winds down and the youngsters trade one type of backpack for another. Come on up and visit. Have a fine day. Happy trails.
The sun is playing peek-a-boo between the clouds. This has made for a chilly spring morning. Chris and I are trying to will the sun to come out for our hike down the mountain today. We are heading down for some time in the low lands. We have a list a mile long of yard projects that need to be taken care of. I am not sure how much rest and relaxtion we are going to get. Once again you will be entertained by the great story teller we call Nathan. He certainly keeps us in stiches. He has also been known to do a mean Neil Diamond impersonation. I hope you all enjoy your stories and I will be back in a week.
We were lucky to have a fantastic group of kids stay with us Thursday night. These kids are from Pi Beta Phi school in Gatlinburg. This trip was part of a "Parks as Classrooms" reward trip. Melissa Crisp, a teacher on the trip, told me about the program, " Parks as Classrooms at Pi Beta Phi is a cross-curricular standards based program which uses Great Smoky Mountains National Park resources to teach lessons to K-8 grade students." The trip is a reward for the students with the most service hours. These service hours are performed in the National Park. What a great way to teach the kids about a wonderful resource we have in our "backyard". It warms my heart to see children of all ages experiencing the wonders of nature. Who knows, maybe there is a future Ranger in the bunch.
I got a chance to get out of camp and do a little hiking. Yesterday was a perfect day to head down Bullhead. There are a few trillium left about a mile down from the lodge. I also saw a patch of Umbrella Leaf plants in bloom. I love their big leaves. You can tell it is related to the May- Apple plant. The temperatures are so pleasant at the moment. Today is shaping up to be a repeat of yesterday. It is going to be a booming weekend on the mountain if the weather stays like this.
It always makes me said to see these little fellas crushed on the trail. When you can't see the view ahead of you, it is great to take your time and check out the view around your feet. Chris and I enjoyed the undergrowth on Rocky Spur as well as the views. The bright yellow lichen that made its home around the base of the sand myrtle added another element to the forest floor.
Today is starting out to be a nice day. Maybe the sun will grace us with its presence. I am becoming a little vitamin D deficient. If the weatherman is correct, it should be a nice couple of days.
One more reminder, as summer is about to set in, please, please, please remember to bring water with you when hiking. Don't just bring it with you, but drink it. The general rule of thumb is to drink 1 quart of water or some sort of electrolyte replacement drink for every hour you are out hiking. Most of the medical issues we get on the mountain are due to folks not drinking enough fluid while hiking up the mountain. No, caffeinated drinks do not count as fluids.
The incredible sunrise we witnessed yesterday did not last long. We got a short tease and in blew the clouds. It proceeded to rain on us for the rest of the day. Maybe today will be like yesterday just opposite. We are currently socked in. My hope is the sun will burn through the clouds and leave us with a beautiful day on the mountain. The temperatures have been in the mid 50s during the days and low 40s at night. As for the weather pattern, this is a typical May. We see a lot of rain in the months of May and June.
“The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”- John Muir
The sun is a welcomed site. We have missed it for the past four days. I was looking at the calendar and realized that we have had three days of sun in the past fifteen days. My "happy light" is getting some good use. The crew was inquiring about renting it if these rainy days hung around much longer. We measured about an inch and half of rain over the last 48 hours. I hope to get out and check on the sand myrtle today. I have a feeling Cliff Tops is at its peak.
P.S. for those of you asking questions about John's hikes, he has not seen the blog post yet. He does not have internet access on the mountain. As soon as I get enough juice in the computer, I intend to sit him down and ask him to address the questions.
"Out of the strain of the doing, Into the peace of the done." ~Julia Woodruff, Gone
We are often asked what we do on our days off; well for one LeConte employee, the answer is hiking. John Northrup officially finished all of the trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We are super proud of him. He came here with a goal and completed it on his last days off the mountain. it was great hearing stories about his long days on the trails. Some hikes were in the 30 to 35 mile range.
You might ask what John's next big goal is? The answer would be getting married to the love of his life that he met his first year as a crew member. This time next month, John and Bonnie will be putting on their best wedding clothes and tying the knot. Don't worry, I will be sure and take pictures :)
In stead of posting a picture of the rain and clouds that are draping over the mountain as I type, I thought I would post another one from my hike on Thursday. This is another view from Rocky Spur. We are currently in the clouds and listening to the rain drops on the roof. The temperatures have hovered in the 40s for the high and the low. The crew is looking forward to a nice lunch today. I hand churned some lemon buttermilk ice cream for desert. That should bring the sunshine out.
I hope that all the mothers out there have a great Mothers Day! I would like to say Happy Mothers to my mom. She is the best mom a girl could ask for.
It is that time of year when Cookie Huff Bowling brings her family and friends back to the mountain she was raised on. Cookie is the daughter of Jack Huff. She spent most of her younger years on this mountain, in fact, she was telling me that she would come up in April and not leave until November. I could not imagine not getting off the mountain at least a few days each month. It is always great to see the younger generations on the mountain running and playing in the great outdoors.
The temperatures are warming up considerably. Yesterdays high was 58. The evenings are still chilly. We reached 33 degrees last night. Remember to pack layers if you are coming up to stay.
Some one was asking about the sand myrtle. We hiked to Rocky Spur on Thursday, it was in full bloom. The view was breathtaking. The sand myrtle on Cliff Tops and Myrtle point still has another few days or a week until it is in its prime.
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!