We cannot be entirely upset with the weather of yesterday. After our midday storm, the skies cleared and gave way to an amazing sunset. I have to give credit to Chrissy for one of the photos she took from Cliff Tops. The weather cleared just in time for everyone to trek up the hill. The wind stayed moderate and made it feel cooler than 51 degrees. With the rain blowing in, it didn't seem like the 63 degree high we recorded yesterday. This morning we awoke to more rain and thunderstorms and has stayed steady most of the day. I've heard there are streams running down the trails today. Be ready for some wet weather if you plan on getting out today!
We are hoping the storms today will give way to another wonderful sunset tonight. Keep your fingers crossed for us!
The best part of getting up before the sun or anyone else on the mountain is seeing so many amazing sites! Just before sunrise I stepped out on the porch of the kitchen to see about 10-15 bats flying about for a morning meal. It was so fascinating! Sunrise this morning was so peaceful with birds chirping and the light shades of blue and gold.
Despite the chance for rain, we had a beautiful day yesterday. The temperature reached a moderate 65 degrees and only dropped to 52 overnight. Again today they are calling for a chance of rain. However, currently it is beautiful and sunny. Recently, the mountains have been like Florida; rain coming in the afternoon, sometimes rather unexpectedly. This is just another reason to always be prepared when you go out hiking.
It was a wonderful morning for a hike. The air was cool and the heavy cloud cover kept it that way the whole time I was hiking. The overnight low dropped down to 47 and yesterday was very pleasant reaching 66. It was a beautiful day for a hike.
I want to send out a special hello to two of my favorite future LeConte employees, Katherine and Meredith, who Katie and I meet last year. We hoped in 20 years they might replace us. Some of you may remember seeing them on the blog last year. I got to see Katherine hiking with her grandmother on Alum this morning. It was such a great surprise! I hope to see both of them up here again next year!
Lisa has been a big help to the lodge this week. Between teaching Chrissy to weave and putting new seats in the dining room chairs, she has kept herself very busy! I know our guests will appreciate the comfortable chairs when they get up here!
Hello! Meredith here again! Well, I think Chrissy had a wonderful birthday up on the mountain. Besides the cake and ice cream she got a special treat: Lisa Line, Tim's wife, taught her how to weave. We are all looking forward to the special projects she's promised us!
We finally got some much needed rain. The storms moved in yesterday afternoon and dumped 1.5" of rain before clearing off for an amazing view of the valley around sunset. The clouds were very high allowing small hints of pink to streak through the sky. The front cooled everything off; the overnight low dropped to 48 and we only reached 62 during the day. I hope everyone has a wonderful day! It's almost the weekend!
Sometimes the only way to get items up the mountain is to strap them on our backs. Chrissy and Walt agreed to put a couple of chairs on their backs and hike them up the hill. No, grandma was not sitting in them.
Today is Chrissy's birthday! She has never seen a bear in the wild. I saw our first bear in camp this morning. I told her she might get a great b'day present and spot him again.
It was a chilly night last night. The low was only 50, but the clouds were blowing in and it made the air quit cool.
The high was 63. Sunny up top as I write. I hope it holds out. Chris and I hike down this evening. Meredith will fill you in the mountain musings while we are gone. See you all Tuesday.
If you have wondered how we have power for the laptop I use for this blog, this should answer your questions. We have a block of solar panels that generate enough power to keep our cell phone, laptop, park radio, meat slicer, and other electronics charged. The solar panels track with the sun. It then sends the energy to a couple of gel batteries which holds the power. We charge all of our electronics off of the batteries. We also have a system for our water pump, incinerator, and our wood shed. The wood shed system allows us to use power tools for all of our building projects. Sorry to say, we are not as rustic as people might think we are. Thanks to the sun, we have a few luxuries.
Chris and I get asked alot how we came into this line of work. I thought I would shed a little light on the subject. This picture was just added to the Appalachian Trail Conference's website. Chris and I met in April of 2000 while attempting to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. I ended up tearing the ligaments in my foot after 660 miles and we came off the trail. I tell people we met while hiking up Shuckstack in the Smokies. We have been together ever since. Needless to say, we love the outdoors and a good adventure. This line of work provides us with both.
Now, time to go and enjoy another beautiful day on the mountain. The sun is out and it is looking like it is going to be a beauty.
I took this photo of the chicks a couple of days ago. They were all curled up together sleeping. You can see a little bit of yellow on the upper section of the nest. That is a beak. When I went back yesterday, they were all gone. I am hoping that they were all ready to leave the nest. I know Juncos have a high mortality rate, due to their nests being so low to the ground. The chicks looked pretty big, so I am saying they all fledged.
We had a beautiful day up top. There were a lot of kids in camp enjoying the outdoors. It is great to see kids get hike up here and spend the day running and playing. There are so many cool things for a child to experience on Mt. LeConte. If you are wondering if your child is old enough, the answer is yes. We get all ages on the mountain. You would be amazed at how well young kids do on the hike. I have seen three year olds hike the whole way to the top. So, bring your kids up. They will love it up here.
Who said we don't have waterfalls on top of Mt. LeConte?
It appears we received our June rain in two hours. Three and half inches dumped on us in two hours. There was some hail, lightening, and booming thunder. It is ever more impressive when you head is right in the cloud. The temperature cooled down after that. The low was 48 degrees. Today is starting out beautiful. I know they are calling for storms this afternoon. I hope it holds off.