The winds are howling this morning. It is a windy and wet mountain top. We received over an inch of rain yesterday and it is coming down at the moment. The clouds were whipping around Myrtle Point. It is amazing to watch the storm systems work their way through the mountains. Our very own crew member, Brad, spent a short time in school studying to be a meteorologist. He likes to point out the crazy storm systems we see hanging over the lodge. The only thing I am not fond of is when the storm is directly over head. You feel as though your head is in the cloud when it thunders. Oh, wait, my head IS in the cloud. I do, however, love the sound of the rain on the roof. It makes for great sleeping conditions.
The high yesterday was 61º with the being 51º. It is currently cloudy and wet. I believe the forecast is calling for rain today.
It was a great day for catching some rays on Myrtle Point. The sun came in and out and helped me with my much needed vitamin D intake. Surprisingly, we were the only ones out there for over an hour. I was grateful to be able to enjoy the sand myrtle at its peak. The high was 59º but it felt much warmer sitting on the rocks. The mountain top is alive with greenery. The ferns are going crazy with all of the moisture we have been getting.
I hear that the fireflies are starting to do their thing. If you have heard about the synchronized fireflies and wonder what the fuss is about, check out this link, http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/fireflies.htm.
They are an amazing display of what nature has to offer here in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you are wondering if we witness the fireflies on the mountain? The answer is, no. You have to see them in the lower elevations. Elkmont is usually the best place to watch this amazing show.
For those of you who saw the Today show segment, I am sure you will agree, they represented LeConte Lodge well. The crew was thrilled to take a break from making beds to watch and see what they had to say about our beloved mountain lodge. I will provide the link for those of you who did not get a chance to see it.
As Al Roker would day, "Here's what's happening in our neck of the woods". It is a beautiful sunny day up top. We could see the valley below us. I was out side watching the sun rise up over High Top as two doe scampered by. They love this time of morning. They act as if they own the mountain top. I guess, in a way, they kind of do. They add a special to touch to our LeConte experience. The crew is ready to see some fawns playing around camp.
Yesterday was an on again off again theme. The sun would tease us for a few minutes right before the rain would come down. The high was 59º with a low of 47º. It is currently sunny and beautiful. Today is going to be a great day for hiking. Come on up and say hello.
The sand myrtle are in full in swing around Myrtle Point. Chris took a stroll yesterday afternoon to check it out. We had a rain shower around noon which cleared out later in the afternoon. The high yesterday was 62º with a low of 51º. It is currently raining cats and dogs. The link takes you to some interesting reading on the origin of the phrase. I thought you might enjoy a little lite reading on a day like today. Life on the mountain has been a little wet lately. It has been my experience that the more rain we get in the beginning of the season, the better the blackberry season we have. You will want to check with the National Park for current laws on picking berries. They may differ from park to park.
If you get out for a hike this weekend, make sure you have your rain gear. The tropical storm is making its way up the east coast and is making its presence known on our favorite mountain. Stay dry and happy and hiking.
It is looking like another rainy day up top. We received almost an 1.5" last night and the forecast is calling for rain for the next four days. The high yesterday was 60º with a low of 49º. This rain is helping everything turn lush and green. I heard the myrtle at Myrtle Point is in full swing. I have not had a chance to make it out there. Hopefully, I will be able to hike out over the next couple of days and get some good pictures.
On a more exciting note, we should be mentioned on the Today show in the morning. They my include some of my photos in the spot, but we do not know just yet. They are interviewing a person about National Park adventures, and we made the cut. Check it out and let me know how it goes.
We seem to be in a weather pattern that involves occasional clouds and occasional sun. This is the time of year when I say ignore the weather forecast and come prepared for anything. Yesterday was a little bit of both. The high was 63º with a low of 46º. Someone was asking about the mountain laurel and if it was in bloom. No signs up here, I can not say for lower elevations. The myrtle is in bloom on the top. I will try and get some pics the next couple of days.
I was standing on the porch of the office, after the deluge on Sunday, and was taking in how green everything is after heavy rains. I was also noticing the difference in camp and how the fraser firs seem to be making a come-back. The firs that Chris replanted from the helicopter pad seem to be doing so well. It will be nice to come back in thirty years and see a totally different camp. And yes, I said come back. I don't think I will still be at the lodge in thirty years. I do, however, think I will still be making the trek to stay on top of my favorite mountain.
As I sit here and type, the sun is coming out. We had on and off sunshine yesterday. The high was 57º with a low of 44º. The fog has lifted this morning and I am looking at blue skies. Looks like it is going to be a stellar day up top.
Now, I have an exciting announcement. LeConte Lodge is happy to announce that we are finally putting together a calendar with photos from the lodge and different trails. We are hoping to have them finished by the middle of summer and available for purchase on our website. I will let you know how the progress is going and when they will be available.
LeConte Falls made another appearance yesterday. The mountain received almost 2.5" of rain yesterday. There were some wet hikers making their way up the mountain. After the rain stopped, the clouds lifted, and we had an amazing view of the valley below. Some of the guests were commenting that it was the clearest they have ever seen. It is something else to experience the view once the rain stops and the it has washed away the "haze". You can see every nook and cranny from the hills below to the Kentucky and Virginia borders. The high yesterday was 56º with a low of 50º. We are currently socked in, but it is dry as of now.
Now, as for the wool blankets we use on the beds. They are Hudson Bay blankets. The beds were made from the lumber that was milled on the mountain. Jack Huff built each bed in the rooms where they are today. The beds would have to be disassembled to be taken out of the rooms. When you are on the mountain, just remember, you are sleeping on a piece of LeConte history.
This photo is for those of you who frequent the site and have not had a chance to visit this amazing mountain. The photograph was taken of one of the rooms in one of our three bedroom lodges. All of the cabins and lodges have bunkbeds with three wool blankets on them. They also have propane heaters in each room. Today is going to be a good day to enjoy the heaters and wool blankets. It is so dark and rainy I had to light my oil lamp to see. It feels like it is dusk. I think this morning is going to be a three cups of coffee kind of morning. So, I am predicting rain for the rest of the day. It is very different from yesterday. We had beautiful blue skies with a high of 67º during the day and a low of 51º last night. If you are hiking up today, please remember to bring dry clothing with you. You will want a change of clothes when you get to the top.
As for my lovely picture from yesterday, those of you who thought it was human scat, it is not. The scat is bear
I first want to apologize to anyone who might get offended by this photo of bear scat. I thought it would be fun to share this and tell you what a conversation between crew members consists of. First off the crew comes in from their awesome hike out to Myrtle and the first thing they show me is a picture of this bear scat that is right in the middle of the trail. For those of you who hike during the warmer months, you know this is not unusual to find bear scat in the middle of the trail. Our conversation consisted of wondering why they choose the middle of trail. My answer was, they did not read the latest copy of Emily Post's Etiquette. I do not know if they can smell our scent and they are trying to mark their territory? If any of you are bear experts, we would love to hear your answer. With this post comes the usual bear warnings. We have not seen any in camp, but as you can see in the picture, they are out and about. They have been spotted around the shelter and the top of the mountain. Remember, do not leave your packs unattended. I figured this will be a great post to get the comments going. I am eager to read your theories. I will also leave you with another amazing sunset from last night. I thought that would be a better parting shot.
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!