September 30, 2017
What a gorgeous start to an autumn weekend, and conclusion to the month of September. Conditions are cool and clear on the mountain, a great time to be up top. Yesterday's high temperature was 65 degrees, and the overnight low dropped more than it has in a while, down at 40. We're back to seeing no rain. We're currently in the 50's with mostly sunny skies. Having that extra layer will help keep one comfortable up at this elevation. The Mountain Ash trees have just about dropped all of their leaves, while the Ferns, Coneflower, and White Snakeroot continue to brown and whither. Surprisingly, there are still several Crimson Red Bee Balm in bloom below the llama troughs.
We're already starting to see some day hikers make their way up to the lodge. Should be a hustle and bustle kind of afternoon. Enjoy your Saturday and take care.
September 29, 2017
Well, on paper it says that our streak of days without rain came to an end, but the 0.05" we received late yesterday afternoon was a laugher. We've been mostly cloudy today, although the extended forecast sure looks to be sunny and beautiful. Should be a great time to get outside and play in the mountains! Yesterday's high temperature of 68 degrees marked the warmest day of September. Our low came in at 49.
It's almost reservation time! The fun begins this coming Monday, October 2nd at 8:00 AM. Our team is excited to start answering the phones and sifting through the lottery submissions to get folks booked for next season. A big thank you in advance for your patience as we work through it all as efficiently as we can.
Have a great weekend.
September 28, 2017
Our rainless streak continues, having lasted two weeks now. At first, the forecasts were showing a decent chance or rain this afternoon, but that has since subsided. It'll be a surprise to get a mist at this point. Yesterday's high temperature was 66 degrees with a mild low of 48. We've been under mostly sunny skies today with temps once again in the 60's.
We're anticipating a busy weekend on the mountain, with leaves changing around the park and October coming up in a sprint. Sunny autumn days always draw the crowds to the Smokies. If you're going to be spending a night with us in the coming weeks, particularly on the weekends, you'll want to be sure and get to those trailheads early enough to ensure a decent parking space. They tend to fill up quickly this time of year.
Special shout out to Gene and Carol for the chips, assistance, and great company. Thank you for embodying the iconic LeConte guest experience. And thank you to all of the wonderful folks we've had the privilege of hosting this last month. There are now fewer than eight weeks remaining for visitors to make some lasting mountain memories before we enter our winter dormancy.
Have a great rest of the day.
September 27, 2017
It sure looks like everybody is basking in the sunshine today except us. These clouds continue to cling to the mountain top, preventing the morning dew from drying out and keeping things a little cooler. Yesterday's high temperature was 65 degrees followed by a low of 44. Still humid down below, but today's llama train made it up just fine with crew groceries and linens.
We're starting to see some more bear activity around camp. Please keep us posted anytime you see one, not just here at the lodge, but along the approach trails as well. That way we can take appropriate action in notifying the NPS and ensuring the safety of the bear and guests. As always, please don't feed the bears, as this only encourages bad habits. Thank you.
Have a great day.
September 26, 2017
It sounds like summer is having a hard time letting go down in the valley. If you're looking to beat the heat over the next week or so, take solace in knowing that you have an escape here in the mountains, where autumn is in full swing. Today marks the 12 hours of daylight mark according to our sunrise/sunset chart, both occurring around 7:25 AM and PM respectively. Yesterday's high temperature came in at 64 degrees, and our low for the period was 44. Once again, no precipitation. We've gone a week and a half now without rain, and the extended forecast shows no change in that regard. Yes, sunny and beautiful days are nice in the mountains, but it's important for us to see a balance in what the weather throws at us. Fortunately, we're still able to crank out spring water like we have all year, but we're already hearing about other places in the region getting very low. Please join us in doing some rain dances!
Although it looks like summer isn't going away just yet, historically, this is the time we post up the crew's traditional snow pool. We'll see who can accurately predict the first snowfall of the 2017 autumn season. It always varies on Mt. LeConte. Sometimes the earliest recording will occur in September, there have been some massive dumpings around Halloween in recent years, or you have 2016, where there wasn't even a single snow flurry recorded in the final quarter of the year. It's hard to believe we'd see a repeat of the latter, but it's anybody's guess. When do you think we'll see the first of the flurries fly?
Have a great rest of the day.
September 24, 2017
It's been a beautiful autumn day on Mt. LeConte, with substantial sunshine and intermittent clouds scattering the light across the surrounding mountains. Ought to be another stellar sunset tonight, which has been a trend of late with all these dry days. It doesn't look like that's going to change anytime soon, in which some rain would be nice after one of our longest dry spells of the year so far. Saturday's high temperature came in at 67 degrees and our low was fairly mild at 47. We once again have enjoyed the mid 60's again today.
The llamas had another successful supply haul today. Just a reminder for folks that their schedule will continue to be Sunday/Wednesday/Friday through the end of the season. Fall color around camp is past peak at this point as the Mountain Ash are browning and dropping leaves. There are already shades of yellow appearing at the middle elevations. Sounds like the leaf peeping season will come a little sooner than normal this year.
Have a great finish to the week. Hard to believe October is a week away!
September 22, 2017
Happy first day of Autumn! It may still feel like summer in your neck of the woods, but up here there's no turning back the clock. It appears as though the rain chances continue to withdraw, so this weekend is looking favorable for a day on the trail. Yesterday's temperatures were an exact repeat of the day prior, with a high of 65 degrees and a low of 47. If these blue skies persist through the afternoon we should once again enjoy the 60's. These clear nights have been making for some fantastic sunsets and star gazing lately.
Have a great day, and may the poem below get you in the seasonal mood.
Cold wind of autumn, blowing loud
At dawn, a fortnight overdue,
Jostling the doors, and tearing through
My bedroom to rejoin the cloud,
I know -- for I can hear the hiss
And scrape of leaves along the floor --
How may boughs, lashed bare by this,
Will rake the cluttered sky once more.
Tardy, and somewhat south of east,
The sun will rise at length, made known
More by the meagre light increased
Than by a dusk in splendour shown;
When, having but to turn my head,
Through the stripped maple I shall see,
Bleak and remembered, patched with red,
The hill all summer hid from me.
-Edna St. Vincent Millay
September 21, 2017
Happy final day of summer! The clouds have had a more active role today, keeping things a little cooler and veiled. Yesterday's temperatures came out to a high of 65 degrees and our low was 47. We're about to go a week without any liquid precipitation, so a good rain would be a welcomed reprieve. Although, it has been really nice to spend so much time outside lately. The rain chances increase in the coming days, so we'll see how it shakes out for the weekend. Come prepared for anything if you're joining us.
The natural world of Mt. LeConte is changing, and one's senses are picking up on the annual transformation. The forest has a glow to it as rays pass through the trees having already parted ways with their leaves, while those still clinging to their branches shine bright with gold. New smells of cinnamon join the constant sweet aroma of spruce and fir, as ferns, coneflower, and snake root whither. Days in the sun can achieve a desired warmth, but the lowering solar orb invites a chill as shadows lengthen and sunlight wanes. It may be hot and humid in the Tennessee Valley below, but atop the mountain that rises more than a mile above, autumn is in full swing.
It's been another productive week with our friends from Crowder Construction. Please pardon our progress while a few of our maintenance projects require the use of tools emitting unnatural noises one expects in the backcountry. We always strive to minimize this kind of impact during the guest experience, especially on a mountain that has visitors around the clock. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support!
Have a great afternoon.
P.S. Happy Birthday, Trooper!
September 20, 2017
We're off to a beautiful beginning of the day. Conditions above the mountain are clear and blue, but it looks like the fog from the valley below is blowing upward. The chance for rain later today is slight, so we're expecting a repeat performance of yesterday. Still looking like Friday could be a wet one at times. Yesterday's high was a cozy 64 degrees, and our low recorded Tuesday morning was 42. It's already in the 50's this morning.
Clouds threatened to sock us in around supper time, and there was a brief mist that I'm not sure even touched the ground, so nothing to tally in the ole gauge there. The sunset colors were breathtaking last night, and the show continued well into the evening as lightning on the northern horizon flashed for hours.
Have yourself a marvelous day.
September 19, 2017
Conditions on the mountain continue to be favorable, as rain chances over the next several days have all been downplayed, with only Friday showing the best opportunity for storms in the PM. Skies are pleasant, the air is calm, and the temperatures feel fabulous, which is making the outdoor projects go a lot smoother. We managed to tag 66 degrees again, and our overnight low dipped down to 41. We're back in the comfortable 60's again today, and there's a decent crowd of hikers enjoying the mountain. Our current streak of sans precipitation continues.
Autumn is almost here, and it certainly has everyone excited. Getting hard to believe there's only nine more weeks of serving guests this season. We've had the pleasure of hosting so many fabulous folks. It continues to be a joy and privilege to reconnect with so many friendly faces visiting the mountain, while also introducing newcomers to the magic of Mt. LeConte. We'll start booking up cabins for the 2018 season very soon on Monday, October 2nd.
As always, you can visit our online store to check out the latest in LeConte Lodge swag. These are mostly items you won't find up top in our souvenir shop; thus, no "I Hiked It" memorabilia, but plenty of great logo apparel and gift-ware pieces. Getting a jump on the holiday shopping is never a bad idea, especially if that special someone you're thinking of loves tallying up miles on Tennessee's famous mountain!
Have a great rest of the afternoon.
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