got a flaming heart, can't get my fill.
It's finally starting to feel like winter up here, the high yesterday only reached 34 degrees. The overnight low was 23 degrees and it was 31 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain still has some slick spots after yesterday's patchy snow. It would be wise to pack some kind of traction devices, although you could get away without having them by using caution.
_It looks like it will be a clear, beautiful day. The light snow that has accumulated on the trees up top is mesmerizing. I was losing myself all afternoon as I watched the sun play in the pines. It is a study of constant renewal. I can't wait to see more... hopefully on Thursday. This little taste of snow has me yearning for more more more. I want the mountain to get pummelled.
tenderly, tenderly please take my breath from me into the fountains and up from the graves.
I awoke to some snowfall this morning! Perhaps I was a bit hasty in losing hope for anything resembling a promising winter. It's not much, but it's a start. The high yesterday reached 41 degrees. The overnight low was 25 degrees. It was 25 degrees and cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received .20" of rain yesterday and a dusting of patchy snow.
_I was treated to a spectacular light show over Gatlinburg last night. There was a low hanging storm that caught me by surprise as I was headed for bed. At first, I thought that I was seeing things. The display seemed too dramatic to be lightning and it didn't occur to me that I'd see such an exhibition this late in the year. It was hard to make out the storm clouds at first against the inky, black sky, but I quickly grabbed my down jacket from inside and huddled in a rocker with my sleeping bag. From about 6:30 to 7:30 I was able to see about 25 flashes from above. I'm guessing the Knoxville Airport was diverting flights around the storm, as there were more visible airplanes than I've ever seen up here. I counted 7 planes at one point on the outer edges of the storm. It's also possible that there are always that many planes, I am just usually in bed by 7pm ... the exhausting life of a caretaker!
so that's how i learned the lesson that everyone's alone and your eyes must do some raining if you're ever gonna grow.
The mountain is shrouded in heavy clouds at the moment. My headlamp barely got me to the kitchen this morning. The high yesterday reached 42 degrees. The overnight low was 35 degrees. It was 38 degrees and cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received 1.10" of rain yesterday. If it were only 10 degrees colder... the mountain would have over a foot and a half of snow. I can't lose hope on winter this early in the season, but this is starting to get discouraging.
I had a great hike down to the Alum Cave Bluffs yesterday. It was raining lightly the whole time and low clouds were hanging over us as we descended. The mountain felt so alive with the warm temperatures and damp vibrancy. I was half expecting the rhododendron to start blooming. I'll happily drink up these wet days (even if I would prefer some snow), the crowds thin out and beauty is still everywhere. It feels like my own private mountain hamlet on such 'miserable' days.
The mountain is in a heavy cloud at the moment. The high yesterday reached 46 degrees and the overnight low was 35 degrees. It was 41 degrees and raining at 7am observation. The mountain received .70" of rain yesterday... I would've been set for a White Christmas if it were 10 degrees colder yesterday! The NOAA forecast is calling for a 90% chance of rain. Be prepared to get wet if you're venturing up today! Enjoy the day!
it's true. baby, i'm howlin' for you.
It looks like it will be another beautiful day up top. The skies are clear and the forecast is promising. The high reached 53 degrees yesterday. The low yesterday was 30 degrees and it was 37 degrees and clear at 7am observation.
If I were on the fence about visiting LeConte in the winter months, I'd hike up today. Who knows, it could be the last chance before we get some serious snow... or at least before the holidays. The trails are in great shape for this time of year and as long as you bring the ten essentials, extra food, layers and a headlamp you should be set. Be aware that the sun's been setting around 5:30 and ambient light can bring you home until 6sh. Happy hiking!
Oh, and if anyone is wondering.... Cabot Cheese, Green Mountain Coffee (a darker roast) and a Sunday New York Times would make my weekend! New England nostalgia!
sweet, sweet whiskey won't you be all mine? if you were to fill the ocean, i would drink it dry.
It's already a beautiful day. The forecast is looking good, too. The high yesterday reached 47 degrees (it felt even warmer in the sun!) and the low was 25 degrees. It was 30 degrees and clear at 7am observation.
I had a wonderful, lazy day around camp yesterday. I really enjoyed soaking in the sun and making some progress on 'The Tiger's Wife' (thanks Alice!). Special thanks to Lindi for hiking me up some much appreciated New Belgium Snow Day Ale. I got up around 2am and watched the Geminids from a nice, open spot. They were pretty spectacular. I counted 44 shooting stars in between bouts of dreamy sleep. I'd wake up, feel the shock of cold air on my face and have the immediate comfort of happy memories under the stars warm me. Then I'd remember who I am, where I am and how I'm supposed to be watching for meteors. That made me feel even better.
The secret of the mountains is that the mountains simply exist, as I do myself: the mountains exist simply, which I do not. The mountains have no "meaning," they are meaning; the mountains are. The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is ringing that we share. I understand all this, not in my mind but in my heart, knowing how meaningless it is to try to capture what cannot be expressed, knowing that mere words will remain when I read it all again, another day. Peter Matthiessen
It looks like it'll be a great day to be out on the trail. The high yesterday reached 40 degrees and the overnight low hit 25 degrees. It was 25 degrees and clear at 7am observation. I went down Bullhead and up Rainbow yesterday. The trail down Bullhead is still in pretty bad shape. There are 4 or 5 blowdowns that are pretty tricky. Here's a photo of one...
_There's almost no ice left on the trails. We've been having some 'good sky' for views and it looks like that should continue through the weekend. I'm hoping the clear skies hold up this evening. My friend Jim pointed out to me that there's a major meteor shower tonight. It won't be quite as fun as the Perseids, but I'm going to scout out a nice high point and test out my new cold weather sleeping system (Special thanks to Aaron at 3T Threadworks!). I'll be the guy sipping coffee in a purple quilt. You may not recognize me because after seeing 100 meteors an hour I may no longer be human.
In other news, nothing beats snail mail. Especially when you hike 10 miles to get it. Anticipation is a gift in itself. Thanks to all my amazing friends who take the time to correspond with me, sending me long letters and their lightly used copies of Rolling Stone. You've got a special place in my heart.
he must stare in the eyes of evil and know that he is free. 'til the good lord calls, keep on wanderin'.
It was a brisk (some might even say wintry!) day yesterday. The high was only 36 degrees. The low was 20 degrees after yesterday's cool start to the day. It was 26 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation yesterday. The trails are still quite wet after Tuesday's heavy rainfall. Portions up top will be icy after these low temperatures. Be prepared!
I had a nice hike out the Boulevard trail yesterday. The trail is in pretty good shape. There are still 3 or 4 tricky blowdowns, but they are passable. It was unusual seeing no snow atop LeConte, then hitting the Boulevard and finding a pleasant dusting. I am a very amateur meteorologist, so I have no explanation for this, but it was a wonderful surprise. A dash of winter to sate my appetite. I also read this great article on cabin life. I paid them off not to include LeConte so I can still have some semblance of solitude.
you know i dreamed about you for 29 years before i saw you. you know i dreamed about you. i missed you for 29 years.
The mountain is an island in the clouds at the moment. After yesterday's storm moved on, I've been atop a breathtaking inversion. The overnight low dropped to 21 degrees after staying in the mid-40's during yesterday's gray chaos. It was 21 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The high reached 46 degrees and the mountain received .95" of rain. I wish it were snow, but it's hard to complain when sunrise looks like this...
On my way back from sunrise, I got to wondering if living up here could actually be physically bad for me. How much is too much beauty? Could being up here act like ecstasy on one's brain? I've read that heavy users potentially damage their serotonin receptors and are much more prone to depression, among other unsavory results. Could the constant beauty sap me of joy and make me physically incapable of a baseline level of happiness later in life? After my thru-hike, I joked that I was depressed because I was suffering from 'post-traumatic no stress disorder'. Is it possible that it's not a joke, but could have an actual physical basis? That it is not just a lifestyle adjustment, but is based on a biological mutation? I wish that I could do more than just guess at this and see a PET scan on people's brains before and after their thru-hikes...
No point in speculating in the grim, I should get out and enjoy the day... while I'm still here.
The mountain is in a whirling cloud right now. I heard my first thunder of the season a little while ago. The overnight temperature rose unusually to 46 degrees last night with the arrival of this nasty storm system. The low yesterday was 41 degrees. It was 46 degrees and raining at 7am observation this morning. Be careful on the trails today, folks.
I had my first hike up Rainbow yesterday afternoon. There are still a few minor blowdowns, but the trail is in good condition. I've seen every trail except Trillium and would recommend Rainbow or Alum for anyone looking to hike up. Bullhead is in nasty shape and Boulevard's 8 miles & Trillium's 9 miles drag on longer than you'd like for these short days. It looks like today will be the first of many indoor days of my caretaking season, as it's quite nasty out. I'm really looking forward to my neglected domestic pleasures - making pizza dough, drinking coffee, doing yoga and core workouts to stave off physical boredom, reading books, writing letters, and resting my legs for another week of phenomenal hiking. Tough life!
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