There's one thing, though, I can state with confidence: until the feeling that I've done a good job in a race returns, I'm going to keep running marathons, and not let it get me down. Even when I grow old and feeble, when people warn me it's about time to throw in the towel, I won't care. As long as my body allows, I'll keep running. Even if my time gets worse, I'll keep on putting in as much effort - perhaps even more effort - towards my goal of finishing a marathon. I don't care what others say - that's just my nature, the way I am. Like scorpions sting, cicadas cling to trees, salmon swim upstream to where they were born, and wild ducks mate for life. Murakami
It's a beautiful, blue grey morning up top. The high yesterday reached 30 degrees. The overnight low was 9 degrees. It was 9 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new preciptation up top and there is no snow. The trails are sure to be a bit icy after our cold spell. I would definitely recommend Microspikes if you intend to reach the top. Be careful on the way down! It is sure to be slick. Get out and enjoy the holiday weekend!
It's a beautiful, clear day up top. The high yesterday reached 30 degrees. The overnight low was 9 degrees. It was 9 degrees and foggy at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation. There is a light frost on the ground and there is sure to be some glaze ice on the trails. I would bring some Microspikes if you intend to reach the summit! Get out and enjoy this beautiful day!
There are lessons - small lessons, enormous lessons, lessons that may be crucial to the planet's persistence as a green and diverse place and also to the happiness of its inhabitants - that nature teaches and TV can't. Subversive ideas about how much you need, or what comfort is, or beauty, or time, that you can learn from the one great logoless channel and not the hundred noisy onces or even the pay-per-view. Bill McKibben
It's a classically fog filled day up top. The high yesterday reached 47 degrees. The overnight low was 29 degrees. It was 29 degrees and in the clouds at 7am observation. The mountain received .64" of rain, with a thunderstorm (!!!) rolling in late last night. The trails are sure to be a bit soggy and may even have some glaze ice. Get out and enjoy the day!
I went out for a brief evening run last night along the Boulevard trail. It's been a while since I have done a pitch black night run (November 4th!) and was excited to have the opportunity. There is a different level of endorphins that seem to be pumped into you at night, as if your body is recognizing an even more primal set of circumstances and floods the system... it's not just runner's high, but a kind of survivor's high. I felt a bit like I was in 'The Most Dangerous Game'. The stars were pheomenal, as always. The trails were quiet and the lights of the surrounding area consistently surprised me - I kept mistaking them for headlamps when I hurriedly turned corners! The residences seem to fold into the mountains during the day, but at night it's pretty incredible just how many lights you see as you round different corners. I made it up to Anakeesta Knob, then turned around just as last night's front was approaching. I was lucky enough to make it back to the lodge half an hour before the skies opened and the thunder roared. It's not common to have both a headlamp jaunt followed by a thunderstorm... I've only heard thunder up here one other time I can recall. As bizarre as it felt to have a runner's high while I got ready for bed... and a thunderstorm started in late December... at this point, nothing will surprise me about this 'unusual' season!
It is a beautiful, clear morning up top. The high yesterday reached 47 degrees. The overnight low was 29 degrees. It was 35 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received .72" of rain yesterday. There is no snow on the ground and very little ice remaining on the trails. Get out and enjoy this beautiful day!
I don't generally get out very early these day... I am a king of sleep and it has become a rare occurence for me to drag my tired bones out of bed and catch a sunrise. I'm sure I'll get a few more once we have some snow on the ground (it makes everything more interesting) - but my point is, I rarely get to experience those golden predawn moments I cherished in my previous lives. My old routine is to get up around 7:30, get coffee going and read (NBA recaps) and write a bit. Before I am fully aware, it's usually 9:30 and light is just starting to hit the solar panels. I decided to play hooky yesterday, skipping my morning duties and getting hiking around 7:30. This time of the year, that still feels very much like a night hike. The darkness is so thick, so encompassing, especially without the moon and stars. It is so dark it feels like it deserves a better word. It is hard to believe the sun is due to come up in just around 15 minutes. I forgot how active the birds are this time of day. I hear them mostly on my way back from sunset now when I'm listening for the stray voices of misplaced hikers. The gray predawn is also a great place for mind wandering. I had all sorts of bizarre imaginings on my walk yesterday morning. I can't tell if it's the darkness or the fact that I was dreaming just 30 minutes before walking, but it certainly has a noticeably different vibe to it. Every day is a new experiment.
Amazingly, we take for granted that instinct for survival, fear of death, must seperate us from the happiness of pure and uninterpreted experience, in which body, mind, and nature are the same. And this debasement of our vision, the retreat from wonder, the backing away like lobsters from free-swimming life into safe crannies, the desperate instinct that our life passes unlived, is reflected in proliferation without joy, corrosive money rot, the gross befouling of the earth and the air and water from which we came. Peter Matthiesen
It's a beautiful, foggy morning up top. The high yesterday reached 54 (!!!) degrees - which seems like it must be a Christmas record. The overnight low was 41 degrees. It was 42 degrees and foggy at 7am observation. The mountain received a little rain last night, totalling .02 inches. The trails are absurdly clear with all this warm weather. Get out and enjoy the day!
I went out for a lovely trail run yesterday. I am grateful for the fact that I can spin so much living out of two healthy legs, a wandering mind and a curious will. Running up here appeals to me because it optimizes how much (and how intensely) I am able to see and feel in a few select hours. I don't regret any time spent where I get my legs and heart rate going. It's a feeling of freedom intermingled with pure joy. I went out the Boulevard at around 10, just as things were clearing up top. It was the perfect day to be out on the ridge. I came to a sudden stop like a cartoon character as I rounded some corners and saw the fusion of moisture and light. Only in the Smokies! It was a muggy day and as always, it was quiet out there. I only saw 10 folks in 3 hours. It is always worth getting out there.
It's a blustery, foggy day up top. The high yesterday reached 44 degrees. The overnight low was 31 degrees. It was 44 degrees and foggy at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is no snow on the ground. There is very little ice remaining on the trails. Get out and enjoy the misty trails!
That ultimate world, he thinks, or rather dreams, the final world of meat, blood, fire, water, rock, wood, sun, wind, sky, night, cold, dawn, warmth, life. Those short, blunt and irreducible words which stand for almost everything he thinks he has lost. Or never really had. And loneliness? Loneliness? Is that all he has to fear? Edward Abbey
It's another beautiful, blue gray day up top. The high yesterday reached 42 degrees. The overnight low was 22 degrees. It was 34 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation. There is no snow up top. The trails are almost entirely clear of ice. Get out and enjoy the day! Much thanks to Dick for his many kindnesses (that coffee is the truth!) - I look forward to seeing you again SOON!
It's a beautiful, blue gray day up top. The high yesterday reached 42 degrees. The overnight low was 29 degrees. It was 32 degrees and clear up top. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is no snow on the ground. There is very little ice remaining on the trails. Please consider taking a headlamp if you go out on a day hike. This hike is strenuous for most folks and can take longer than you expect. I've seen folks wandering the trails without headlamps after dark the past few nights - needless to say, they were not having the most fun. Also, if you bring a headlamp, you won't get a condescending lecture about planning ahead from a mystified kid of undetermined age at the Lodge as he lends you one of his backups. Win-win. Future self will thank you.
I had a super fun night hike up Alum yesterday. I dropped Grace off at the airport at 4, then hurried through Townsend and got to the trailhead at 5:10. After some haphazard organizing, I threw on my little running pack and got started at 5:18. I was able to run up to Inspiration Point just as dark was descending and drank in a little bit of the view. I love that late evening twilight - the trail seems like she is shrouded in mystery, the right mix of alluring and dangerous that increases the feeling of madness by a few magnitudes. I turned every corner expecting to see bobcats, foxes, and other wild neighbors. I passed the last set of tourists near Mossy Spring and had the settled darkness to myself. The only downside to hiking at this time of the day is that my iPhone can never quote capture how intimate and beautiful and isolating that darkness feels, those emotions reside in that place beyond photography. I got to the home stretch, got surprised by the lights of Gatlinburg (it always seems so unnatural to see lights beyond the woods) and stretched my legs on the last flat bit. I lied down at the top of the staircase, took some deep yoga breaths and enjoyed the delicious flow of endorphins. I noticed the stars were just coming out, quite brightly considering the light pollution from Gatlinburg. I felt grateful to call this deep wild nowhere my playground.
It's yet another beautiful, clear morning up top. The high yesterday reached 46 degrees. The overnight low was 29 degrees. It was 29 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is no snow on the ground. There is very little ice remaining on the trails. Get out and and enjoy this beautiful solstice!
I went out for a lovely long run yesterday. I visited some old haunts and felt the pleasure of hours spent in focused motion. It always feels crazy and wild when I see nobody else on these trails, almost as if I have my own private mountain. The endorphins guarantee it will not be my last long run, not by a long shot. There is too much positive reinforcement. The joy of constant discovery, the simplicity and grace of trail running - it makes it blatantly obvious that we are the product of our experiences. These trails are fluid, with different weather, light and conditions each day, so there is always something to be gained from the simple act of bearing witness.
It's a beautiful, clear morning up top. The high yesterday reached 45 degrees. The overnight low was 31 degrees. It was 32 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is no snow on the ground. There is very little ice on the trails. I have had no trouble getting around what little ice remains. It looks like a beautiful day to visit your favorite mountain! Thanks to Robin & Duke for their holiday kindness!
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!