Saturday's temperatures ranged from 55 to 67 degrees. Our heavy showers accounted for 0.62 inches of rain yesterday, but the duration of the rain wasn't that long. Most of Sunday has been cloudy, but we've seen a few light sprinkles and rare glimpses of the sun through 2:30 p.m.
I wanted to introduce you to Chuck Korbel, our youngest packing llama. Chuck arrived at the farm last winter from Roanoke, Va., but has quickly worked his way to becoming a valuable member of the LeConte string.
Llama wrangler Chrissy, whose parents named the new arrival Chuck, reports that because he's new sometimes he gets a little nervous if he doesn't know what to expect next. She says that Chuck develops little bags under his eyes until he calms down and realizes he can handle the task at hand, then the bags disappear.
"At the beginning, Alan thought Chuck might be a little high maintenance, but he's turned out great," Chrissy said. "From the first day he started packing he walked in a straight line on the trail."
Llama wrangler Alan also offers praise for the rookie. "He's a good worker," Alan said. "He's more of a spitter than most. He's just young and thinks everyone's messing with him."
In other news, I received word from the Park Service that Greenbrier Road will be closed to foot, stock and vehicular traffic from Aug. 12-30 to replace several culverts. That shouldn't affect too many of our hikers because the Brushy Mountain Trail is without question the most lightly used of any of the six main trails to LeConte. For those of you unfamiliar with Brushy Mountain Trail, it shares the last 3.6 miles of the ascent to LeConte with the Trillium Gap Trail. Before it joins Trillium Gap Trail, Brushy Mountain Trail winds upward about 4.5 miles from the Greenbrier area of the park.
I hope we get a nice, clear night atop the mountain tonight because I read that the Perseid Meteor Shower will peak sometime before dawn Monday. I saw the 2010 Perseid display from the top of LeConte and was much impressed.
It was nice to see Phyllis, Mac, Tom and James on top of LeConte this afternoon. They're volunteering for the Park Service to stabilize the cribbing on front of the LeConte Shelter and build a door for its privy. The park is fortunate to have so many fine people willing to volunteer.
Speaking of fine volunteers, we were glad to welcome some descendants of the legendary David Crockett to stay with us last night. You'll be happy to know that all our bears are still in the land of the living. Col. Crockett ranks as my favorite Tennessean of all, and I'll be celebrating his birthday (Aug, 17, 1786) Saturday on my off days. As a native Tennessean, I welcome all of you -- regardless of ZIP code -- to turn off your cell phone, find a rocking chair, share some good stories and hoist a glass of sweet tea to David Crockett, the patron saint of the Tennessee high country.
Allyson and Chris should be back from off days tonight, so I'll turn the updates back over to her. Thanks for reading. Happy trails.