Aug. 20, 2013
Good afternoon to all of you High on LeConte readers. This is Nathan, and I'll be filling in for Allyson for a few days.
Yesterday's high reached only 59 with a low of 50. I returned from off days with a gentle rain accompanying me up the mountain. We totaled 0.65 of an inch of rain at the lodge.
As for the weather today, we awoke to a beautiful morning. We even had some crew members wake up a little early to scare up an extra cup of coffee and enjoy looking at the valley below before breakfast shift started. A cloud enveloped us around lunch, which was soon followed by rain showers, prompting one crew member who had the afternoon shift off (and visions of sunning at Myrtle Point) to offer, "Why does Mother Nature hate us?" As of 2 p.m., it's still pretty cloudy but no longer raining. I think, based on no scientific information whatsoever, that we're paying dues this summer for a beautiful autumn atop Mt. LeConte.
As I mentioned earlier, I hiked back up from off days yesterday. Three days of homegrown, fresh fried okra made my ascent time feel a lot slower than it actually was (but it was worth it). I also noticed some color on a precious few of the blackberries along Alum Cave Bluff Trail. Most of the blackberries are still green as a gourd, but a few are taking on pink and purple hues as they ripen. That transitional ripening color is best manifested this time of year in the bruises of Saturday morning's slow-moving high school football players--a pink and purple reminder of a rock 'em, sock 'em Friday night showdown with county bragging rights on the line.
I was visiting with some of our guests this morning and heard something that pleased all of us who work at the lodge. A father, who brought his family up to LeConte Lodge last year for the first time, was relaying the family discussion about where to take their vacation this year. The finalists appeared to be a trip to the beach or a return engagement up our fine mountain. His son voted for LeConte, saying, "Dad, I had a better time up there than I did at the beach." That's a good thing to hear, and we're also glad you came back to see us.
I hope you all will come back to see us, too. The forecast, always entertaining, looks better long term than it has in a while. Happy trails.
8/20/2013 08:17:01 am
Thanks for the information Nathan. We appreciate you taking over when the others are off the Mtn. Have a blessed day.
8/20/2013 09:26:07 am
I know I'll be one who will be back to see you in September. Just hope the hiking weather is about 70 with no rain. I don't like hiking in hot weather. Don't mind the cold nights up there as scrunching down under those Hudson Bay Blankets keeps me warm and toasty! See you in a few weeks.
8/20/2013 01:27:16 pm
Are there still wild flowers in bloom up there? I am trying to find someone to do a day hike with me next Tuesday. It looks like we may start drying out around here around Thursday. Ive never been up in the summer so I may do it instead of waiting until the Fall.
8/20/2013 11:22:44 pm
Those yellow flowers are beautiful around the lodge if there still there Gina. I've never been up in the fall. Give me a couple of years.
Richard from MA
8/21/2013 01:39:09 am
Nathan, I agree with your young guest: I'll take the mountains over the beach any day because they are more fun. Although I'm not complaining -- I just got back from Acadia N P where we got to play on both!
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