I'm writing on a gorgeous day at the lodge. We've been looking up at lovely cumulus clouds floating across the sky. To date, we haven't been swallowed by one and have seen much sun.
Thursday proved a pretty day until the clouds rolled in mid-afternoon. Just before crew supper at 5 p.m., the dining room grew quite dark and the skies opened for a real frog-strangling rain. We ended up with a couple of heavy showers around supper and more rain overnight for a total of 1.19 inches (to be honest, I expected the rain gauge to read more than that). Thursday's high reached 73 degrees with a low of 53. The 73-degree reading marks the hottest day since July 29 and is just shy of the the 74-degree season high.
Speaking of frogs, the big rain didn't strangle all of them. While doing chores this morning I saw the biggest frog I've ever seen at the lodge. This puddle-jumper was big as a grapefruit. Truth be known, we usually don't see many frogs at all. We do hear them often in the evenings, as part of our LeConte classical concerts. This big specimen didn't do any singing while I was around, but if he did, I expect he'd sound like Tennessee Ernie Ford.
When I hiked up earlier this week, I turned the corner at Inspiration Point and looked back at the peaks behind. In this time of year, the vegetation has maxed out lush and verdant. It won't be long before autumn takes over (it has already begun in subtle ways at the lodge). However, now those peaks behind Inspiration Point rise so green it looks like a burglar has hit Elvis Presley's Graceland on the other end of our fine state and draped a massive swath of the pilfered shag carpet from his "Jungle Room" over the mountains.
I hope you'll have a chance to come up and see us this weekend. Happy trails.