Happy Friday the 13th. It’s a bright and beautiful morning but it’s looking like conditions will turn interesting as the day progresses. Our streak of scattered storms tap dancing across the Smokies will continue to dominate the skies this weekend. Warnings indicate that today’s squalls could produce significant rainfall, lightning, and damaging winds. The worst chances aren’t until much later in the day which ought to serve sufficiently for allowing guests enough time to make the climb and get settled in, and also day hikers to descend back to their cars. Going to be hot and humid again, with temps around the lodge getting up around 70° again.
We’ve talked about the toasty conditions along Bull Head trail numerous times and how one should take extra precautions utilizing that trail in this heat. Other points worth mentioning for hiker safety involve the wildlife that become active this time of year, specifically in the dry, sun scorched stretches through the mid elevation burn zones. Visitors made note of ground nesting yellow jackets around halfway up the trail. This would be a few tenths above the CCC Pulpit as the trail navigates the western slopes of Balsam Point. Other creatures that enjoy the canopy-less areas during the warmer months are the infamous sizzling vampire sticks…aka timber rattlesnakes. So again, if you choose to take Bull Head this time of year, just use some extra caution until you reach the cool and shaded confines of the upper elevations.
Have a great day.