December 15th, 2018
It’s currently 37 degrees and socked-in up top. There are trace amounts of snow remaining on the ground. The trails are still quite icy; and with a slick coat of rain on top, the higher elevations will be particularly slick.
24 hour temperature range: High 44 Low 37
The world is quiet; the battle for Mt. LeConte is at its end. Winter’s control over the ridge has succumbed to warm rains and the steady advance of gulf winds. With a strong cup of black coffee, I move quietly up the trail. The mountain has a haunted feeling - in a good way. It feels as if, at any moment, something supernatural might occur. I could just as well bump into a unicorn as I could the headless horseman. Finishing the morning loop, I come back to the lodge - grabbing the black lantern and going out again.
With the master key in hand, I begin taking a tour of the cabins. This adds to the eeriness of the day; I want the full experience. Making my way into the office, the once bustling building remains quiet, hollow. The warm glow of the lantern adds a comfort to the place. How many people have passed through these doors? How many more will feel the joy of the LeConte Lodge? I wonder at the former and smile at the latter. What a special place - this mountain, this lodge. How fortunate I am to witness so many days, so many of Mt. LeConte's moods. I grab the lantern and leave - locking the door behind me.
“I felt a wish never to leave that room - a wish that dawn might never come, that my present state of mind might never change.”
12/15/2018 10:32:41 am
12/15/2018 11:16:08 am
never knew, a,little light shined so bright and .reflected so much!
12/15/2018 11:52:43 am
I have most wonderful memories of the lodge during a University of Evansville botany class in the late 80s, re-living the hike and staying in a cabin with my brother nearly 30 years later! Can’t wait to do it again. Each day I look forward to reading your words, as they bring back the past adventures I have had on Mt. LeConte! Keep posting!
12/15/2018 04:18:09 pm
I enjoy your posts. I look forward to the pictures. I would to see it one day for myself.
12/15/2018 05:53:23 pm
Beautiful placement of the lantern in a room we all know well. Makes it warm, even when socked in.
12/16/2018 01:04:13 am
The office feels hollow-longing for the love it usually feels. For what is a beautiful place if there is no one to see it, what is love if no one to share it. You honor it,and us by sharing. Thanks
12/16/2018 08:18:36 am
Thank you Seth for sharing your experiences so eloquently.
12/16/2018 02:18:26 pm
I remember thawing out in the office in front of the wonderful heater on my first trip up LeConte to stay at the lodge. It is a very cozy, inviting place to relax.
12/16/2018 03:41:25 pm
Loved the latern placement in the lodge to illuminate Margaret's picture & her bronzed hiking boots. Margaret Stevenson, an inspiration to so many hikers & such an influence in learning to be a good steward of GSMNP resources. I "speak" to her boots every time I visit as I was lucky enough to meet her on the trails a long time ago. Thank you, Seth, for taking good care of such a special place; her legacy lives on....
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