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.