decide what to be and go be it.
There was a dramatic return to winter conditions yesterday. I started my hike down Alum with my two pals in 41 degree rain and ended up getting pelted with freezing rain and 17 degree snow up top! The low last night was 7. I awoke to 6 inch snow drifts up top.
I had a productive trip into Gatlinburg. The folks at the NOC were very helpful. They have a great selection of winter hiking gear. I couldn't recommend them highly enough. Also, thanks to Alicea and everyone at the Smoky Mountain Brewery. I had a great salad and tried their Appalachian Pale Ale and Tuckaleechee Porter. It's a great atmosphere for my weekly dose of civilization! A special thanks to Artie, who noticed me at the bar and gave me a ride back to the trailhead. I love the people here.
My hike back up was eventful! It started with heavy flakes at about 36 degrees and turned into heavy snow as I gained elevation. These 3 photos will illustrate how the scenery changed as I climbed. It was a great day to be out.
12/8/2011 12:21:29 am
I live not far from the Pigeon Forge Smoky Mountain Brewery and also try to get there about once per week. Great atmosphere as you stated. Next time ask for one of their free samples of their white wheat beer. Comes with a slice or orange and is really good. Also if you're in the mood check out some of their thunder road season chicken wings. Not your common sauce and not hot, just great flavoring.
12/8/2011 12:24:42 am
Goodmorning JP, These pictures are incredible. I am happy that you had a wonderful day and especially happy that you are safely back up there on the mountain. Yes, people here are wonderful. I am happy that you are experiencing that part of being in this wonderful place. I must say you are a brave soul to hike in these winter conditions. I was sure thinking about you as I was listening to the weather report yesterday. I must say I am highly disappointed to wake up this morning to no snow down here in the Pigeon Forge off Wears Valley road area. Oh well, hopefully next time. Meanwhile my husband and I will head up Newfound Gap Road if it is open and get to see some more great sights, take pictures, and have fun in that snow. Have a blessed day JP.
12/8/2011 12:25:21 am
12/8/2011 12:41:49 am
Good morning JP thanks for the updates every morning!! we were there for Halloween night and we plan on doing a day hike in Jan, ill check to see if you need anything before we come up! Im trying to get res.again for 2012 but all weekends are booked already so ill have to settle for a couple of weeknights I guess! but its worth it!see ya soon!
12/8/2011 12:53:10 am
Beautiful! I hope the snow lasts through Monday! We're counting down the hours. I think our plans have changed slightly to include a hike up LeConte on Monday and a hike out to Charlies Bunion on Wednesday.
12/8/2011 01:11:55 am
12/8/2011 01:21:49 am
Nice Avett Brothers quote
12/8/2011 01:31:17 am
It's nice to see others hiking with an umbrella - especially while it's snowing. Using an umbrella is a GREAT way to stay dry (and warm) when there is cold rain or snow coming out of the sky. Nothing is worse than the cold, clammy build-up of body moisture inside a poncho or gortex "rain" gear. Does the NOC sell umbrellas?
12/8/2011 01:33:33 am
12/8/2011 01:41:41 am
12/8/2011 02:56:39 am
What a diverse hiking adventure! Love the Rainbow pics...its been a few years since I've been up to LeConte on that trail so it was a good refresher as to what it looks like even with the snow. Love your words of wisdom and pics that get a body thinking and contemplating the journey of life wherever we all may be. Look forward to it every day and all the comments from your faithful followers. I'm sure you realize you make our days insightful and fun!
12/8/2011 03:28:10 am
12/8/2011 04:38:42 am
Love these pictures! You are doing a great job with the blog! Thanks and have a great day !
12/8/2011 04:58:13 am
12/8/2011 07:19:21 am
Thanks for you work on the blog and your insparation on the trail, i also visit every morning when i sit down at my desk to get my daily dose of the mountains, it it kinda distracting is i long to be on the mountain.
12/8/2011 08:17:26 am
Great pic JP. What a wonderful bunch of people offering food, good company,rides etc.. Like I said it may isolated up there, but the people sure do come to you. How wonderful!! Wish I lived closer love to come up and bring some food up to you. That snow up there is getting pretty wild looking. we haven't received any snow in Michigan yet, and am glad for it. I much rather look at your snowy pics instead of mine. Enjoy!!
12/8/2011 09:43:39 am
12/8/2011 09:59:40 am
12/8/2011 10:15:40 am
12/8/2011 12:58:52 pm
JP,the pictures from today are simply incredible! I look forward to seeing them and reading your daily blog as well.Sure wish I could be up there on one of those snowny days.It must be like living in paradise.Keep up the great work and be safe up top.I really admire you and the job your doing in this off season.
12/8/2011 02:35:09 pm
JP, i'm getting a feeling that The Milford Track is on your bucket list, would this ba correct.
12/8/2011 11:25:28 pm
JP,would you allow me to include a link to your splendid blog on my website?
12/9/2011 12:14:18 am
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Welcome to the official blog of LeConte Lodge. We hope you find the information provided here both helpful and enjoyable. Thank you for visiting the site, and we hope to see you on the mountain!