February 25th, 2013
It's another stunning day up top. There are some low hanging clouds to the east and a fiery sunrise is lighting up the sky, like a match to kerosene. The high yesterday reached 35 degrees. The low was 23 degrees. It's currently 29 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation, but with abundant sunshine there was a bit of melt. There is now only patchy snow up top.
I went down Alum and came up Rainbow yesterday. The trails are in pretty good shape. Whatever remaining snow has been packed down and there is sufficient traction on the upper slopes to make spikes a luxury item, depending on your comfort level. It must've reached 60 in the valley yesterday afternoon. It was the kind of day where you wear shorts and don't even feel like you have to brave it for 10 minutes or so to get warmed up. It's just comfortable. The lower half of Rainbow had that distinct, fecund aroma of the coming spring. I even saw a few daffodils trying to sprout on Cherokee Orchard Road! There's such a pregnant sense of anticipation with the coming spring, it's such an authentic kind of excitement no matter how much you treasure winter. We've been programmed to have a euphoric sense of relief as the winter months show signs of coming to a close, no matter how much we take our survival for granted in our day and age.
2/24/2013 11:51:44 pm
Winds coming your way JP. Love todays picture.
2/25/2013 12:00:07 am
Your photo sort of reminds me of two valiant, dedicated, and adventurous Artic explorers who have just reached the north pole ! I have to agree that I do feel a "euphoric sense of relief" as winter tries to leave us, hanging on with its last bit of strength. I'm going over to the Fontana area for some hiking later today and because of that landslide on 441 I'm driving down by way of Deals Gap, etc. The engineering part of me is curious about the dynamics and geology that contributed to it. I suppose that the Park service will not allow anyone except official personnel to get close to the actual site of the slide, but I'd like to at least see it in its entirety. But, I'm sure they're eager to get it repaired and reopen the main road. I always pause a wee bit whenever I'm crossing Newfound Gap entering Tennessee to glance over at the remnants of that huge slide that occured, well,. I cannot recall how long ago and that doesn't matter much now. But the scars remain and I'm simply curious abouit geologic events. 8:00am and as usual I'm thinking about breakfast at the lodge ! Not long until opening day, eh !? I never watch very much television, but I turned it to the news this morning and a lot of it was devoted to reporting about the Academy Awards from last evening. Does anyone know who won the award for "Best Wilderness Lodge" !? Good morning.
2/25/2013 01:01:04 am
I love the phrase "pregnant sense of anticipation "
2/25/2013 04:50:59 am
It looks like you guys have been making snow forts. My son found a big pile of snow yesterday and dug a tunnel though it. Even though hes 16, I still think of him as 12.
Just a heads up: The Park has signs up warning of a $5000 fine for anyone going into the slide construction area. They have banned hikers from all the neighboring trails, such as Kanati Fork and Kephart Prong. By the way (@ Doug), while the Anakeesta slides are geologically interesting, the slide at Wild Cherry Branch on 441 is of no geological significance. It was caused by a spring under high pressure due to rainfall undermining the highway, and has more to do with dirt than rock.
2/26/2013 12:30:07 am
Looks like a perfect end to a season bro! thanks for having Cliff, Matt and I the other week...we had a blast! See you next year! Send me your email...
2/26/2013 12:57:27 am
2/26/2013 08:27:25 am
JP-Thanks for all the wonderful stories and pictures you have provided us with during the winter season. You are so talented at explaining your feelings and adventures. Walk in grace my friend !
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