January 04th, 2016
It's a beautiful, frosty morning up top. It's the first day of the season where my fingers are cold in the kitchen! The high yesterday reached 32 degrees. The overnight low was 9 degrees. It was 10 degrees and mostly cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is no snow up top. However, there is sure to be plenty of black ice on the trail with these recent cold temperatures. I intend to hike down with my Microspikes today, just in case I reach a tricky section or two. Be careful out there!
One of my favorite things about life on the mountain is just how magnified everything is - it isn't an elevated place simply because of how high it is about sea level. Time alone in a primeval setting does something unique to your experience, like a looking glass of sorts. The most basic human emotions take on an a heightened sweetness or bitterness. It is a chain of highs and lows that only the mountain can teach you. For whatever reason, when I feel up here, I really feel. A seemingly average morning run stamps itself indelibly in your memory, while the loss and longing that occur up here serve as distinctive bookmarks for each season. I never know what the fun house mirror has to say.
1/4/2016 08:43:49 am
1/4/2016 09:57:30 am
Helen stated it so well, JP. How fortunate for us that you have found your place in the Smokies as we are the beneficiaries of your wise spirit. Had snowflakes in the weather forecast for last night but twas not to be. Soon maybe?
1/4/2016 10:03:28 am
Agree, Helen! JP's prose make one reflect on the joy we can find in life if we just stop, look around at nature, and take in all the beauty we are privileged to see.
1/4/2016 02:57:13 pm
John Paul Krol, is the new picture on the home page in the Whites??
1/5/2016 08:56:27 am
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