January 17th, 2018
It’s currently 4 degrees and above the clouds atop Mt. Le Conte. Yesterday’s high was 25 degrees with an overnight low of 4 degrees. We received 1” inch of snow last night.
US Hwy 441/ Newfound Gap Rd from Gatlinburg TN to Cherokee NC is temporarily closed due to snow and ice.
Cherokee Orchard Road with access to the Rainbow Falls Trailhead is also closed due to snow and ice. Follow the link below for updates on road closures.
The world was still dark when I emerged from my den. The glow of Pigeon Forge could be seen through the thick cloud inversion. The mountain was noticeably calm. Mt. Le Conte had settled into a deep quiet. I’ve yet to experience quiet as intense as that of a cold snow-covered landscape. With most of the roads closed due to snow and ice. I was truly alone in this mountain wilderness. I smiled at the thought and made for sunrise.
A dark mass in the distance obscured the sun. Unworried, I watched the incredible cloud activity below. Like a spilled bowl of cream, the clouds filled in the valleys and splashed about. This had to be one of the truest representations of the Smoky Mountain's namesake. Impressed, I continued trudging down the silent mountain.
“I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is commonly more than that – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.”
-Henry David Thoreau
1/17/2018 10:17:20 am
Morning, thanks for the photos and daily updates...
1/17/2018 02:20:18 pm
Very nice and profound quote from Thoreau; I enjoy reading his works. But Thoreau, at the end of such a day and outing, preferred the warmth and comfort of a fire, a hot cup of tea, and a comfortable bed.
1/17/2018 04:15:01 pm
Thanks for the video. Man its so perfect up there. Cant find adequate words to describe.
1/17/2018 04:20:03 pm
I enjoy your posts immensely! Thank you so much for sharing.
1/17/2018 05:41:25 pm
Love the spilled bowl of cream backed up by video!
1/17/2018 05:49:31 pm
I look forward to seeing it very soon. Hoping to hike up Friday morning, if the roads are open.
1/17/2018 08:11:08 pm
Seth, I really think I could live up there ..my roots go back to Greenbrier, Im sure youre familiar with where that is. As long as I can remember Ive wanted to live in a small rustic cabin in Sevier County .. Ive been to the Rayfield Old Homeplace where my grandpa grew up, jus a pile of rubble now, but it was beautiful up there, I could breathe, really breathe .. Robyn
1/18/2018 08:34:47 am
This time-lapse with the clouds is spectacular, Seth. We appreciate your daily posts. Best wishes.
1/18/2018 08:50:18 am
We can see LeConte from out house and have wondered what the clouds looked like from your perspective up there. To us it has looked like you're completely covered recently. Thank you for this beautiful description and visual picture. We read about you in the Mountain Press and are glad that you are spending time up there. Because of the article, I am going to sit down with my kids and watch the movie about packing it out together.
1/19/2018 12:11:43 am
I really enjoyed that video of the clouds. It was amazing. Thank you so much for posting that as a video. I'm glad your feeling better. Keep putting videos like that on when you can. THANKS.
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