A Russian writer named Prishvin said, 'Home is where you have found your happiness.' I think I know where that may be, at least for myself. I'll reveal this much: it has something to do with those mountains, those forests, those wild, free, lost, full-of-wonder places that rise yet (may they always!) above the squalor of the towns. Edward Abbey
It's a beautiful, snowy morning up top! The high yesterday reached 25 degrees. The overnight low was recorded yesterday morning and it was 3 degrees. It was 24 degrees and snowing lightly at 7am observation. The mountain received an inch of new snow, bringing our accumulated total to 4 inches. The trails are very -slick, Alum took me at least 50% longer than usual due to the ice dancing - and that was with Microspikes. The new snow should add some traction, but I would absolutely recommend traction if you intend to get very far. As of this posting, US 441 is closed. Get out and enjoy this beautiful day!
I had a wonderful hike up yesterday afternoon. It was so refreshing to be back in the rhododendron tunnels, indulging in the distinct smells of the Smokies after my time skiing out West. There is a sparseness and unspeakable beauty, a delicacy beyond words in the Western landscape. There is not a thing but the aspens, pines and deep (40 inches of base!) snow... but the forest here has so much going on. I missed the mosses, the understory and ice formations of my home mountain. I got up to the double stair just as the sun was setting and the reds on the horizon seemed to hold on forever, revealing the sun's secrets to my friends and I.
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