July 2, 2013
Hello to all of you. I hope July is off to a fine start for you. We've got a lot of news to cover today, so I'll hop to it. Taking its cue from June, the first two days of July have been damp. We measured 0.52 inches of rain Monday with a high of 64 and a low of 51. We've seen mostly cloudy skies with a few glimpses of the sun this morning.
The most recent forecast I heard for the next few days follows. We have a 60 percent chance of rain today, followed by a 70 percent chance of rain Wednesday, 80 percent Thursday and 60 percent Friday. Smart money says bring your rain gear anytime you come see us, but especially during the next few days. I've not heard of any problems with any of the trails leading to LeConte.
The temperatures are expected to be a little on the chilly side, too. That's a far cry from a year ago when we set LeConte's all-time high of 81.5 on June 30. I remember we used to brag that we had never hit 80 degrees on top of LeConte--until last year.
On June 29, 2012, the morning lazed around hot and sticky without a whisper of a breeze. It was an odd marriage of technology and the lack thereof as crew members gathered around our battery-powered thermometer to take photos with their smartphones as the digital readout reached 80.0 for the first time since humans have been perched atop LeConte. Although we live in the land electricity forgot, as crew members utilized their wireless technology someone in Beijing could have learned about the all-time LeConte high being broken before someone who was just starting her hike on Alum Cave Bluff Trail.
If memory serves correctly, on June 29, 2012 we ended up topping out at 81.4 before bettering the all-time mark to 81.5 on June 30. Last year on July 1, we also hit 80 degrees, but didn't match the previous two days. At any rate, I hope that record stands for a long time.
Changing gears, with July 4 coming up I hope you'll have a chance to come see us or visit another of our fine national parks. In 2007 and 2008 I worked as a horse wrangler at a guest ranch in the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies. It was wonderful, and I met great people from all over the globe. One time I had some guests from the United Kingdom out on a horseback ride. We rode trails through thousands of acres of protected state and federal land and let our horses take a breather at the top of a mountain. The view was astounding and hadn't changed much since the days the stagecoach rumbled near there on its route between Fort Collins, Colo., and Laramie, Wyo.
My guests said, "You take this for granted. We don't have this beautiful, protected and public land in Europe." At first, I bristled a little bit at a foreigner telling me what I took for granted in my own country. However, they were really fine people and exactly right. Whatever our difficulties, the United States is a fine place to be.
Continuing the gratitude, I noticed on my last trip down the mountain through Pigeon Forge on my way home and Townsend on my return trip to LeConte that most of the hotels and motels were doing fine business--lots of cars in the parking lot. Then I thought that any of them would trade a summer of sweet tea for our occupancy rate at LeConte Lodge. That's possible because of you all. Thank you.
Finally, this will likely be the last High on LeConte update until Saturday. That's one of the reasons I tried to give a little extra news in this update. We're not holding out on you. Chris and Allyson are on off days. I just learned I need to hike down to deliver my Papaw's eulogy. General manager Tim Line will be running operations until Chris and Allyson return. We'll be open for all our normal services to overnight guests and dayhikers and will take good care of you. Come on up and see us.
Happy Independence Day and happy trails.
7/2/2013 07:36:22 am
Nathan, I am very sorry to about the loss of your Papaw.
7/2/2013 07:41:05 am
Sorry for your loss Nathan! Prayers sent to you and your family!
Jeanie & Pat
7/2/2013 08:18:52 am
So sorry about Papaw. I know you'll give a great eulogy though. We'll be praying!
7/2/2013 08:46:50 am
Nathan I am sorry to hear of your loss. I'm sure you have a life time of memories to keep.
7/2/2013 09:19:30 am
So sorry, Nathan. May your words retrieve the sparkle of his essence .*
7/2/2013 10:57:19 am
Our condolences Nathan... Keeping you and your. Family in our thoughts... till we see you again in October. Robin & Duke
7/2/2013 11:23:21 am
So sorry Nathan. Your going to give one fine eulogy your Pawpaw will be proud of.
Brian N bama
7/3/2013 05:35:08 am
Well Debi, it's official. I will not be making the trek up to on the 4th. Just cant drive 4hrs to hike up with that kind of rain chance. Hope ya'll have a great trip. Maybe next time.
7/3/2013 11:02:33 am
Sorry will miss ya!! Got all our duct tape,
7/2/2013 11:39:43 pm
My condolences for the loss of your PawPaw Nathan. And you are 100% correct, as an owner of a mom and pop motel over here in Maggie Valley, NC I would love to have your occupancy rate at the Lodge.
7/3/2013 12:59:03 am
I am so sorry for your loss. May all of your special memories help fill the void in your heart. Prayers for you & your family.
7/3/2013 02:02:57 am
Sorry for your loss Nathan. Best wishes to your family.
It has been raining cats and dogs all day here in Sylva NC--it's that absolutely drenching monsoonal rain. I feel so sorry that folks with hiking plans for the next couple of days probably have to give them up. I'm frustrated myself, as I have a couple of hiking projects that require dry rock.
7/3/2013 07:57:01 am
I hope it clears up. We'll be in Maggie for a week starting the 13th. Been raining in Tampa every day and ALL day since Saturday. It almost seems like the Smokies came to FL when we head out to our backyard and hear the rain falling in the trees and have misty evenings. A bit hotter than up there I bet though.
7/3/2013 08:39:03 am
Nathan: I remember when I lost one of my grandfathers and I, too, wish to express my sympathies. I always thought I would be prepared to handle the loss of a close family member, but when it occured it was nonetheless a trying time emotionally. But one gets through them, each in his or her own way. I would say, and as I felt during that time, rejoice in the fact that he lived and you knew him. I hope this helps in some small way.
airborne NORMAN ga.
7/3/2013 09:57:10 am
Condolences Nathan, I can remember when my grandpa passed, Iwas a young kid; I though he the best!! Can remember when I was around 3 or 4, he would pick me up early in the morning with his 2 mule wagon loaded with watermilons to go market in Marietta, Ga. on a adusty dirt road which is now a 2 lane super speed way. Every body is in such a hurry!!!
7/3/2013 03:11:28 pm
My deep sympathies to you, Nathan, on your Pawpaw's passing. I can only imagine the genuineness and sincerity of your eulogy and the comfort it will bring to the others who morn his loss as well.
7/3/2013 11:11:57 pm
Going up Alum today 4th any trail updates?
7/4/2013 03:56:59 am
I'm so sorry about your Papaw. He must be so proud of you to deliver his eulogy. I was just thinking this morning of the last time my dad hiked up Mt. Leconte with me and my sister and our families. It was the 4th of July about twelve years ago. Many happy memories!
7/4/2013 08:31:56 am
Going up Sunday 7th How are the trails on trillium and bullhead?
7/4/2013 08:39:30 am
DS, I am planning a roundtrip on the Trillium tomorrow, I am a little concerned about a couple creek crossings. I will let you know how it went.
7/5/2013 03:26:50 pm
Larry how was Trillium. Any problems with creek crossings
7/4/2013 08:34:18 am
I am going to wimp out on the hike in the dark tonight, instead I am going to try to hike or swim the Trillium Gap Trail tomorrow. Hope to see some of y'all there.
7/5/2013 01:25:57 am
Looks like the wet weather should start subsiding around the middle of next week. Thank goodness.
7/5/2013 03:19:49 am
Nathan, deepest sympathies for the loss of your family member. Thank you for the weather update for the previous year. I hiked to LeConte on June 29, 2012 during your first record setting. Also, I completed an out and back on the Boulevard (June 22) and the temp on the office porch was in the low 50"s.
7/5/2013 05:32:45 am
so sorry about your papaw, they are very special people, I know I thought the sun rose and set right out of my papaw's pocket.
7/5/2013 07:39:21 am
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