I'd like to wish Allyson a happy birthday. She'll be headed up the mountain later tonight. The remainder of this High on LeConte update will be devoted to introducing Lesley Nash of Paducah, Ky., the latest addition to the crew. I'll turn Lesley's story over to her.
So this is my chance to introduce myself, before Brad tries to tell everyone my name is "New Girl," I guess. So let's go!
Hello and charmed, I'm sure, from me, Lesley. And, as I am still reminded from time to time, I am the newcomer to the LeConte Lodge crew, having only come at the beginning of May (poor me, missing all the early spring snow and ice. How ... unfortunate). But, in my defense, I have a very good excuse: until May 1, I was still an undergraduate. Just had to get those degrees, don't you know.
But I'm here now, and couldn't be happier. The Smoky Mountains have always been close to my heart, even after all the other places I've seen, and I've seen my fair share.
You see, I love to explore. Through books, when I was a kid (I still love to read, by the way--anything and everything. One of the hardest things about living on a mountain is the lack of a convenient library!) but later, well...
I studied International Relations at university, and that took me all over the world -- Europe, Turkey, Morocco, the Caribbean. There's nothing I love more than to set off and explore new places, cultures, languages. And while I haven't loved every thing in every place I've been, I have found something to love everywhere.
So while it was no jet-setting, cross-world travel to come to LeConte, it was a chance to really explore one of the places I love the most. Besides, I've seen some beautiful things, but it's hard to beat the views I get from the kitchen here.
So, now you know me, the latecomer! Don't be a stranger--tell me about your explorations, because I always love a good story!
Thanks to Lesley for sharing her story. Thanks to you all for reading. As I mentioned, the birthday woman Allyson is returning to work Wednesday, so I'll sign off High on LeConte until early July. Happy trails.