It would seem the dry streak we've been experiencing is over for a while. The clouds have been more dominant today, socking us in from time to time with the occasional sprinkle. The extended forecast is calling for stronger percentages of rain and storms in the coming days, so come prepared if you have aspirations of climbing the mountain.
It was another comfortable day around camp on Sunday. We topped out at 63 degrees, with last night's low bottoming out at 47. We're hovering around 60 at the moment.
It's been interesting to see and hear about what's going with rhododendron displays around the park. In some places they seem a little lackluster, both Catawba and Rosebay, most likely a result from having to endure last year's drought. Many of the Catawba variety along the mountain crest went straight to leaves this month. On the other hand, Alan tells me that the stands along Trillium Gap, though now past peak, have been most impressive. So I guess it just varies from place to place this year.
Alum Cave Trail, Clingmans Dome, and specifically Andrews Bald have some of the most notable stands of Rhododendron blooms in the Smokies. Elsewhere in the region, the drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway extending from the Smokies to Grandfather Mountain boasts some of the best displays, with must-see stops at Craggy Gardens and Mt. Mitchell State Park along the way. Separate from the BRP but straddling the TN/NC state line is Roan Mountain, whose rolling balds and densely forested peaks are world renowned for their Rhododendron and Azalea populations.
So much to see and do this time of year in the outdoors. We hope all of you are able to muster up some time to play outside soon. There's plenty of beauty to enjoy on this mountain, so come check it out!
Have a great rest of the day.
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