The weather broke during supper last night, much to the delight of our guests. After the rain moved out we were treated to blue skies with a nice autumn feel to the air. The high reached 56 with a low of 47.
After registering 0.81 inches of rain Monday, we added another 0.92 inches Tuesday. During breakfast announcements when I gave yesterday's weather conditions, some of the guests scoffed that they "only" hiked up in 0.92 inches of water. I think they wanted me to move the decimal after their soggy ascent. They had beautiful weather for their return trip, however, as the summit of LeConte is currently sitting under mostly sunny skies.
Our fellow crew members Beau and Courtney had to adjust their outdoor wedding plans yesterday, but I've heard good reports on the indoor celebration. We're all excited about their return to LeConte and look forward to plenty of stories. With so many of our crew members attending the wedding, we were surely glad to see former assistant manager Henry Neel come up to lend a hand. It's always nice to have Henry on the mountain for a visit.
On the subject of weddings, John and Bonnie Northrup, members of the LeConte Lodge crew from 2010-2012, just celebrated their first wedding anniversary. I'm beginning to think it's something in our wonderful LeConte water. Feel free to fill up your water bottles from the blue spigot by the office if you hike up. That water is treated and ready to drink (I just can't guarantee you won't be planning a wedding next June).
Turns out LeConte is not the only spot in East Tennessee with recent bear activity. I read in the Knoxville News Sentinel that a bear had been spotted on the University of Tennessee campus (my alma mater) on Saturday, June 10 about 11 p.m. I saw a lot of interesting things on campus Saturday nights around 11 p.m., including some hairy omnivores with questionable manners--but never a bear.
The bear was spotted in a tree near UT's Panhellenic Building, where Tennessee's sorority women hold their meetings. Perhaps the nightlife in the Smokies was a little slow for the bruin. According to the article, the bear was captured and relocated to the Cherokee National Forest, which is beautiful and has a less stringent ACT/SAT score entrance requirement than UT. However, I remember lots of nice scenery around the Panhellenic Building, too.
"Love is a burning thing, and it makes a fiery ring. Bound by wild desire, I fell into a ring of fire." -- "Ring of Fire" by June Carter and Merle Kilgore.
In honor of Beau and Courtney's wedding, this is the only legal "ring of fire" (fires being prohibited and all) I could find on Mt. LeConte.
Have a fine day. Happy trails.
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