It's the beginning of an exquisite weekend on the mountain. Despite the light and fluffy cumulus clouds lingering, the temperatures are comfortable and the sun seems to be taking the upper hand. Yesterday's high temp came in at 62 degrees, and our overnight low was a moderate 45. We're enjoying 60 at the moment, and the llamas have already come and gone.
Now is as good a time as any to throw in a Friday Flashback - kitchen edition. Our Head Cook, Miss Heather, spoiled today's crew with some delicious pizzas for lunch, a personal favorite. We can be a bit limited in what kinds of food we can prepare up here, on account of resources and space, but those charged with feeding the masses have come up with plenty of creative creations over the years utilizing a propane heated stove. Heather, and our Assistant Cook, Matt, are always satisfying the crew's taste buds, and they are well versed in cranking out the famous guest supper that our visitors have come to know and love. I don't stray far from cooking meals outside of guest breakfast, and depending on my availability, Ryn, Tim, or Henry may step in to that roll to make sure our guests are well fed before departing from the lodge in the morning. The crew, of course, rotates the afternoon kitchen shift in which they'll prepare the drinks and baked goods for visitors. So in some fashion, everyone has to get familiar with our propane Vulcan stove.
The above photo, courtesy of LeConte Lodge Historian and Crew Emeritus, Al Bedinger, shows the late Hardwick Speedi Baker once in service for the lodge. According to Al, it would take a great deal of wood to keep that stove constantly burning for crew and guest meals. The stove pictured also had a twin, in which both were hauled up the mountain on a mule-led sled via The Boulevard. And you thought your hike was rough? The large, shiny cylinder in the corner of the kitchen was the hot water tank. Water would circulate from the tank to the wood stove's fire box by means of thermo-siphon action. As many of you know, today we can access hot water on-demand ever since the installment of propane at the lodge.
I hope you enjoyed today's historical tidbit. We'll try and get some more throwbacks out as the season progresses. In the meantime, have a great weekend and enjoy the sunshine!
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