Keep On Keepin' On
" I believe you don't stop hiking because you grow old. You grow old because you stop hiking." - F. Mitchell
This quote speaks volumes. I was just telling my mom the other day how important it is to keep moving. Folks try and tell me they are to old to climb this mountain. As far as I know, 94 is the oldest person we have had hike to the lodge. I know ailments can bring a person down, I guess I am working on the mind over matter theory. This is part of my training for Kilimanjaro. We see hikers every year who are in their 80s. This gives me hope for my future. I know how important it is to keep hiking those mountains.
Now, for all my friends out there who "need" to know the temperatures. LOL... The high was 47 with a low of 31. It has been another beautiful day up top. Today is the last day to enjoy any of our day hiker services. Lace up those boots and come see us.
11/20/2012 12:04:34 am
Thanks for a great season! 15 ladies enjoyed our stay back in September! We appreciate all the crew & the hard work to make our visit so enjoyable! Enjoy your time off & your trip to Kilimanjaro! See you in 2013!
11/20/2012 12:20:23 am
Ditto what Diane posted!
11/20/2012 12:14:44 am
I have friends my age who think I'm nuts to go up there. Those are the ones that haven't been up to Mt. Leconte. My age!!!!! I'm 47 folks, and plan on hiking like a sled dog runs, until I keel over!
11/20/2012 04:28:26 am
I also have friends who think it's crazy what I enjoy doing....even after having nasty spill that had me on crutches and black and blue all over. When asked if I would do it again? (Yes) and Why? because the view is so different at the top
11/20/2012 01:23:26 pm
Debi, I feel the exact same way!! At 49, I have a couple of years on you. Most of my friends will ask me what in the world kind of a vacation is it when you hike all the time, that you can't possibly get rested that way. What they don't realize is the peace and tranquility one finds when on the trail...
11/20/2012 12:32:08 am
Is the quote of the day by Finis Mitchell?
11/20/2012 12:50:23 am
Thanks for sharing the mountain with us thru this blog. Enjoy your time off the mountain. Please check in here and let us know how your adventure went.
11/20/2012 01:18:24 am
Happy Last Day to y'all! I love your outlook on mind over matter. May Mt. Kilimanjaro be all you imagined and more. As long is LeConte exists, my goal is to keep on hiking there.
11/20/2012 01:31:00 am
Last year when we hiked in July there were some "older" folks hiking the Alum Trail. Ok, yes, we chit chat quite a bit. We had quite a few tell us they had already hiked to the top and were coming back down. My daughter and myself finally got to the point where we kept ourselves motivated by telling ourselves "they will not beat us!" I'm 46 and yes, we too have been told we are crazy to hike it. One of our friends we met up there at LeConte this year has been told she too is crazy. As she said "I guess I am part of the crazy club now!"
11/20/2012 03:45:45 am
Can you share what day hiker services you offer for those who do not stay overnight at LeConte? I volunteer at the OVC and I'm often asked that question. Thank you and congratulations on another great season!
11/20/2012 03:58:41 am
Just found all the information on the website!
11/20/2012 04:29:29 am
And I forgot to thank Allyson/crew for all the great pictures and updates over this season.
11/20/2012 04:40:51 am
Thank you for the post today as I hobbled home from work, thinking it is a torn ligiment in the knee. doctors head shot up when he ask how i did it and i said in a 4 foot snow drift. That is what i was doing there on that snowy day that turned into a 2 night stay with the 32/34 inches of snow. I had epic fail in August and was determined to hike it to earn my shirt. I have had several hurddles over the last nine hikes and I had to do it. Wasn't liking turning 65. I will be back. It was the most awesome experience to hike in the snow and see the top. Thanks to the great crew for taking care of us few that made it.
11/20/2012 04:49:41 am
I thought everyone that has hiked up could start calling themself part of the crazy club, then I changed my mind. I think anyone that does not hike up belongs to the crazy club!!! Loved the time I spent there a couple of weeks ago and I'm counting down the days till my next trip up.
11/20/2012 06:18:49 am
Audie: You took the words right out of my mouth ! I've had people tell me that I'm getting too old for such a foolish thing as hiking, much less tent camping and backpacking, so, I simply don't listen to them. I'll continue hiking and I'll probably continue doing so alone as I've done for a lot of years. Although I'd hiked the Smokies for many years, every trail, too, my first stay at the lodge was in 2004. I was in decent shape but for whatever reason I became a bit weary about a mile or so above ALum Cave Bluffs. I sat down for a rest, despairiing a wee bit, and rather intended to turn around and head back down, as close as I was to the top. As I sat there I heard a group of people coming up behind me. It was two or three men, their wives, and several children of varying ages. At the very rear of this entourage was an obviously elderly man, stridiing along like he owned the mountaiin ! When he got to me he paused and asked me if I was allright. I said that I was more tired than usual and was about to head back down. He told me that he was 80 years old and hiking to the lodge to celbrate his birthday and that it was only about another mile or so, also inviting me to hike along with him. Well, that inspired me so on I went, hiking with this gentleman who was from Gatlinburg I recall. Had it not been for his kindness and concern I may have never stayed at the lodge. An added pleasure was when that evening at dinner they seated me at the same table as this large family which had had a birthday cake made for the old man. It really made the entire trip that much better for me. The man gave me one of his business cards which to this day I have displayed in my trophy case along with the 23 lodge t-shirts I've accumulated since then. Just looking at this card reminds me of the lodge, how much I love being there, and strengthens my resolve to hike until I'm 80, or older ! I think that reading all the very positive comments posted today had uplifted me, too. Eight months ago my knees seemed to be "going out", but I made a mental decision to overcome that and have. I'd like to meet and talk with all those who have said so many good things about hiking to the lodge ! Thanks. I do hope that come next spring we can read about the trip to Kilimanjaro; Good holidays to all and good eveniing !
11/20/2012 06:36:30 am
11/20/2012 06:36:57 am
I want to say thank you to you Doug. Because of you and another gentlemen and your encouraging words, I hiked up with my daughter in July on a new trail. I do want to tell you I went to the ranger station the day before because I always want to make sure the trail we're taking is ok. Unless I missed something, this ranger told me he didn't think I could do it. If anyone knows me, you do not tell me I can't. I asked him if he'd be there the following day and we showed back up to tell him "ha".
11/20/2012 12:07:53 pm
I did my first hike in 2004, after losing my husband of 38 years, suddenly. We had the trip planned so my sister and husband and sister in law hiked it. Didn't know it at the time but had leg pain and hiked it in tail end of hurricane Jean. Took me 8 hours. Later found out i had no pulse in the left leg. Since had surgery and have hike it every year since. Less time of coarse. You are hooked once you do it once. Made it up about a mile and half in August and had different leg pain and had to turn around and come back down, sending the rest of the family up. I was crushed and couldn't sleep wanting to get up there. I had a good chiro and started training or rather walking/biking as my son said he would take me back. Well we did it in the storm of Sandy this time and was one of the few that was up there with all the snow, i am still on a high. My youngest son said mom when are you going to stop? I said when i just can't do it anymore. I think we all feel the same about that majestic mountain. Just can't get enough. Ed Wright was my inspiration, reading of his many many trips. Also Gracie. I read her book Gracie on the mountain. She was also an inspiration. So see you on the mountain.
11/20/2012 01:11:36 pm
I too have had friends, coworkers and even family not understand why we are drawn back to this awesome place! It is so nice to share with those who understand on this blog. Happy Thanksgiving to all. I am thankful for each trip to my favorite place! Thanks to all the staff and for the daily posts / pictures. Alison please keep us informed and post pictures of your adventure!
11/20/2012 11:20:06 pm
Yes the crazies are those that don't experience the hike. I am almost 52 and have hiked up maybe 12 times. I plan on this everytime I am in town. Even if it is just a day trip. Have a great winter..see you in July.
11/20/2012 11:20:55 pm
I call it "Mountain Fever" which I get every year and the only known cure is to hike the Smokes ! I will orbit the sun 60 times next year and my goal, (with the good LORD willing) is to hike up every trail to the top of Mt. LeConte.
11/21/2012 02:04:11 am
Patty Stevens: loved your truly inspirational story and how you described how you got 'hooked' on the mountain and lodge; that happened to me as well in 2004 during my first stay at the lodge; I cannot understand how nor why I had never stayed there in all those years of hiking in the Park before that year; Stop hiking !? Those two words together are not in my vocabulary !! Susan B: your very nice compliments are deeply appreciated because I simply love helping people, especially within the Park hiking and camping, etc. Yes, such beauty, peace, solitude, and magnificence are found there. Your encouraging words must surely be reflected in your daughter; I look forward to meeting you both some day, perhaps next hiking season. I have a multitude of ideas for day hikes of varying lengths which I'll gladly share; My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org if you, or anyone, wants to correspond. I love what you said when you returned to that ranger !! Those people do a wonderful job, I personally appreciate them, and they're a vital part of the Park service; But, for the life of me, I do not know where they 'get' some of them ! Yet, I wish I had become one many years ago ! Welcome back JP. The off-season should be quite interesting indeed ! Crew: Have a safe and enjoyable off-season; I wish I were going along on the Kilimanjaro trip for I was up there way back in '85 and was deeply humbled by the experience. You should love it ! G'day.
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