In the instant you leave far behind all human relation, wife, mother and child, and live only with the savages - water, air, light, carbon, lime and granite... I become a moist cold element. Nature grows over me. Frogs pipe; waters far off tinkle; dry leaves hiss; grass bends and rustles; and I have died out of the human world and come to feel a strange, cold, aqueous terraqueous, aerial etherial sympathy and existence. I sow the sun and moon for seeds. Emerson
The high yesterday reached 32 degrees. It was 31 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The low was 9 degrees yesterday morning. It warmed up throughout the day and continued to do so overnight. The mountain received no new precipitation. There are 5 inches of snow on the ground up top. The trails are in pretty good shape. There's enough snow on the ground to give you some purchase and make traction devices unnecessary. Be sure to factor in that it takes a bit longer to hike in the snow. Footing is worse and you're unable to make the quick progress you're accustomed to on clear trails. Turn around at 3pm if you aren't up top, unless you have a headlamp and enjoy night hiking!
_It's another beautiful morning up top. I just came back from sunrise reverie with my dear friend First Man. We looked out upon the sky of purple, orange and pink fire marvelling at the universe at our feet. It's impossible to look at those mountains and not feel the tug of sweet sentiments, having hiked their length from Springer to Katahdin nearly 3 years ago. We're blessed to have such fulfilling memories... the only thing sweeter is the fact that we have a lifetime of such blissful adventures ahead of us.
_A big thank you to Mark Bengel of Florence, KY for bringing me a set of fantastic new wool socks from Red Wing Shoes. Happy feet make a happy caretaker!
12/31/2012 01:20:04 am
Excellent year end post from Mt. LeConte Lodge high on top of the mountain southeast of Gatlinburg, Tennessee!....Check out the awesome pics n descrips!....Thanks JP!.....Happy New Year 2013!
12/31/2012 02:10:51 am
I would like to take a moment to thank you, JP, along with everyone whose hard work has made the LeConte Lodge a continuing possibility!
12/31/2012 03:27:41 am
WOW!!!! Amazing pictures JP - Have a great News Years!!!
12/31/2012 04:02:25 am
You are the perfect choice for winter caretaker. Your love of the outdoors flows in your posts. Great job!
12/31/2012 06:06:20 am
Happy New Year JP, see ya on the trail soon. Fantastic pictures!
12/31/2012 07:20:37 am
JP- glad you enjoy the socks...merino wool is the best! LeConte yesterday was a winter wonderland. It was nice meeting you.
12/31/2012 09:07:26 am
There you go again puttng on too many beautiful pictures on. Thank you JP. Happy New Year to you and that great crew that make Leconte Lodge what it is.
12/31/2012 09:28:17 am
Happy New Year, JP. Great pics and what a great place to be to usher in the new year.
Nancy Shilling Lingerfelt
1/1/2013 12:22:33 am
I grew up in Gatlinburg at the base of the mountain. My Dad was the town doctor from 1945 to 1972 when he died. He was never able to hike the mountain, but loved its' beauty in the photos people took. My husband and I climbed in 1969, intending to spend one night. Bill worked for the telephone company and as we prepared to leave after breakfast, Herrick Brown, then the manager, came to us and asked Bill if he could help him trouble shoot the phone line as it was not working. They found where the line had been chewed by a creature and fixed it. Our "payment" was a week on the mountain...we ate with the help, and did chores. I even got to bake cookies one day! It was an amazing experience and one that even now is so fresh in my mind...Happy New Year, and thanks for your beautifully written blog...
1/4/2013 11:07:35 pm
Awsome story Nancy, how lucky you were to have a week on the mountain.
1/2/2013 01:37:54 am
Looks like you an I enjoyed the last sunrise of the year together, but from different points, i was in the Mt. Sterling fire tower. It was beautiful. Hoping to make it up LeConte sometime this winter but i opted to venture into an area of the park i haven't been yet on this last trip.
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