Alan Householder starts us off with the most years of service to LeConte Lodge. Alan first worked on the LeConte Lodge crew in 1994, but began hiking the mountain in 1980. In 2001, Alan served as co-manager of Charit Creek Lodge in Big South Fork before returning as LeConte Lodge llama wrangler from 2002 through 2011. Osteoarthritis forced his retirement from his llama wrangling job, so we're fortunate to have Alan back on crew in 2012.
Possessing a strong passion for long-distance backpacking and off-trail bushwhacking, Alan has been an avid hiker and walker for 35 years. He completed the Appalachian Trail in 1988, the Pacific Coast Trail in 1996 and North Carolina's Mountains to the Sea Trail in 1997 (among other long trails in the U.S.).
Alan has trekked extensively in the United Kingdom, Australia, Tasmania, the Patagonian Andes and Nepal. He hopes to be back in action in the future to complete New Zealand's long-distance trail--Te Araroa. In the early 1990s, Alan worked three seasons as the Appalachian Trail Ridgerunner in the Smokies.
Myrtle Point ranks as Alan's favorite place on Mt. LeConte, while he counts the Bullhead Trail as his favorite to the lodge.
On a personal note, upon meeting Alan to open the 2010 season on LeConte, I was most impressed with his obvious concern for his llamas. In all kinds of weather and situations, Alan endeavored to safeguard the LeConte llamas--and they still know him when they hike up to resupply us. I also admire his encyclopedic knowledge of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
Now for the weather update. We've been living in a pretty thick cloud for most of the day. However, we did receive some welcome sunshine and patches of blue sky during brief periods in the morning. Tuesday's high was 63 with a low of 47 and 0.03 inches of rain. The forecast for the next few days sounds favorable.
Hike on up and see us. Have a fine day. Happy trails.