Whenever the jewelweed starts blooming on the mountain it brings back a childhood memory that I will always cherish. My family used to take our family vacations to western North Carolina and east Tennessee. I spent many days on the Nantahala River, tubing Deep Creek, and hiking in the Smokies. My dad was particularly interested in geology and the geodes that could be found in the mountains in the area. He would take us to Franklin to the Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum. While there, he struck up a conversation with a real mountain man named Mr. Gormley. It didn't take long before our family was loaded in our in 1971 orange VW bus and following Mr. Gormley to his favorite geode hunting grounds. After tramping around the woods and finding some great geode specimens, he started pointing out wild flowers. He proceeded to tell us, in his true southern/mountain man accent, about "tach- me- nawt", or as we call it touch-me-not. He explained how the mountain folks would use it to ease a reaction to poison ivy or any other skin irritations. Poultices and salves were made from the clear liquid from the stem and the leaves and spread over the affected area. I can tell you from personal experience, it works wonders. So, every time I see a beautiful jewelweed plant blooming, I think of Mr. Gormley and the things he taught us in years to come. Of course, we stayed in touch and visited him often. I like to think there are children out there who will one day have a memory of their trips up LeConte the interesting people they met while staying at the Lodge. Maybe one day, they will write a blog post about their favorite memory while visiting this glorious mountain top.
We are starting out with another splendid day. The high yesterday was 66º with a low of 53º. The days have been a little humid, but the evenings cool off a bit. This weekend is going to be the perfect weekend to escape the madness in the low lands and take a hike. Who knows what kind of wonderful memories you will create while sipping hot chocolate and swapping tales of your hike.
Welcome to the official blog of LeConte Lodge. We hope you find the information provided here both helpful and enjoyable. Thank you for visiting the site, and we hope to see you on the mountain!