Nov. 7, 2013
Good afternoon to all of you. This is Nathan, and I'll be filling in for Allyson while she enjoys her November off days. It's been a while since I've been behind the High on LeConte keyboard, so I'll try to knock off the rust. As the season wanes, I'd like to try to introduce you to the remainder of the crew. Courtney Tucker Belmont takes center stage today.
However, I'll provide a weather update first. The clouds insulated us Wednesday, leading to only a three-degree range of temperatures. Wednesday's high was 45 with an overnight low of 42. We tallied 0.45 inches of rain overnight. I'm glad it stayed mild overnight so the snow shovels can continue their slumber.
Thursday morning was marked by rain and clouds. However, those gray conditions have given way to mostly sunny skies after lunch. The temperature has been dropping all day. Plan on some chilly temperatures for the foreseeable future if you're coming up to see us. On a positive note, the forecast through the weekend sounds promising, albeit cold. Also, keep in mind that any melted water on the trail is likely to refreeze overnight, so keep an eye on your footing.
Now, I'll turn the introduction over to Courtney, who is finishing her first season on the LeConte Lodge crew.
When I was growing up Mt. LeConte was an ever present backdrop in my life. My family has called these mountains home for eight generations. As a child, I would visit the graves of my ancestors who quietly rest in the small family cemeteries of Greenbrier, Webbs Creek and Pittman Center.
I attended Pittman Center Elementary and Gatlinburg-Pittman High School during my youth and continued my education in East Tennessee at East Tennessee State University, Carson-Newman College and Tusculum College, earning a bachelor's and master's degree in business.
After completing my education I got that "wild hair" that I think most young adults get to go do something, somewhere...anywhere...other than "home." So, I traveled west to Colorado and managed a luxury dude ranch for two years followed by a two-year management experience in Belize on the exquisite Turneffe Atoll.
After spending another year traveling and working in Oregon and Idaho I found myself yearning for "home." Sometimes it takes a little while for you to truly appreciate who you are and where you are rooted. Now I live on Mt. LeConte as a crew member along with my husband, Beau. I look down onto the little valley of Emerts Cove in Pittman Center that I call home, and I realize how fortunate I am to call the Great Smoky Mountains home.
Sometimes just a change in perspective is all you need...
Thanks to Courtney for penning her profile. Bundle up and come see us this weekend. Happy trails.
11/7/2013 06:45:14 am
I HOPE TO SEE THE CREW TOMORROW. SHOULD BE GREAT HIKING WEATHER TOMORROW. PLENTY OF LAYERS FOR THE TOP.
11/7/2013 07:03:13 am
thinking of coming up for the day tomorrow. Any thoughts on any ice on the cable sections of Alum Cave trail?
11/7/2013 07:21:48 am
Welcome back to the blog, Nathan. Great to read about Courtney!
11/7/2013 08:41:07 am
Great write up Courtney. Sometimes we need to move away to appreciate what we have. Wow! What a difference working in Belize vs. Mt. LeConte. There's no place like home.
11/7/2013 08:56:14 am
PM....I took Trillium down in September when I was there for the night. Don't remember any drop offs compared to Alum and it is a pleasant trail...lots of views and less pronounced descents than Alum..at least it felt better on my knees. Plus, I think the llamas travel it on Fridays so you'd have that added experience of seeing them if you haven't already. At any rate, I wish you a pleasant and safe journey to the top and back again whatever trail you take. Would love to be there but unfortunately or fortunately whichever way you look at it I'm currently babysitting my grandkids in sunny Florida while the folks are doing a marathon in Savannah.
11/7/2013 09:27:51 am
Thanks for sharing Courtney. I enjoyed it very much. Yes, sometimes we have to leave home to appreaciate home. Mt. Leconte and area are deffinitely not a bad place to call home.
11/7/2013 03:31:42 pm
Welcome back to the blog Nathan.You do a GREAT job at it.Loved your story Courtney.
11/8/2013 01:14:36 am
Great essay, Courtney! I call how you have spent your time since earning your Masters degree a "victory lap". I encourage every young, recent graduate from college to take a victory lap. I did. There will likely never be another chance. Happy trails!
11/8/2013 01:49:55 am
S S D D
11/8/2013 02:30:56 am
Great write up courtney and goood to hear from nathan! We will see you Sunday early!! going up rainbow down alum for a day hike!! we missed gettig res. for october but will again next fall!! need anything email me today!
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