It’s hard to believe that the eleventh month on the calendar, and final month of the lodge season, is actually here. Somehow it feels like we were just flying up our supplies yesterday, or even celebrating the 4th of July with warm and sunny skies. Now, the days are shorter and colder, Halloween has come and gone, with the winter holiday season bearing down fast. We’ve got a little more than three weeks to go before we board up the doors. Until then, though, there’s still plenty of pancakes to sling and “I Hiked It” shirts to be sold.
We’ve got what should be two marvelous days ahead of us to start the new week. The Smokies are setup to have some marvelous sunshine for a change. Winds will be light and temps today will be mild for the season, as we might reach 50° for a high today. Monday will be the warmest of the week though, as everything looks to trend downward as the week progresses. By Wednesday afternoon, conditions over the Smokies are expected to sour, bringing a stretch of cold and wet days leading up to the weekend. Depending on how low the temperatures decide to go, the peaks could endure some freezing rain or snow. We’ll know more as we get closer, but for now folks should plan on soggy conditions later on this week. That could also mean temporary closures of some park roads at times, so have a backup plan ready in case your preferred trail becomes inaccessible.
Beginning today we will bump up guest supper time to 5:15 PM Eastern. The time change happens a bit later this year, so we’re continually having to move up the evening meal service to make sure guests have the opportunity to catch sunset. That means we will be closing our gift shop at 4:15, and beverage service for overnight guests will be move up to 1:15-4:15. This time of year, it’s vital that day hikers understand when it gets dark in these mountains, leaving the summit with plenty of daylight left. For some hiking abilities, that could mean departing the lodge no later than 2:00. With less daylight and decreasing temps, the risks increase for exploring the outdoors, so please be smart out there.
Have a great day.