November 15, 2017
It was just another blue bell kind of day atop Mt LeConte. Once again the skies were calm and clear, the sun stretching its rays across the mountain from its point in the southern sky. Temperatures were a little milder yesterday, as our high came in at 46 degrees. Our low dipped down to 20. Once that sun drops behind the horizon, it doesn't take long for it get chilly this time of year. We're under partly cloudy skies currently.
Without further ado, we resume this year's photo-graphical review. Enjoy some memories from the months of May through July on the mountain.
2017 Season in Pictures - Part II
Just as the last snowfall of the spring began to melt away, work was beginning on Rainbow Falls Trail. As part of the next Trails Forever project in the Smokies, Rainbow Falls will be seeing maintenance work done across two years, the lower half due to wrap this week. Work on the upper half will resume next May.
2017 will definitely go down in the history books as the year of the Red Squirrel on Mt. LeConte. The "Boomers," as they are popularly known, seemed to be everywhere in camp this season, their boisterous chattering and knack for mischief a daily occurrence. As cute as they are, please remember not to feed them, as it only encourages bad habits!
May came in like a lion and left like a snail, but not after proving to be the most turbulent month in terms of weather. Temperatures ranged from 71 to 20 degrees, rainfall totaled nearly 9.5" falling on 17 of 31 days, winds were as high 90 mph, and greenery quickly replaced 7" of snow. You never quite know what to expect during the spring in the Smokies. With all of that moisture, the snails were just as numerous as the squirrels!
With June's arrival, it finally meant it was warm enough to tackle some of the outdoor projects. We flew up a great deal of construction materials in March, as many visitors have noticed strategically placed around camp. The buildings up here have stood the test of time and weather, but it's important to give them a little TLC every once in a while. Special thanks to the team from Crowder Construction.
With an appreciated balance of sun and rain this year, one can really witness the results in the vegetation. The Frasier Firs continue to show remarkable resiliency after the Balsam Woolly Adelgid massacred their mature population so many years ago. Mt. LeConte is one of those unique "islands in the sky" where such trees can be found here in the south.
Sunsets from Cliff Tops provide that cherry-on-top moment for our overnight guests, weather pending of course. Whereas the winter months offer the clearest visibility, the summer months create the most dynamic evening solar spectacles, courtesy of the waning rays mixing with the layers of the atmosphere.
Next up, the end of summer gives way to a mild autumn as we march toward the culmination of the 2017 season. Have a great afternoon.
11/15/2017 11:10:56 am
Loving the pictures. Thank you so much! Seems like such a wonderful, serene place to work .Wishing I could get up there frequently, maybe in retirement. :)
11/15/2017 02:48:23 pm
Y'all melting my heart with the recaps and photos. Just beautiful ! Thank you all for a great year and all you do. Hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, I doubt I'm going to hike up top this week, but there's always next year. I did hike Chimney Tops last week. I would like to give a hoot out to everyone to please not go past the gate on Chimney Tops Trail, or they will close the trail. You can see the Chimney Top from the new platform, and there's beautiful views. This would break many hearts if it's closed again. Such beautiful trails here in the Smoky's. Love every minute.
11/15/2017 04:25:25 pm
I hope you enjoyed the ice cream. You have done a great job with the reports and the photos this year. Hope to see you Monday.
11/15/2017 04:42:49 pm
WOW! Loved viewing the picture's . That was fun.
11/16/2017 09:02:06 pm
Thank you for the great commentary and photos this year! Hope you guys are back again next year!
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