It's a smoky morning up top! The high yesterday reached 49 degrees. The overnight low was 30 degrees. It was 31 degrees and smoky at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation. The trails are all still clear. The winds shifted yesterday and the smoke from the Chimney Tops fire has made the mountain smell like our neighbors are having a barbecue, but I didn't notice it affecting my breathing during my run yesterday. Fortunately, there is some heavy rain in the forecast tonight which should set the air quality straight and get our spring flowing hard again.
I went out for my first run of the season yesterday. My library is all organized and my throat bug has cleared up, so it was due time to get back on the singletrack. One of my favorite aspects of life up top is getting my little running pack organized with everything I'll need for a day out and just going. With no responsibilities beyond the morning weather and the blog, it's easy to disappear up here. The mountains are playgrounds for freedom lovers and running is about the most childish thing a grown man can do (without snow!), so combining the two creates smiles and adrenaline worth adjusting your priorities for. I started out on the Boulevard trail, enjoying the ice free conditions and rolling, runnable terrain. As I rounded past Myrtle Point, I noticed the gray haze of smoke driving up from the valley to my right. It was unfortunate to lose out on the big views that make Boulevard trail so distinct, but I knew that this would mean the trails would be relatively quiet. I only saw 1 other hiker on the Boulevard and 8 more on my way to Newfound Gap. I turned down the road and fought the heavy Sunday traffic to get to Alum as quick as possible and started my trudge back up to the lodge. The smoke didn't affect my breathing, but the gray skies did set my mood black. I love the clear, sunny days and the freshness of the winter fog, but this dry gray was simply alien. I focused on my breathing, knowing each footfall brought me a step closer to the lodge, took some photos before the home stretch, then jogged to the top of the stair case. I am looking forward to getting back the park I've come to love over the past five winters! This evening's rain will be a welcome sight.
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!