November 30th, 2015
It is a spectacular rainy day up top! The high yesterday reached 47 degrees. The overnight low was 41 degrees. It was 45 degrees and raining lightly at 7am observation. The mountain received 2.67 inches of rain yesterday and the trails are sure to be rather soggy. I would definitely recommend rain gear and a spare pair of socks to change into up top, in addition to the rest of the ten essentials. Enjoy this characteristically soggy Smokies day!
I had an absolutely lovely day hike yesterday. My friend Roger and I hiked out to Charlie's Bunion, enjoying the unseasonably warm temperatures, forever interesting ridge winds, and some surprisingly good views of the Greenbrier. The clouds rising over the ridges looked like menacing dragons, slowly climbing and dissipating in beautifully unpredictable ways. Once we reached my favorite sign in the park (Charlies Bunion: Closely Control Children), the rain picked up and we ate peanut butter sandwiches under our umbrellas. We sat on the Bunion and took in views of my clouded-in winter home, knowing that the view never changes - it is forever beautiful, no matter the variable sky conditions. We enjoyed a soggy hike out to 441, then hitched down to Alum Cave and met our friend Katie for a rainy afternoon hike back up to the lodge. We moseyed back up the mountain, marveling at the new trail work, stomping through puddles, clearing clogged drainages, taking shelter under the cave, sweating through our rain gear, and arriving just as night fell with a perfect tired contentedness in our bones.
11/30/2015 09:15:07 am
Love the pics. ...awesome trek to the Bunion, I'm sure.
Tammy ( Tx )
11/30/2015 09:30:55 am
That looks like one massive tree, JP! I can only imagine the sound of that one coming down. "Clean up on aisle Boulevard!!"
11/30/2015 10:59:12 am
Welcome back to the mountain, JP! I always look forward to your eloquently worded reflections and observations. A certain someone who is no longer with us cherished your writings, as well. Enjoy your winter on the Smokies' most magnificent summit!
12/5/2015 10:04:58 pm
Catching up on my Leconte blog. Surprised to see you back on here as I remember that much like our departed friend, you vowed to not be back again. Glad to know that you still follow us and with JP back again, there is so much to be gained and pondered through his writings. Stay well.
Jay Murphy (Biloxi, MS)
11/30/2015 11:06:37 am
My brother and I hiked to Charlie's Bunion F.10-30-15, out and back from Newfound Gap. Hadn't been there in about +30 years. Our pace is a little slower now. We ate lunch and enjoyed the view with about 15 other folks. Still awe inspiring - the view and our lunch companions.
11/30/2015 11:55:35 am
JP, I'm so glad that you're back! I love your pictures and all the writing that you put on the blog. Please post some pictures of the improvements on Alum Cave trail. I didn't get to hike upon there this past year, but would love to see some of the changes!!
tomk is SC
11/30/2015 05:44:08 pm
The picture the other day, the sky, is nothing short of spectacular! Given that you are hiking all over the mountain, we still have no pictures of the uncrossable Rainbow after a really big rain. Something to think about (please) if you are trying to decide where to go!
11/30/2015 06:51:51 pm
Any advice on the best approach to hiking in the rain up to the top? I checked the long range forecast for 12-10-12-14 and it has about %50 chance of rain all 4 days..... But we are hiking to the top no matter the weather
12/1/2015 07:04:39 am
What are the ten essentials?
12/1/2015 09:20:23 am
12/3/2015 08:04:49 am
Thanks for the info David!
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