We’re riding the wind into this Sunday, already a week into November. Last night’s sunset was stunning and the night sky is crystal clear full of infinite shimmering stars. Today is setting up to be another sunny and beautiful day across the Smokies. Each day as we roll into the new week is expected to see warmer temps. We should reach the 40s this afternoon and our overnight lows will keep hanging around the freezing mark. By Monday and Tuesday, we could jump into the 50s which might feel downright summer-like compared to the conditions of recent weeks. The winds are going to be a constant presence though, so the wind chills are going to keep some of that potential warmth at bay. Gusts of 25mph are going to hound the mountain today and tonight.
Starting today there will be more sunlight in the morning, great for those visitors who prefer early starts up the trail. The flip side to that coin means it’s going to be darker much sooner, a fact that tends to catch day hikers by surprise this time of year. Sunset now will be shortly after 5:30. So if an average hiker requires 3-4 hours to get down Alum Cave, that means folks need to be departing the lodge between 1:00-2:00 to ensure adequate daylight for a safe descent. It gets dark in the deep hollers and trees well before the sun actually meets the horizon. Plus it doesn’t take long for temperatures to plummet. So getting caught out late sans appropriate layers and illumination is unwise. With just 2.5 weeks to go in the season, it’s important that our remaining visitors all come prepared to have a safe and enjoyable time on the mountain. And another remainder that with the daylight savings shift, guest supper will now move to 6:15 PM for the time being.
Have a great end to the week.