The mountain held its own against the first threat of cold this season. There was very little temperature variance, as our high of 49° was accompanied by a low of 45°. No new precipitation once again. Today expects to be slightly warmer, especially in the lower elevations. Tonight’s low should be about the same, while the next chance for a cold spell will hit the region mid-week.
LECONTE - As in our very special mountain. Even here in southern Appalachia, this word sticks pretty close to its French roots. The first E comes out as more of a relaxed “uh” while the second E is nonexistent. So phonetically...luh-CONT. One hears several variations out there...Luh-Contee, Luh-Contay, LayContay, LeeContee...all interesting and exotic sounding, but alas, incorrect.
ALUM - As in the ever popular Alum Cave Bluffs. Imagine you’re taking to your friend Al, but then forgot what you we’re going to say next (“ummm”). AL-um. The emphasis being on the front end, unlike shared spellings such as aluminum or alumni.
NEWFOUND - As in Newfound Gap. It’s interesting to hear folks try and tie this to the way our Canadian neighbors to the north pronounce Newfoundland, where “found” becomes “fund.” Here in East TN/West NC, the original namers weren’t trying to make it difficult. A “new” way was “found” across the mountain range: hence, Newfound Gap.
LLAMAS - As in our awesome supply packers! Although in Spanish the “LL” takes on a “Y” sound, llama is a Quechuan word from the indigenous people of the Andes, long before the Spanish arrived in South America. There are numerous takes on what the correct pronunciation should be around the world. But here in America, especially East TN, we’re sticking with the LL’s. Side note, the animals under the employ of LeConte Lodge are 100% llamas. Not to be confused with alpacas.