It's been a wet start to this Tuesday, but conditions around the mountain are expected to improve as the day progresses. We tallied 0.2" of rainfall at time of reporting, with liquid precip still coming down. Temps have once again been moderate, hanging out between 43 and 49 degrees. Once this front pushes through, we're looking at a sharp drop in overnight temps...the freezing variety. Come ready for the cold, but also consider having those traction devices handy. All this rain we've received recently may not have made its way off the mountain entirely by the time temps plummet, causing it to freeze on trail. That means greater potential for slick places.
As stated yesterday, we're well into the autumn season now in the Smokies. Any leaf change at the highest elevations has come and gone with the wind, but we're into the phase now where the middle elevations are glowing with vivid glory. When the sun is out, the forest understory shines bright in gold as the light passes through the changing canopy. Depending on what elevation you're at, there are opportunities to enjoy the various reds and oranges. The lowest reaches remain true to the greens of summer, holding on tightly in these brisk winds, refusing to transform despite the abrupt nudge from frigid temps.
The scenery along the Bull Head Trail these days is a mixture of inspiring and heart wrenching. The views are expansive and breathtaking. The devastation from the fires and landslides is sobering.
But there is hope...
Among the slim and charred spines of now-dead tree stumps are chutes and saplings of infantile vegetation full of life and frenetic growth. Table Mountain Pine, Rhododendron, Fetterbush are all knee high, with numerous Oaks and Maples already achieving head height as they reach for the sky. There is solace in knowing that beautiful places like Bull Head were not completely lost, but reborn from the ashes. Consider a hike on the Bull Head Trail in the future, not only to marvel at nature's resiliency, but at the handy work of the NPS trail crews to rehabilitate and reopen the trail this past year.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great afternoon!
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