It feels great to be back on the mountain. Chris and I are starting our 10th year as the residents managers. I look forward to sharing this season with each and every one of you. I know I speak for everyone when I say, I sure will miss JP's eloquent prose. He certainly does have a way with words. It sounds as though he is planning on returning next winter in hopes of experiencing a true "LeConte winter".
The weather forecast is predicting winter may still visit the mountain. The trees were covered in hoar frost this morning. The temperature up top is currently 13 degrees. It never pushed above 30 yesterday. The crew is slowly making their way back to work. It is time to get the lodge ready for the first over night guests.
I must say, I was ready to return to my mountain home. Chris and returned from the Grand Canyon a few days ago. We had an eventful winter. We trained everyday for my first marathon. It was a great winter for running outside. I know JP would have preferred a different scenario, but I appreciated the spring like weather during January. The marathon was in February. I finished my first and Chris finished his second full race. I am hooked. I see more in our future. A week and half after the race, we took off for the Grand Canyon. Our backpacks packed to the brim, we led a group of friends into the canyon. Our first night was spent at the campground next to Phantom Ranch. It was fun to experience the LeConte of the west. Although, they cheat a little by having electricity. It was enjoyable, non the less. The next day we hiked half way out and spent the night at another camp site. Chris made a delicious dinner for us to enjoy on the plateau. I felt like I was at the Cliff Tops of the canyon. It was an exquisite location for the best burrito I have ever eaten. After our tough hike out of the canyon we headed to Vegas for a few days of rest and relaxation. I will admit, Vegas makes me appreciate my mountain home.
It feels great to be home and gearing up for the new season. I am excited to see what year number 10 will bring. I hope you all enjoy the next 8 1/2 months with me.