We've had plenty of nice guests the last few days. The only problem is that a couple of them didn't get back to their cars on their own feet. The trails have been quite slippery with the recent rain. The good news is, that at last contact, the long-term prognosis on all seems good. They were all friendly people, and we wish them a speedy recovery and a happier return trip to LeConte Lodge.
We've also been busy for a September Saturday with ho-hum weather. Perhaps dayhikers are rushing to buy their LeConte Lodge t-shirts before the imminent solar storm obliterates the mountain and causes us to lose electricity.
I'll try to catch you up on the weather the last couple of days. We surely ended up with a rainy day Thursday, accumulating 1.77 inches of precipitation. When I called the weather conditions into the Park Service the next morning, the ranger said we doubled the amount of rain down in the valley. Thursday's high and low checked in at 62 and 54. Friday proved to be an improvement on Thursday, as we only tallied 0.3 inches of rain with a high-low of 66 and 55 degrees. On Saturday, we've seen a light mist at times. The sun has taunted us a bit, but mostly cloudy skies have ruled the day. However, the forecast is improving. Maybe we'll get some bluebird pretty autumn days soon high on LeConte.
We had a bear in camp last night. If you're coming up to see us, it's imperative that you keep all your cabin doors closed, keep nothing on your porch and store your food according to lodge policy. Keeping the bears and our guests safe relies on the same playbook--making sure no bruins visiting the lodge acquire a taste for human food.
Finally, whenever you close a chapter of your life, it's natural to consider all the good things you'll miss about a place. There's too much to mention in this one update. However, I'll let you in on a funny one that happened to me a while back, a situation where living on LeConte gave me a welcome out.
I was taking my off days down below and was in a store taking care of some grocery shopping. Crew members almost always visit the produce section when we're down because that's one of the toughest things to keep fresh sending food up by llama. I was headed to sniff out some mangoes and collard greens, when I got caught in the net of a salesman aggressively pushing satellite television service in the middle of the aisle. He was passionate about his product and polished in his delivery.
Sure enough, he greeted me to rope me in, and I answered with a pleasantry to be polite. "I'd like to talk to you about installing the ultimate in satellite entertainment value in your home," he followed.
That's when LeConte bailed me out, and I smiled and countered. "You're not going to believe this," I said. "I live on top of one of the highest mountains east of the Rockies with no electricity. We use headlamps and kerosene lamps to see at night. My food is delivered three times a week by llama train. When I tell my nephews that back in my day I had to hike five miles uphill to work because there are no roads, I'll be telling the truth."
The satellite salesman had obviously never gotten that response before. "I guess you're not interested," he moped. Happy trails.