Thursday's high reached 70 degrees with a low of 46. We didn't record any precipitation. The forecast for the weekend looks favorable. Keep in mind that the lower parking lot at the Alum Cave Bluff trailhead is closed for repairs, so spots in the recently renovated upper lot will be at a premium.
I'm hoping for a little audience participation regarding today's topic. I'd like to hear either the most interesting place you've worn your LeConte Lodge t-shirt or the most far-flung place you've encountered someone else wearing LeConte gear.
We've made a change to the "Guest sightings" page on High on LeConte (the third heading to the right of this "Daily Posts" page). Instead of taking photos of guests with the same background of the dining room sign, we thought it may be more interesting to see where in the world you were wearing your LeConte Lodge gear. Instructions for submitting the photos can be found on our "Guest sightings" page. However, take your time in sending those in because Allyson won't have a chance to post those until late next week. We already have a few folks sporting LeConte gear in Norway, Sweden and a little closer to home in Auburn, Ala.
As for me, the most far-flung LeConte encounter I had was in Antarctica. I worked there to close out the 2012 austral summer season at McMurdo Station, the largest research station on the continent. I was attending an end of the season church service at the on-base chapel overlooking the ice shelf. At the service, the chaplain and priest offered up prayers for all the people leaving the Ice preparing to scatter across the world in their redeployment home. In addition, prayers were said for the hardy souls who would winter over on the Ice during a long stretch of complete darkness and isolation.
At the service, I was wearing a LeConte Lodge fleece jacket which the crew received at our end-of-season party in 2010. The chaplain there asked if that "LeConte Lodge" was the same one in the Great Smoky Mountains. Turns out this chaplain was normally stationed at the air base next to Knoxville's McGhee-Tyson Airport. The world gets smaller all the time.
Also, just this past winter when I was a winter guide in Yellowstone National Park, I drove my snow coach to the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel to pick up my guests for touring the park that day. While looking for my guests, I noticed a woman standing in the lobby wearing a LeConte Lodge shirt from 2012. We struck up a nice conversation about her day hike up LeConte last year.
I look forward to reading about your LeConte encounters. This will be the last High on LeConte update until Tuesday, as Allyson and I both have off days scheduled for this weekend. Happy trails.