shoot straight and give it my best try. i make my heart as hard as nails. that might be the way to live your life. but it almost got me killed.
It's a beautiful, clear morning up top. The high yesterday reached 18 degrees. The overnight low was 6 degrees. It was 17 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and our snowfall total is down to about 5 inches. The trails are hardpack snow and ice right now. I'd encourage anyone who intends to summit to have winter boots, traction devices, and wool socks. You'll save yourself a lot of discomfort by showing up for your hike prepared.
Yesterday was another fantastic day spent moseying around camp. The sky was variable all day, foggy and socked in yesterday morning, then a bit blustery and trending towards clear in the afternoon. The clouds were dancing, telling secrets to one another and running away. An active sky is typically a good indicator that a memorable sunset is in the works. I was not disappointed. I am always excited for the evening show, but I get giddy when those first shafts of golden light cut through the thin spruces and set the trail afire. It is one of my favorite spots on the mountain, one I'll remember fondly for all my days. This is where my daily metamorphosis takes place. There is simply no way eloquent enough to measure, to grasp just what these experiences do to me. I am spoiled rotten and simply don't know how I'd get a fix like this if I didn't live in the mountains. They have worked themselves into the core of my being and are now an essential component for anything resembling a full life. Reality. Beauty beats bread.
2/6/2015 01:27:13 am
Beautiful pictures JP.
2/6/2015 01:35:11 am
I agree Rick. Where is God in all this!? He IS in all ! GBY'L :)
2/6/2015 01:47:27 am
Lovely photos, Frostybeard. Hope you have more snow than us here in The Gem State.
2/6/2015 02:13:19 am
The mountain misses you, Ranger!!!
2/6/2015 02:48:26 am
2/6/2015 02:37:40 am
JP - I wonder if you realize how many people you touch with your words (and photos)?? Every morning, as I drive into work along to Alcoa Highway, I look to the three knuckles on the mountain ridgeline and think of you and your escapades. I am so grateful for your willingness to share with us.
2/6/2015 07:35:24 am
2/6/2015 09:10:28 am
Why barf? Can't handle my compliment to JP? Mean people suck.
2/6/2015 11:50:48 am
Not very nice
Sharon P: I really liked your description of the "three knuckles" on the mountain ridgeline of Mt. Leconte ! Don't think I've heard it described quite that way before but from now on it's how I will think of those peaks whenever I gaze up there ! Every time I drive through Pigeon Forge and see those three "knuckles" I know that I am near to one of my favorite places, the Smokies. When I drove a tractor trailer rig for just one year solely for something different to do ('07 - '08) I would see those peaks as I drove east or west along I-40 and they and the mountain would "call to me" ! Some people don't quite understand this but I think that everyone who follows this blog site does. And, when the sun is in the right position overhead I can spot the buildings up at the Lodge as I drive through P.F. using my binoculars and often with only my eyes. How many people are completely unaware that the Lodge is up there !? G'day.
2/6/2015 03:50:34 am
Some people will never fully understand how a person can become so connected to the natural word that it becomes essential to your emotional health and well being. I was involved with a woman for a few years who grew up in the stunning beauty of the Swiss Alps, but had no appreciation for them at all. That always confounded me!
Would it be too much to ask how I could get prints of today photos to frame?We have been going to the Smokies since 1958 and have hiked short and easy,long and strenuous(Ramsey Cascade) and several more but we are 84 abd 78 so we have to take short ones.We hiked to LeCone 9-11-11 am so glad we did because I just have to see it through your eyes now.My day isn't complete if I don't log on.
2/6/2015 08:54:29 am
You might call the office.
2/6/2015 11:47:56 am
2/6/2015 10:09:55 am
Sharon P, I totally agree with you, mean people do suck! LL, your pathetic and need to grow up. JP, I LOVE your daily blog and look forward to reading it all day. I like to live vicariously through your wonderful outlook on life and am jealous of you for being allowed to live up there during the winter. It is a precious gift.
2/6/2015 10:04:06 pm
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