Good day from LeConte Lodge. This will be my last High on LeConte update until late April as Allyson and Chris should return from off days tonight. They had been working hard for a six-week streak on the mountain without any downtime, which is probably the longest stretch anyone will stay up this year. Imagine yourself not touching a light switch or using any mode of transportation other than your feet for six weeks--doesn't happen very often in 2012. At any rate, thanks for reading and for the kind comments. I hope to see you all up on the mountain soon.
The llamas came up to visit Monday after an eventful weekend. They had their winter coats shaved in favor of a summer haircut. You should have seen the looks they got when they walked into the salon on a busy Saturday morning (sometimes I lie). While it's always cooler on top of LeConte, the llamas spend almost all of their time in the valley and their winter coats are uncomfortably hot. If you study the above photo of Eddie, you can see the trim line on his neck near his halter. You don't have to shave the llamas' heads, which is good as they don't like people messing with their heads at all.
Eddie's a special LeConte llama, and that's saying something. He's the veteran of the group and can be trusted to lead his team up and down Trillium Gap Trail. Mitch, our llama wrangler, tells me that Eddie has been a loyal LeConte employee for 17 years AND that he's in the best shape of any llama on the farm. Eddie is Chris' favorite llama. Chris thinks he looks like James Cagney. Eddie does have a bit of a gangster snarl. Good work Eddie.
Monday's weather was partly cloudy with a pleasant high of 60 and overnight low of 46. We did finally receive measurable precipitation, but not much--a scant .03 of an inch of rain overnight. It's mostly cloudy as of midday Tuesday with an increased chance of showers this afternoon and evening.
We were honored to have James Stanley and Tom Hickey come up to visit Monday. Both men are members of the vaunted 900-Mile Club, meaning they have hiked every inch of trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In fact, both men are well on their way to completing the roughly 900 miles a second time--the ultimate Smoky encore. Mr. Stanley bought one of our moisture-wicking performance shirts and swears by their comfort for hiking--he should know. Mr. Hickey told me that if he had to pick only one trail in the park to hike he'd choose Alum Cave Bluff Trail. It's easy to see why it's so popular, as Alum rates the prettiest commute to work I've ever had.
I'll leave you with a view of our impressive sunrise this morning. It took my attention away from making my biscuits. It appears that the folks down in the valley were socked in under the clouds, but we enjoyed a nice opening stanza to Tuesday on LeConte. Enjoy your day. Happy trails.
4/17/2012 06:02:26 am
Thanks so much for your colorful comments. I have been waiting 35yrs to hike up there and I will finally make it up on Monday. I have been hanging on every word!
4/17/2012 06:07:49 am
Thanks for the interesting updates while Allyson was off the mountain. I never get tired of visiting the Lodge when I get down to Tenn. We will see you in Sept. for our annual stay, if not before.
4/17/2012 08:14:15 am
we'll be up there same time ... look forward to seeing you both again...
4/19/2012 05:01:00 pm
It's a date.
Oh no Naked Llamas!! I bet they do get hot. But in Michigan as I was taking my morning walk I had wished I had my black lab's fur on as it was a bit chilly today. Would look a little goofy but I sure would stay warm.
4/17/2012 09:10:10 am
Nathan; you excel at cheerful portrayals of Mount LeConte..I'll look forward to your future postings and thanks! for keeping glowing memories stoked~~
I'm on the west side of the state, half way up right on Lake Michigan. Little beautiful resort town of Ludington, Michigan. We are the the 3rd tourist destanation in the state. But pretty dead and have the lake to ourself from Labor day to Memorial day. Looks like another cold morning today. It takes us 12 hours to get down there,but I just love Tennessee and the mountain.
4/18/2012 12:30:13 am
Ah yes, I know Ludington and it's spectacular! Lucky you. Isn't it fun to dream of Le Conte from up here?! :))
4/17/2012 09:22:50 am
You all are GREATLY APPREACIATED! sp? Thanks for ALL YOU DO! Enjoying GODS MTN GIFT thru you.
4/17/2012 11:16:40 am
You've done an excellent job Nathan; I. too, have enjoyed your comments for the last several days; I'd like to meet James and Tom and I admire them for doing all the trails a second time; I believe I had accomplished this feat sometime in the late 1970's, although I never really gave any thought to belonging to a "900-Mile Club, but I guess I do. By now I could be close to a second completion, but I haven't kept up with the miles & trails as I once did; I wonder how many people have actually completed all 900 miles ? It would make for a very nice patch. I have been impressed with the record for trips to Mt. Leconte and the lodge, but I don't know that number either. For me, records regardng the lodge aren't important, only my visits there; thanks again Nathan.
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