That's the Way It Was In '25
_Good Saturday afternoon to all of you from (nearly) the top of Tennessee. For those of you who have read High on LeConte often in July, the weather roundup might sound familiar. We received 0.09 inches of rain Friday with a high of 67 and low of 55.
The optimistic reader will say that a low of 55 degrees and occasional overnight rain makes for perfect sleeping weather--and that's exactly right. The pessimistic reader may say that 16 consecutive days of measurable rain (although July 17 was just 0.01 inches) is enough to turn a man into a salamander--and that's exactly right. The only days this July in which we've recorded no rain at LeConte Lodge are July 1, 3 and 5. Saturday, July 21 will not be added to that trio as we've already received a couple of showers.
Truth be known, the weather really hasn't been unpleasant. We're getting a pretty good variety of weather with occasional glimpses of the sun. The sight of some of the towering clouds we've seen, edges gilded with reflected sunlight, has been nothing short of majestic--especially at sunset. Plus, very few of the rains have been heavy enough to rank as frog stranglers. I think the bears are hoping that a wet July might rescue the blackberry crop from a dry late June. We won't know that answer until August.
On Friday, I talked about the importance of the LeConte spring and how it was rediscovered in July 1925, paving the way for the formation of LeConte Lodge. There were two more critical events in LeConte history that happened that July 1925.
On July 11, 1925, the Great Smoky Mountains Conservation Association (I'll give you three guesses where this group's members thought the premier national park in the East should be located) authorized Paul Adams (a towering figure in LeConte history who may be discussed more in months to come) to establish a more permanent camp on LeConte.
Five days later on July 16, 1925, the camp at LeConte welcomed its first paying guests. No, the guests weren't among the bushel of Sevier County Partons, Reagans or Ogles. The first paying guests hailed from the Windy City. O.M. Shantz of Chicago, Ill., brought a party of 12 up to spend the night. The Shantz dozen rang up a massive $36 lodging charge at $3 a head. Stop on by the dining room between noon and 4 p.m., and we'd be glad to sell you a bottomless cup of lemonade, coffee or hot chocolate for $3 in 2012. Overnight lodging and meals will set you back a little more than $3 now.
Thanks for your kind words and for reading High on LeConte. Because of a unique work schedule in July, Allyson and I will both be off the mountain for the next few days. Thus, there will likely not be another High on LeConte update until about Wednesday. Until then, the forecast for the next few days sounds like typical summer fare--warm with a chance of showers every day. Come see us, but make sure you pack your raingear and plenty of water (you can refill your water bottles for free at the blue-handled spigot outside the office).
7/21/2012 08:54:25 am
Thanks for the history lesson. And I am going to go into DT's the next few days without my daily dose of "Whats happening on LeConte!"
7/21/2012 11:23:25 am
Sorry we will miss you..heading up Monday to spend the night. Planning on Rainbow up and Bull Head down...our first time on both those trails.
7/21/2012 12:00:04 pm
Flash withdrawal symptoms just started. Have a safe fun few days.
Well $3.00 for lodging in 1925 was a big time expense.So about the same now, but sure do wish we could get away with paying 3 bucks. Have a great few days off. Will miss my daily dose of the blog. My husband says to me, by the time we get up there in Aug. you should be rained out. Lets sure hope so!
7/22/2012 08:08:06 am
My brother was recently going through some of our dad's old papers and found the information brochure from the lodge for our first trip up in 1983. It has the appearence of a manually typed letter and hand drawn map of the trails, a far cry from the slick brochures used today. The cost for a night was $30 and only $20 for children under 10. A discount of $1.50 per person would be applied if you brought your own sleeping bag. We splurged and spent the extra $1.50 to save the added weight! These trips are some of my greatest memories of time spent with my dad and were central to the eulogy that I was blessed to give for him a few years ago. Mt. LeConte and the lodge will always be a special place in my heart.
7/22/2012 11:39:33 am
Thanks for sharing.
7/23/2012 03:08:06 am
Nice story. Would push my "like" button if there was one.
7/23/2012 03:07:04 am
Missing my daily LeConte fix.
Brian N bama
7/23/2012 05:47:34 am
Me too Tony, we are staying in the lodge the 9th of Nov. My boys and I think we should drive up for a day hike to prepare for it.
7/23/2012 07:01:03 am
There will be a world of deference hiking it now and when you hike it in Nov. One extreme to another temperature wise. I'll wait till Oct. for my day hike up. Enjoy.
Brian N bama
7/23/2012 09:33:29 am
Are yall still going up the week of the 17th in nov?
Brian N bama
7/23/2012 09:32:08 am
Our goal is to hike and stay up top in every month. So far it has only been Oct., Nov., April, & June.
7/25/2012 01:09:46 am
Where oh where are you tonight? Why did you leave me here all alone?
7/25/2012 01:57:27 am
You met another and PPTTHHH you were gone! ♫♪ Hurry back Allyson or Nathan
7/25/2012 03:17:29 am
One week from today I'll be hiking up there. I'm so excited!! I can't wait to be back in the Smokies!
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