The LeConte Seventh Cavalry
The LeConte Seventh Cavalry (seven llamas, that is) arrived safe and sound at the lodge after ably completing another mission at altitude. The other two llamas are members of a secret operations detail and can't be photographed for reasons of national security (or perhaps they just wouldn't fit in the frame). The mission parameters can't be discussed in detail, but our weekend guests will be sleeping on clean sheets and eating fresh eggs for breakfast. You'll notice stealthy Huey, the third llama from the left, slyly stealing pancakes while Earl, the second llama from the left, poses for his photo. Vanity will get you every time.
We appreciate their service to LeConte Lodge. Only the best of the best become LeConte llamas.
We're enjoying another wonderful Friday on Mt. LeConte. Thursday's high reached 44, while the morning low bottomed out at 25, quite an improvement from midweek. We've already surpassed Thursday's high by lunchtime on Friday.
Last night's sunset proved impressive. No one asked for a refund, though one of our guests reckoned that a few clouds might have added to the wow factor. He has a point, though commanding the clouds is a rung or 73 up the ladder from LeConte Lodge assistant manager.
We are incredibly fortunate to have such fine guests visit us. Our youngest last night, a 22-month-old boy certainly has his bear growl down pat. We should have kept the youngster on staff to scare away the real thing when they arrive atop LeConte, which could be soon.
Another day hiker on his first trip up to the lodge wandered around craning his neck up at the roof and skylights of the dining room. He looked a lot like a tourist gazing up at skyscrapers in New York City. He said, "This is great up here." He may have authored the truest statement of the day.
Friday morning the sky was crisscrossed with jet contrails against a blue canvas. When I'm on LeConte with plenty of elbow room and breathing fir-scented air, and I see a jet fly by I feel sorry for all those folks cramped into tiny seats with tray tables whacking their knees. I hope they have a good adventure lined up for them when they return to terra firma. If not, then they're welcome to find one on Mt. LeConte.
I expect the mountain to be hopping with people this weekend. Come see us. Happy trails.
4/13/2012 06:00:02 am
I don't know about everyone else, but Nathan has taken the blog to a whole new level. Thanks Nathan for all your observations, including those of the guests and the great stories they provide for you to pass along. Looking forward to our trip in July!
4/13/2012 07:33:55 am
Nathan, your comments about your thoughts when you observe the jets crisscrossing the mountain startled me because that's exactly my thoughts. One of my favorite things to do on trips to the Smokies with my wife is to sit on the cabin porch at sunrise and watch the jets fly over the mountains while I sip a steaming cup of fresh ground coffee. I always think about at those moments how very blessed I am to be on that porch sipping coffee surrounded by such beauty and grandeur. It is the closest that one can get to Heaven on Earth in my opinion and I always say a prayer of thanks that I am not aboard one of those jets.
4/13/2012 07:48:43 am
What a great post for today! It's good to see the llamas continuing to fulfill their mission (secret or otherwise).
4/13/2012 09:01:25 am
Great job all ! Mt LeConte employee's only the best ! When a job needs to be done,its always done as good or better.Thanks and GOD BLESS!
4/13/2012 12:09:54 pm
After my day at work, "i work in a child care center" I wish I was up there oh well I can pop open a Coors and dream. Keep up the great posts it helps.
4/13/2012 01:32:28 pm
Really enjoying your narratives of each day. I feel like I'm there and will be in a few months. Can't wait. Sounds like there's a children's book in "Only the best of the best get to be Leconte Llamas"!
4/13/2012 02:01:30 pm
I'm in the jets every now and then and when I am my forehead is pasted against the windows attempting to get a glimpse of heaven at LeConte Lodge. The flight path is never quite right, usually way too far east, or on the ATL/MKE route the flight path is about right but the clouds don't cooperate or the approach puts me on the wrong side of the aircraft. So I look down, with my head against the window and my knees against the seat in front of me and my laptop perched at a 45 degree angle so the reclining seat in front of me doesn't collapse the screen, all the while wishing I was in a rocking chair listening to friends tell stories of bears and sunsets and llama crews and beefy stews and wine at $10/hour.
4/13/2012 03:56:51 pm
Oh ! The dear llamas, with their silly secretive fun! The photo clearly depicts a highly clandestine meeting in progress. When I saw them last, a few members of their organization had apparently tried to leak valuable top-secret information, and had to wear muzzles :( or maybe those were just disguises?? hmmm
4/14/2012 05:20:25 am
one of your guests for tonite left salmon and cheese with us at Jack Huffs.....we found it and put it in our frig...his name is Charles Rhyne if you could tell him...much appreciated...and I am a big fan of your blog who will be on the mountain in May
4/15/2012 01:45:44 am
That 22 month old's mama is a lama carrying him up the mountain. If there was a child's size Tshirt that said "my mama is a lama and carried me to Mt. Leconte". That mama would have bought it!
Jessica, Ryan, and Seth
4/15/2012 03:01:44 am
Thank you to Mt Leconte staff and llamas for helping provide one of the best trips of our lives! The experience was amazing and incomparable to anything else!
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