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.
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