This mountain is sopping wet at the moment, with heavy rain showers forcefully bombarding my cabin. Winds come knocking every now and then, with subtle chatter between birds in the distance. Here I sit, lanterns ablaze, front window open slightly. Inhaling a soothing breeze like no other, the words flow freely through my fingertips. The current temperature is a brisk 41 degrees, thick white fog encases the lodge as we speak. Periods of heavy rain have been occurring periodically this morning, but I would consider it to be moderate (or "steady") rain. Looking at the ground, virtually all the snow is gone around the summit, with trace amounts left in certain areas. Some slick spots reside in shaded areas, so there could be a little bit of ice towards the top. The current conditions could possibly remain like this until Friday, so we might encounter a substantial amount of rain in that time! Oddly enough, there has been a "Flash Flood Warning" issued in Eastern Tennessee, and it will remain in effect until late Thursday night. Heavy periods of rain and thunderstorms are predicted, which means flooding is greatly possible. If you are planning to hike up Mount LeConte this morning, be sure to bring your best rain jacket and a pair of dry socks! There is nothing worse than hiking with wet feet, so I always try to change my socks periodically. Also, be on the lookout for rushing water along the trail. Some trails are worse than others during times like these, especially Trillium Gap and Rainbow Falls. There are some areas on the bottom half of the trails that can be impassible due to high water levels, so you may want to consider hiking another trail. However, if you are brave enough to embrace the rain, Grotto Falls and Rainbow Falls will be gushing more than usual. That being said, expect to see swelled creeks and muddy conditions during your trek. If you are caught under-prepared in a heavy rainstorm, you could run into a world of hurt. In chilly conditions like these, hypothermia is greatly possible. It is important that you balance your warmth and your breathe-ability. If you sweat through your essential layer, you can run into trouble really quick. Be sure to wear enough clothes, but not too much. You can always add a layer as you progress towards the top, which is smarter than wearing all your clothes at once and sweating through the essential layers. As long as you are prepared for the rain, hiking the mountain will still be enjoyable (depending on who you ask!) Wear some quality boots and bring a sense of adventure...
Looking back on yesterday, the rain dominated most of the day, with a stout 0.95" in total. The high temperature was a mild 45 degrees, with a lavish low of 37. Rain showers were very light and spotty, nothing compared to the monsoon we're enduring today. Just before dusk, the rain stopped and the clouds slowly parted ways, revealing a glimpse of Wears Valley and the surrounding land. That glorious, dry moment was extremely short-lived, as rain proceeded to fall off and on through the evening. Although I would much prefer basking in the sunlight out at Myrtle Point, I truly don't mind a rainy day here and there. As long as there are a few sunny days in between, I am completely content! Looking ahead, heavy periods of rain are possible until Thursday afternoon. That evening, rain could transition into heavy snow, which could last until Saturday evening! With all this nasty weather moving in, I need to invest some energy into a good book...
*"The best one can do when it's raining is to let it rain..."
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
***"On a sunny clear day, you can improve your body; on a rainy foggy day, you can improve your mind!"
-Mehmet Murat Ildan