I've always loved fall. There are things I love about each season, but there's just not much to dislike about autumn in East Tennessee. The views open up under azure skies. The mountains put on a pageant, emblazoned with colors Crayola wish it invented. The clouds are fluffier, stars are brighter and temperatures pegged at perfect. That lucky old sun is our welcomed guest today, and we're going to put it to work pumping water from the spring with our solar pump. With all the gray days recently, our water tanks haven't been as full as I'd like. With the sun crowning the top of LeConte, I've got a good partner for running the solar water pump today. It's a good feeling to fill those water tanks and not use a drop of fuel to do it.
We've been fortunate to host some fine folks up on the mountain recently. A nice group of ladies hiked up to spend the night with us recently with some roses in tow. I'm not sure I'm clever enough to get anything that delicate up the trail, but those ladies sure boasted a nice centerpiece for supper on LeConte. Based on their packing expertise, I think the women may secretly be the same folks who expertly pack our fresh eggs for the llama trip up the mountain.
I enjoyed visiting with Kip and Jean Ann Miller of Jackson, Tenn. (the land of Casey Jones and Carl Perkins) this afternoon. Kip and Jean Ann were enjoying their 239th hike up LeConte as a couple. Jean Ann was also celebrating her 79th birthday Wednesday (she gave me permission to post that). Kip counted 80 candles on his last birthday cake. In 2000, Kip had bypass surgery and then notched his 100th trip up Mt. LeConte just 24 days after surgery.
We're lucky to meet so many interesting people up here High on LeConte. Happy trails.