The clouds have settled into the valley opening up clear skies over Mt. LeConte. After a stretch of gloomy and stormy weather it is a welcomed change. There is a total of 10 inches of snow on the ground. It's 12 degrees out. 12 was the low and 24 was the high.
The clear skies and sunny weather have made for a fantastic day for hiking. I will be hiking down today to enjoy the Super Bowl with my family. Mom is cooking a big meal and a pretty good chunk of the family will come by. Go Colts!!! I have my yearly physical Monday morning and then I will come back up. So I probably will not post on the blog tomorrow.
I hope you have a great Super Bowl Sunday. Enjoy this most American of holidays. Go COLTS!!!!
It's snowing again on Mt. LeConte! After a wild ride through yesterday's weather everything is quiet and beautiful and covered with snow. I took this photo at 7:30 this morning and you can see that it's snowing hard. There is about an inch of new snow already. Over the last 24 hours I have seen high, damaging winds and 3.63 inches of rain! Amazingly there was still some ice covering the ground that didn't get washed away. there is about 1.5 to 2 inches of snow and ice on the ground. the snow is really coming down so it should really be pretty up here when the sun comes out. It's currently 27 degrees with a high of 43 and a low of 27.
Highway 441 is closed due to snow and ice. It sounds like they may get it opened soon. There's a 50 percent chance of more snow this afternoon in the valley so I may see snow all day up here. Cades Cove loop road is still closed due to downed trees from the storm but it sounds like the Park Service will have it open soon. Be careful if you get out today!
It looks like a good day to stay around the kitchen and have a hot coffee.
It's been quiet and cold here today. The mountain has been very serene. I got out for a nice trek around the grounds of the Lodge. This is a photo of the cabin called "The Laundry". This cabin was built when Herrick Brown ran the Lodge in the late 60's and early 70"s. This cabin had a wood fired hot water heater and a gas powered washing machine where the crew did laundry . Hence the name of the cabin. Today the cabin houses crew members and has a small shower with an on demand propane water heater. The water system is drained in the winter so it won't freeze up so I don't get to enjoy the shower in the winter. I carry my water from the spring and heat it on the stove. I bathe with a pan and bucket. Not luxurious but effective!
Here's Millie's Cabin! Last season it was "Pat's Place." Next season Millie will be living there so now it's "Millie's Cabin." The original structure was built by Jack Huff and is one of the oldest cabins on LeConte. It was remodeled two years ago. Jack Huff built two Lodges and then this cabin, hence the name "#3." The Huffs would put Honeymooning couples in this cabin so they would have some space from the rest of the guests so "#3" became "The Honeymoon Shack." You may notice some tape on the window on the right. A bear tried to break in this last September. Pat woke up and scared the bear off before he got in. I think Millie will be very cozy here.
Below is my place, "The Tack House." The Lodge used horses to bring supplies to the Lodge and take things down. They had a horse for logging and allowed guests to ride their horses to the Lodge and keep them up overnight. There was a barn located below the spring to the east of the Trillium Gap Trail. In the mid 70's the Park Service decided that the horses had too great an environmental impact. After they stopped using horses they tore down the old barn. They took the pieces of the tack house from the barn and used the materials to build this cabin. So I live in "The Tack House." You may notice the solar panels on the roof and the movable panel to the left on the ground. That's how I get the power to keep in touch with you!