Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mt. LeConte



I don't typically wake up early on a Saturday morning and think to myself, "hmmm, a 6.4 mile hike climbing to over 6,000 feet above sea level sounds great! Let's go!" However, when you love your husband and are slightly interested in seeing what all the fuss is about with these East Tennesseans and Mt. LeConte, you just might.

As you can guess, Saturday I found myself trudging up a mountain with stairs cut into the rock and cables fixed into the mountainside for handrails and I am still feeling that hike today. The 5 mile hike to the summit is one to check off a bucket list if you have those sorts of things on your bucket list. I didn't. But, there is a huge sense of accomplishment once you reach the top and the views are incredible. Part of the excitement of Mt. LeConte, for most people, is being able to get a reservation to stay at the LeConte Lodge. Not many people will get to do that in their lifetime as there is a waiting list and the beds are limited. Luckily, we have friends in high places. (See what I did there?) And we were able to stay as a guest to our friend who works on LeConte. This past weekend the hubs and I were sort of temporary crew members. We did a little work to earn our keep and loved getting to know the staff that welcome guests daily. Because most people won't be able to stay as guests I thought I would share a few photos from our weekend to entice you or to show you if you have absolutely no desire to see for yourself.  

Dinning hall

If you are unable to stay the night but want to make the trek you are able to enjoy the view from the lodge picnic tables or porch. You can grab a hot cocoa or lemonade and even purchase a sack lunch when you make it up. Guests are able to enjoy a nice bed in a rustic cabin with a family style dinner and a flush-able toilet. A little running water too. Trust me, everything about this is more luxurious after you hike up. Once you make it up, there is a 1.4 mile hike to a lookout spot that provides even more amazing views than what you will find at the lodge.

Happy hiking!
-Alison


Ode to Ansel Adams who once said the Smoky Mountains were "devilish" to photograph. Go see some of his work and his photo of Mt. LeConte at the Knoxville Museum of Art. Only a few days left!


Almost there!!



This is the llama trail and their feed troughs. They come up about three times a week with supplies.

Sunset with our favorite staffer. Do I look tired? haha


Amazing.

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