Monday, October 04, 2010

Life in Knoxville: Hiking in the Smoky Mountains edition

About a month ago I hiked Mount LeConte, and stayed overnight at the LeConte Lodge. (About a month ago, as of Oct. 17th... Apparently, since I started writing this post a couple of week ago, blogger has timestamped it from Oct. 4th.)

It was pretty amazing.

It threatened to rain on the hike up the Rainbow Falls trail, but fortunately we just got drizzled on. (This was especially fortunate as my water-resistant backpack managed to keep my stuff mostly dry - I'll be buying a proper pack soon.)

Once we got to the lodge, I drank a bunch of hot chocolate and we played some card games while we waited for the slower members of our party to arrive.

There's several cabins, most have queen size bunk beds. Mine also had a single bed (that I slept on).

At the start of the season a helicopter brings up supplies (or so I'm told), including canned beef, which we were served for our surprisingly good dinner.

I met some interesting people while hiking, including a guy that grew up travelling around the country "showing" cattle ... at cattle competitions, I guess? Maybe at rodeos and that sort of thing.

After dinner the clouds started clearing up a little, so a bunch of us ran up to the summit to catch a cloudy sunset.

I also took video of the sunset, and I'll try to post it soon.

The next morning I skipped out on breakfast to hike down at 7:30 AM. This time we got completely soaked. It was raining so much, that I didn't get a chance to take pictures - but it was by far one of the most beautiful hikes I've ever been on. We had the trail (the Alum Cave trail) to ourselves, and at the Alum Cave the entire rim of the outcrop had water pouring off it. I just rehiked part of that trail today with my parents. I will post some of today's photos shortly.

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