Mount LeConte

Monday, June 19, 2017 LeConte Lodge, Mount Leconte, Smoky Mountains

Chelsea, Mario and I are relaxing in the rocking chairs in front of our cabin. It is amazing. We are in the clouds, so you can’t actually see the view, but the clouds are actually drifting over us. You can truly see why they call these The Smoky Mountains. There is billowing smoke surrounding us, the clouds.

We took The Alum Trail to LeConte. Here is our timeline so far: Three days ago (Friday morning), we drove up to North Carolina and stayed in Cashiers for two nights next to Rock Mountain. We stayed at Scott and Katherine’s amazing home. This home is nestled in the mountains. We all slept so well because of the fresh mountain air, Katherine’s homemade bread, and our adventures through the trails that skirt the mountain. On Sunday we dropped the kids off at their camp, Green River Preserve. We arrived around 1:00 PM and left by 2:30. I thought I was going to be fine, but my anxiety was soaring. I was nauseous from my anxiety and the mountain driving. After about an hour, I recovered. We drove straight to Asheville where we met Chelsea in Asheville’s Art District at The Guitar Bar. She had spent the night at a campsite near town. It was this amazing bar that had great music and drinks in the middle of the afternoon. There was an older crowd there. It was so relaxing that we could have stayed there for 3 days. Nevertheless, we got in our cars and drove to Hot Springs, NC an AT Trail Town (which you all know). The Main Street is actually part of the trail. We stayed at Richard, Maria and Mia’s place. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Their house was on The Broad River and below a mountain. Coming from New Orleans, Louisiana which is below sea level, we were enchanted. Rich made an amazing phou for us which we all ate outside on their deck next to their pool and surrounded by the beauty of the mountains and French Broad River. Paradise. Simply Paradise. That night Mario and I dumped all of our gear out on the guest bed. Chelsea was, of course, a bit more organized than us. She had her bag ready to go. We had to go through our gear and decide what we would pack up for LeConte. We didn’t need our tent or our stove or most of our food. We would only need enough snacks and water to make it up the mountain and a warm change of clothes. Trust me, we needed warm clothes. Most days in New Orleans, the temperatures soar above 90, and the humidity makes it feel like 100 degrees.
Then we had to prepare another bag for the 4-5 day hike from Davenport Gap to Hot Springs. Our total distance will be around 37 miles on the AT and 11 miles to and from LeConte. We left all of our non trail items at Richard’s house. After our section hiking, we plan on spending time in Asheville. Then we are staying at a cabin with our family for a week. Therefore we have many non hiking items that left in neat stacks in the guest room’s closet. This was not easily accomplished since I packed TOO MUCH!

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