The only way to get to LeConte Lodge in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is to hike up a mountain. To stay the night, you need to make reservations far in advance. We sent in our reservation request in August last year and then waited till the October 1 drawing of names. We did not get our first choice of dates (mid-October for the fall colors) but got our second choice of April 5.
When the date got near, it was still cold and snowy at the top near the lodge. So we bought Stabilicers and IceTrekkers. We also had to pack layers since the weather at the bottom trailhead was fairly warm, but it was freezing at the summit.
We started on the Rainbow Falls trail in the morning with the weather a little cold and foggy. As you can see on the elevation chart below, the trail goes up and up almost constantly. Due to rain and snow in recent days, the trail was quite muddy.
It was good that we brought the ice cleats as the last 1.5 miles of the trail was covered with snow and ice.
We got to the LeConte Lodge in the afternoon and enjoyed some amazing views.
After dinner, I went to Myrtle Point for a nice view of the sunset.
There was no electricity in our cabin, but it was warm due to a propane heater.
The next morning, weather was a little warmer. We had planned to go down the Bullhead trail, but it had not been cleared after the winter storms, so we headed back the same way we had come. Here’s the map for our return hike.
On our way back from the smokies, we drove on the Foothills Parkway and Deals Gap, which was a lot of fun.
I thought I would never become a soccer dad. And so I never enrolled Michelle in any league sports.
But she liked one thing, then another and they accumulated until now I spend most evenings driving my seven year old around town for:
- Horse Riding
- Ice skating
I am also helping her learn how to ride a bike. And competing against her on who does more nighttime reading.
It’s all fun as a parent and there’s also pride Michelle mastering different activities.
But it does reduce the time I can spend on things like the Harappa Ancestry Project. While the data submissions there have slowed down, I still have a number of ideas I am working on that I need to analyze and then post the results. When I can find the time of course!
I have been neglecting the blog again.
On Sunday night and Monday, we got about 5 inches of snow here in Atlanta. That’s more than I have seen here in my 13 years.
Then the temperature stayed below freezing until today. So it turned to ice. The roads here have been treacherous all week and I have seen cars skidding and turning the wrong way on GA-400.
Also, school has been closed all week and it has been hard trying to keep the 1st grader occupied at home. She has been to school only 3 days out of 26. May be we could have gone to a month long vacation instead of a short one in New York.
Here’s how our backyard looks today.