Mixsonian Larry


Snow in March

Frolicking in the snow
Frolicking in the Snow
Mom, David, Betty and Dad making a snowball

On March 1st Mom and Dad along with Betty and Billy took my brother David up to Mount LeConte in Tennessee where he was going to work the summer as crewmember at the lodge atop of the mountain.   Mount LeConte is the third highest peak within the Great Smokey Mountains National Park at 5,301 feet. At the summit of Mount LeConte is a rustic lodge consisting of a number of small log cabins and a large dining hall.  From March through early November the lodge is open for overnight guests who are fed dinner and breakfast by a crew living at the lodge.  David had got a job as one of the crewmembers. Mom wrote in her memoirs,

“It snowed so much when we got there and the highway was covered with so much snow we had to stop and let him out before we got to the trail head. I almost cried I was so worried about him going off all by himself. We didn't hear from him for weeks and I finally called the lodge office and the secretary told me they had radio contact with the lodge and he was OK and that they had just baked him a birthday cake. He soon wrote us and told how they had been snowed in for a month.”


Being from Florida, they had seldom seen snow before, so the five of them, Mom, Dad, Betty and Billy and David a fun time playing in the snow, throwing snowballs at each other. They had planned on taking David to the Alum Bluff trail parking lot at 2,700 feet where it is a five mile, 2,601 foot hike up to the Lodge.  Not being able to reach the Alum Bluff trail parking lot, David had to hike an additional couple of miles through snow but he was up for the task.  David wrote in his memoirs...

   The next morning, we drove on the Newfound Gap Road, or US-441, to the trail head of Alum Cave Bluff Trail, a five mile trail to the Lodge. Or tried to drive there. Encountering snow on the road, and the snow getting heavier as we climbed, Dad decided that it was unsafe to drive any farther.

Mom and David
Mom sayaing her goodbye to David

 So, he let me out of the van, and after farewells and a hug to Mom, the hike was started from the middle of the road, as there was no other traffic whatsoever. I watched them turn around and drive off.      

Snow and ice on the hike up
Photo David took of ice and snowon hike to the lodge.

   Wearing my new dark green Sears rain gear, having never hiked for such a distance before in a snowfall, I started, not even knowing how far it was to the trailhead. Perhaps it was mile or two, at most. Exhilarated to be starting this adventure, I was soon at the Alum Cave Bluff Trail parking lot, saw the trail sign for the lodge, and walking over a footbridge over a rhododendron banked stream, started the ascent. A snowfall was happening in an overcast gray sky, and peals of thunder were occasionally heard. WOW!

LeConte Lodge
Snowed in LecConte Lodge
Photo by David when he first arrived

Updated: 06-01-2023

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