After getting cleaned up as good as we can, I relax on the porch with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate which they provide at the dining room.
The lodge office is a good place to relax, read or play games. After dinner a lot of the guests congregate here and sit around the stove rocking in the huge rocking chairs exchanging trail stories. Sometimes someone is playing a quitar or singing and usually kids are playing games at the tables, their only light a kerosene lamp. You take a step back in time up here.
Finally the dinner bell rings and everyone heads to the dining room for dinner.
Dinner consists of roast beef, mashed potato's, green beans, corn bread, baked apples, a peach half and cookies. Everything tastes delicious and is very filling and satisfying.
In case you wonder how the lodge gets it's supplies because you can only get there by hiking. In March before the lodge opens for the season (Mar-Nov) a helicopter drops most of the non-perishable items, but three times a week Llama packs bring up linens, groceries and whatever other supplies are needed. The reason Llamas are used is because they don't do as much damage to the trails as horses would.
After dinner most people head up to cliff tops to watch the sunset but it too cloudy on this night. My husband and I go up anyway just for something to do, but all we see is fog swirling around us.
Here is a sunset from a previous year so you know what we are missing.
We get up early the next morning and we are still fogged in so we don't make the hike to Myrtle Point to see the sunrise. Again here is a photo from a previous year.
Eventually the breakfast bell rings and we go to the dining room where....
It has been a wonderful experience but it's time to get our gear packed up and hit the trail. We have a long hike ahead of us and want to get an early start.
It's easy to look at the elevation of Mt. Leconte at 6593 feet and the elevation of Newfound Gap at 5046 and think this will be a easy downhill descend. NOT!! You go down, then up, then back down, and up up up again, then back down. I got my first blister hiking this trail.
We pass what I believe is a massive rockslide. Once again there are cables and it's wide enough to be passed safely.