4-12-09 Perkins Hike to Mt. LeConte

What a way to spend Easter! It was our son Austin and his friend Timothy’s 1st trip to the top. Jason & I have done it together twice now. The Lord blessed us with a BEAUTIFUL day on Sunday; we hiked the Alum Cave Trail both up and down. We made it up in 4 hr 45 min (great time for me) all the boys (Jason, my husband, included) could have made in 4hrs, I’m sure. The boys loved the trail. They said their favorite was Arch Rock – it’s not everyday you get to climb through a rock. There weren’t many other hikers (and no bears – answered prayer) but we did see a few “runners” which just amazed the boys. Inspiration point gave us clear sunny views. Not too far further up from the cave area we heard and saw three Falcons! What a treat! The views were absolutely breath taking or maybe that was just the hike. There is a section of the trail that some relatives/best friends (Pat & Jeanie Lawley) of ours named “The Forevers” as it starts at the 1st wooden staircase and ends at the 2nd set. We all call it that because it is forever straight up. The boys were ahead of us on this part but had to stop and rest. We encountered a little ice and snow near the top which made me nervous but we all took it slow and easy and a couple of us used some cramp ons that friends had let us borrow. Everyone needs a pair of them! We finally made it to the top. The staff at the lodge were all great as usual, especially a new guy (Patrick). He’s a Chicago Bears fan so we got to talk some football. We were in Cabin #10, the most top cabin and the view from our front porch was the best! Dinner was wonderful! I had to laugh at Austin because when he finished his soup he said “I’m going to sleep good tonight, I’m full” I told him there is still more to come. Needless to say, he finished a second plate of roast beef, mashed potatoes and green beans. Clouds started rolling in after supper so no view of sunset but we got to relax in the best rocking chairs on earth before settling in for the night. Then around 1am I woke up and thought we were in a hurricane, “Hazard Wind Warning”, so our hike down was in 50 – 55mph (at least) winds and some light rain, clouds & fog (thank you Lord for holding off the big rain). And remember the ice I mentioned? Lucky most of it had melted by now but I think I’m totally prayed up for the year. By the time we got down to the Alum cave area the winds were better but the fog/clouds had socked us in. Yet just past Inspiration Point at the 1st foot bridge coming down the air was clear again. When we hit Arch Rock we told the boys to take off, my knees where yelling at me, we made it down in 3hr 25 mins and the boys were a good 15-20 minutes in front of us. We had a great time and the boys did say they would do it again but would like to try a different month than April because of the weather (wind & rain). Thanks again to the staff for all your hard work in making a family hiking trip one of the most enjoyed and memorable. Jason & Bev Perkins

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