Looking all around, patches of mountain ash trees don gold instead of green while the fading coneflower begins to brown and whither. The calendar may declare that one final full week of summer remains until the official autumnal equinox, but up here the heat and humidity of recent months is already becoming a distant memory. And the change, like it always seems to do this time of year, happens in an instant, amplified by the fact that it’s already halfway through September. Also gone are the gloom and doom of nagging rains and steadfast clouds, replaced with a joyous and uplifting streak of sunshine and blue skies. Life is good on the mountain!
Temps are cool as guests roll out of bed and sip the first cups of coffee, starting this Thursday in the lower 40s. The warming sun should see us climb close to 60° this afternoon. Skies will stay mostly clear with only light winds cutting across the peaks. Travelers can count on some continued traffic delays and congestion as they weave their way into the park, with roadside maintenance taking place on The Spur between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. And a reminder that this coming weekend sees the annual fall version of the Rod Run, so the parkway that is the vehicular bloodline through Sevier County will also be clogged at times. So plan those routes to and from the trailhead accordingly if you want to avoid as much frustration behind the wheel as possible. Up top we’re taking advantage of the ideal weather conditions to tackle some more maintenance projects of our own. If you hear the whacking of hammers to nails, it’s because some cabin rooftops are getting a roof shingle makeover.
Have a great day.