Finally, some consistency in the great weather.  Temps on the mountain tapped into the mid 60's this day.  There was one trail I had yet to tackle and for good reason.  Trillium Gap Trail runs along the northern face of LeConte, which is exactly where the snow remains the worst.  Up high and in shaded ravines the snow was deep, occasionally sinking down to my waist when I hit soft patches in the trail.  At least the blowdowns had been cleared the day before.  Along the way I managed to stir up ruffed grouse in three different locations, each sounding like a machine gun with the sudden flapping of their wings.  The views from Brushy Mountain were exceptional and the temps had become very warm.  I can't wait til the mountain laurel blooms in June and covers the heath bald in white and pink.  On the return trip, the sun's rays had been blasting the snow pack on the trail a mile before the lodge.  Each step the rest of the way was irritating and exhausting as I sank into the softening snow.  I would have preferred that the snow not melt so that I could at least have solid footing.  Now I know not to revisit this trail until the snow is completely gone, which I hope is soon.

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