Hike 811 By Ed Wright

811 08/03/95

Alum Cave Bluff Trail alone on an interesting day. A group of 12 VIP’s plus a number of GSMNP employees headed for Mt. LeConte to remove two or three problem bears. Hurricane Erin was southeast of Pensacola, FL and created a very beautiful sunrise. The arms of the hurricane were swirling in a counterclockwise pattern from the southeast in two layers with patches of blue sky. It was 60 F at the trailhead and 56 F at the lodge.

I overtook Channel 10 reporter Robin Wilhoit and a video photographer at Alum Cave Bluff. Hiked with them for a mile or so and continued on my own. Met Tim Line on his way down to meet Lisa with their infant son Jacob. I was overtaken by VIP Jerry Powell, Oak Ridge fireman on his way up to help bring the bears down. I was also overtaken, at the double steps, by four Park Service employees on the same mission. Took the USA Yesterday, Today and the Knoxville News-Sentinel to the staff. Arrived at the lodge at 10:15 in the cold, misty cloudy weather. Visited with VIP’s Mike McNutt, Jerry Powers, Curtis Hance and members of the staff; Jennie, April, Scott, Charlie, John, Donna, Tim, Lisa, Nathan, Grace and Jacob.
Tim served coffee while we waited until 2:45 for the problem bears to make the scene. There was lots of bear activity around the lodge while we waited. The “bear” expert, Bill Stiver, from the park, decided call the effort off because the adult female, problem bear never showed up.

The two 17 year old VIPS hiked down with the litter as fast as I could hike normally. Met Vicki Law. Met Bruce on his way up with two new mops. Later I met Scott returning from his visit to Cincinnati. Met 188 hikers on both legs of the trip. Two and one half hours going up; Three and a half hours waiting for the weather to clear and warm up; and two hours down. 8:00 hours total.