A lost bluetick hound dog has been found safe on Mount LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Mount LeConte is the third highest peak in the Smokies with an elevation of 6,594′. There are several trails leading to the summit but the nearest road is over five miles away. The slopes of Mount LeConte are considered some of the most rugged terrain in the Eastern United States. The dog was found near the summit at the historic LeConte Lodge.
“The dog had been hanging around LeConte Lodge for almost a week,” said one lodge staffer, “We tried to catch him but he was always too quick. Bears hang around here, and bears and dogs aren’t a good mix.”
One evening, the lodge staff noticed the dog crawl under the dining hall building and realized this was a good opportunity to corner him with a leash. The hikers and guests looked on as some staff members crawled under the structure after the dog. The gathering crowd was alarmed when a staffer let out a scream and the dog began to yelp. “With all the commotion going on,” said one hiker, “we thought they may have found a bear napping under there!” Instead the staff found the hound dog busy digging away. However, he wasn’t after a buried ham bone. This hound dog had found the largest gold nugget ever discovered in America!
“Gold is not uncommon in the Smoky Mountains; the Appalachians are the oldest on the planet and consistently yield the purest gold ever found,” said Park Ranger I.B. Lyon, “We need to remove this gold before every American comes seeking a modern-day gold rush!” Ranger Lyon explained that the Park plans to move the historic lodge building until an excavation is complete. Local historic preservation societies are in an uproar over disturbing these cultural landmarks.
Despite the growing controversy, an expert team of dwarvish miners from the Blue Mountains are en route to the Smokies to oversee the excavation. Due to the immense size of the nugget, environmental impact concerns preclude removal by traditional methods. To resolve this problem three Vietnam-era Sikorsky Skycranes or “Jolly Green Giant” helicopters have been been commissioned to lift the nugget and transport it to nearby Fort Knox, Kentucky.
The owner of the hound dog has been identified as local D. Ude, “Old Blue was always a good dog but does get lost quite a bit.” D. Ude added, “We never knew he had a nose for the finer things in life.” When asked what he would do with the reward, the D. Ude replied, “Blue is getting older so I plan to get his teeth fixed and