A Lifetime Opportunity Atop the Rockpile

2016-06-01 07:40:15.000 – Maston Gray, Summit Volunteer


As a first time MWOBS Volunteer, I was impressed by the dedicated staff and interns on the shift, always willing to help a volunteer and a wealth of knowledge about all things weather, especially the arctic island of Mt Washington that rises in a local temperate weather zone. The entire team loves nature and weather phenomena, and can converse on any aspect. The interns are impressive also for their meteorological background and expertise.

What I learned from volunteering is the Team’s passion for weather, causes and effects. And they do have a good appetite! Cooking for them was rewarding and we always got feedback. Even when we served undiluted orange juice! My co volunteer was great, energetic with a sense of humor. Mealtimes were accompanied by good humor and storytelling about the days events. Tips for Volunteers: start meals early, be flexible, consider thaw times, factor in adjustments for altitude baking and cooking taped inside the right cupboard door. We tried fortune cookies that turned out unfortunately flat, so we hid the paper fortunes under the dinner place mats as a surprise.

We had great photo shots of sunsets outside and the valley fireworks on Saturday. It was much like supporting a research vessel sailing into the summer arctic for seven days of discovery, anticipating that perfect thunder storm, or a borealis, or magic sunset you have to experience. You really appreciate Mother Nature up here, its force on the landscape, flora and fauna. To get outside several times a day was a plus. Be ready for unexpected guests. Frank the Flying Squirrel dropped down out of the oven hood during cleaning and landed on the burners. A swift left hook with a Tupperware bowl and lid captured him and we launched him into the air, downwind, outside past the Sub door. Rumor has it he flew past the living room window before sunset!

This has been a week I’ll never forget, and I received much more than we gave. It was a lifetime opportunity to experience the early arctic summer of 500 miles northward, but in the lower “48”. To help the MWOBS team in their pursuit of weather tracking and observation was just fantastic and I would recommend volunteering to anyone!



Maston Gray, Summit Volunteer

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