A Volunteer Week

2015-03-17 16:38:12.000 – Kevin Talbot, Summit Volunteer

 

Once again I find myself here on the summit of Mount Washington. I am spending another eight days with the crew of the Mount Washington Observatory in their volunteer program, cooking and cleaning for the crew and the various guests. It is a sweet job, but believe me, it is a lot of work! On days when it is my fellow volunteer and good friend Mark Truman, the crew, and me, it is pretty laid back. We only have to provide dinner for ourselves and the crew and do the clean up afterwards, but on days when there are guests we can be flat out.
 
On Thursday we had a Day Trip come up for lunch which included two friends of ours who actually won the trip as one of the prizes at last year’s Seek the Peak. Through the Observatory website and this annual event, many lifetime friendships have been forged and when Seek the Peak rolls around each July, it is more like a family reunion for many of us! We served them lunch and they got the tour of the Observatory and literally “had a blast” when we got to play outside in 90 mph wind gusts. To say they thoroughly enjoyed it would be an understatement.
 
On Friday afternoon a group of hikers arrived led by Mooney Mountain Guides and we had a full house with the two of us, four Observers and a party of eleven who were here for dinner – ravioli, meatballs, garlic bread and salad. Next morning’s breakfast was French Toast Casserole and sausage. Not long after they left in the morning, an EduTrip arrived and we again had seventeen including the crew and ourselves. We provided them with lunch – simple soup and sandwiches; and dinner – roast pork loin, potatoes, and broccoli. For breakfast on Sunday morning, we had a sausage casserole and found out that due to unforeseen circumstances they would again be with us for one more night.
 
Sunday night we fed them lasagna and salad, and Monday morning it was a quick breakfast of cereal and toast before they made their descent. The snowcat descended with the EduTrip then it was loaded up again with another Day Trip. Their lunch consisted of chili and bread. This group left happy as Mark and I breathed a sigh of relief – we were exhausted!
 
In the moments we did have to ourselves, we were able to go outside and enjoy some beautiful sunrises and sunsets; though this doesn’t occur on a daily basis as we are most often in fog with blowing snow. Going outside in March usually means covering every inch of skin as temperatures and wind chills are extreme. But covering up is well worth the effort as the photos below should plainly show. At my age, I will never make it to Antarctica, but seriously, why go there when I can experience what is often similar extremes right here in my own playground of New Hampshire? As a photographer I am able to record things which can be seen nowhere else and share them with my friends and fans on my website. Pictures and writing will appear there over the next few days, but there are also many other trips I have made here to peruse while waiting for the most recent. Many thanks to the Obs and to our guests who made this another great volunteer week!
 
Sunset from Trinity Heights
 
 
Sunrise and the Stage Office 
 
 
 Marty
 
 
 Lower Sun Pillar
 
 

 Sunset

 

Kevin Talbot, Summit Volunteer

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