A Volunteers Reflections
2012-07-18 23:20:34.000 – Beth Daniels, Summit Volunteer
The view to our south.
Top of Mount Washington for a week, what a treat! I was lucky to spend a week on the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi and north of the Carolina’s, cooking, doing house work and exploring the area above the timberline. Spending time with the great people working for the Mount Washington Observatory as meteorologist, museum attendants and tour guides was a joy.
As a rookie and my first time volunteering, I was a bit nervous about the challenge, especially when told five days before I was to leave, I would be the only volunteer working for the week. I was also told that I would get very restless by the end of the week and would want to get off the mountain as soon as Wednesday came. Were they wrong! It is now Wednesday morning and I’m sure glad that the workers have a staff meeting that may last until later in the afternoon so I can stay up here a little bit longer.
I am amazed how well they eat up here. I had a difficult time cooking at times, because there is such a variety of food I couldn’t decide what to cook. When I get home I will miss all the selection and surely want to get a beautiful gas stove to cook on.
I was lucky, I was able to see all kinds of weather while here. When we first arrived the weather was perfect, the skies were clear and one could see for miles from Maine to Vermont. I would just soak in all the views and looked forward to my first adventure.
Since the weather was working on my side this week, I was able to take many hikes including going to Lake of the Clouds several times, seeing Tuckermans Ravine, Huntington Ravine and one trip to Mt. Jefferson. I must say my favorite hike was the Alpine Garden trail, the plants and flowers were beautiful and a great place to take photos. One thing I did discover, which I was warned earlier by the observers but didn’t quite believe, when you are up here things are farther than you expect. It was truly a learning experience and I didn’t mind taking more time to enjoy the beauty of this area.
A once in a lifetime experience was being able to see the Aurora and night skies on the top of a mountain. The great thing about it was, since they were at midnight, we could be woken up by the workers since they work 12 hour shifts to cover a 24 hour day.
It is soon time to go back to the base and must say good-bye to the summit of Mount Washington. I sure will miss this place and look forward to coming back again. The workers and guests have been great and I will surely keep them in my memories for a long time
Beth Daniels, Summit Volunteer