A Week of Christmas

2012-01-25 19:41:30.000 – Kevin Talbot,  Summit Volunteer

Blazing Sunset

I look forward to these weeks on the summit with the same anticipation I looked forward to each Christmas as a child. As I drive north to meet the crew at the base of the Auto Road my heart quickens and I feel the same excitement a trip to see Santa would bring. As we meet and begin to load the tractor for the ride to the top I am filled with the same wonderment I felt nearly half a century ago as I rushed down the stairs on Christmas morning. I have lost track in my mind how many times I have actually done this now, but my heart remembers each trip, and reminds me that every time it is a unique and wonderful experience. This trip has been no different.

We came up the long, winding road on a crystal clear day. There were new people to meet, and old friends and acquaintances to greet. Since arriving I have been witness to sunsets beautiful beyond words, a stunning under-cast sunrise, a myriad of brilliant stars in an ink-black sky, a faint aurora above the glow of distant cities, and with all of this the near constant roar of the wind and vast array of water properties it can bring to the summit. This past Sunday brought a Bluebird Day to the summit along with a number of hiking friends I was lucky enough to get outside to see. Scenes like this make the hard work of feeding and cleaning up after groups as large as Saturday night’s seventeen for supper and Sunday morning’s breakfast for the same group seem a trifle compared to the beauty that envelopes me while I stand gazing out into the first light of an approaching dawn or the deep magenta clouds in the dwindling twilight.

Through it all I have had a near constant companion in my partner Paul Goundrey, without whom I would be somewhat overwhelmed. While I have gone about planning most of the main courses, he has complemented them with excellent side dishes and delicious desserts. Before last Thursday we had never met, but we now have a bond that will continue long past this week. If nothing else, these trips make you feel a kinship to the people and place that make up the Mount Washington Observatory, and indeed, the mountain itself. I will cherish these trips as long as I live just as I cherish those Christmas mornings so long ago. Thank you Mount Washington for making me a welcome guest!

 

Kevin Talbot,  Summit Volunteer

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