Another great week on the Rockpile!

2008-07-22 17:21:25.000 – Katherine A. MacDonald,  Summit Volunteer

Fellow volunteer Lisa in the Alpine Garden

I’m always pleased to be able to help out at the Observatory. The opportunity to help out in the kitchen, etc. is something I look forward to. Meeting the young people that work as observers as well as the interns is an interesting part of coming here. Yes, having the opportunity to hike and take photographs is part of why I enjoy being here. However I learn something new each and every time. The observers are pleased to share information and answer questions about their jobs and current projects.

The observers and interns come from all over and have in common a love for what they are doing. It’s a lot of work and responsibility and they take from here something they will remember for a lifetime. When I return I see a mix of familiar faces, as well as new. It is always a positive experience and encourage anyone who enjoys the summit and isn’t afraid of the kitchen to come see what life is truly like at the summit.

I was here when Nin was the cat of the summit and now I’ve met Marty. He’s a rascal, but then again he’s just a teenager.

I never get tired of experiencing the magnificent cloud formations that occur here as well as the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. In the clouds one minute and out the next. You never know definitively what your weather experience will be at the summit. This week we’ve had thunderstorms, hail, beautiful skies and lots of fog, however while here I attempt to get out at least once every day. Today was a special day for it was my Dads first birthday not physically here. He would’ve been 82. He loved to climb this mountain. This morning we were treated with a beautiful sunrise which I attribute to his influence in heaven. I took a walk around the summit alone to be with him and felt he was definitely with me. My being here this week was not expected. I will be back in October and fully look forward to my regular week here. However, I must say I enjoyed filling in and working with the other volunteer this week, Lisa. It was a pleasure having her sharing the kitchen and the mountain with me. We enjoyed some walks through the Alpine Garden and other trails around the summit.

It has been another great week on the Rockpile!

Observer Addition:

To check out more of Katherine’s photography, visit her website at

Also, remember that at 7 PM tomorrow, July 23, the Subaru Science in the Mountains: A Passport to Science series continues. This is the second of six weekly programs that use internet based video conferencing technology to speak live, and in real time with interesting people doing amazing scientific work across the nation and around the world. This week we’ll take a trip back in time to the beginning of space exploration with the staff of the Official Visitors Center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Admission is FREE(free is always good, right?), but seating is limited so be sure to get there early. Refreshments will also be served.Thanks goes out to Subaru of America, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation – North Country region and 93.5 WMWV for helping to make this series happen!


Katherine A. MacDonald,  Summit Volunteer

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