Another Great Week!

2014-05-14 18:28:47.000 – Joe Kayan,  Summit Volunteer

Banana applesauce bread

Another volunteer week up here has come to a bittersweet close. The week passes at times slowly, at other times it wizzes past much like the famous and constant winds here on the pinnacle of the northeast. Having been a volunteer many times over the years, a lot is the same. Glorious sunsets, an occasional sunrise (I AM on a bit of a vacation after all), wind that pummels you, will take away your breath, remove your glasses as my co volunteer, John Lund, found out. Wind that gives hiking a whole new uncontrollable dimension. There are curious and infrequent interactions with Marty, the phantom black summit cat. Now you see him, now you don’t. One last apology, Marty, for stepping on your tail. Honest. I’ll be more cautious next year.

There is good company to hang with-many thanks, John, for the marvelous companionship. I got reacquainted with night observer, Ryan, with whom I’ve spent several pleasant and memorable weeks over the years. And had the pleasure of meeting the fun loving, hardworking new observer, Kaitlyn. Welcome and thanks for your good cheer this week.

The second most fun reason I come here year after year is to be able to prepare meals in the highest elevation kitchen east of the Mississippi. This is not a researched claim, so this may not be true, but I choose to believe its veracity as I enjoyably play chef for the week. Anyone who knows me even slightly understands that hiking here above treelike in all sorts of both gnarly and spectacularly calm, clear weather is by far the main attraction for me. But cooking here is very special. More spices than most grocery stores. Freezers, refrigerators and a pantry packed with large quantities of items, many of which I rarely buy for my lowland diet. And, best of all, a six burner Wolf stove with an enormous vent hood that is bigger than some entire third world kitchens. How awesome is that!! Only one complaint (this is a bit of an in joke): get some fresh garlic up here gang!

So, 7 dinners, one loaf of currently baking banana applesauce bread, lots of snacks, and several evening single malt scotches in the company of the State Parks staff, I am ready to climb into the van and have Slim take me back to paved roads and much warmer temperatures.

Once again, a huge and heartfelt thank you to the staff of this terrific organization. I get so much in return for my always enjoyable efforts.


Joe Kayan,  Summit Volunteer

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