CAVU Day

2010-06-29 22:54:36.000 – Rebecca Scholand,  Summit Intern

Enjoying a momentary clearing of the fog.

It’s the little things as kids that stick with us as we grow up. For as long as I can remember my Dad has left me notes and ended phone calls with CAVU. It’s an aviation term meaning Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited. To a young aspiring pilot it meant a lot more then just a perfect day for flying, but over the years has turned into just having a great day. A CAVU day doesn’t need to be filled with calm winds and clear skies but rather a day when you feel accomplished, privileged, and excited for what you are able to do. When you can go to bed at night and feel satisfied you have had a CAVU day.

For me today was no exception. Although wind and fog closed the summit in from the valley below the few glimpses of the sun and the occasional clearing in the fog was proof that weather on the summit can change minute by minute in a drastic way. Its days like this that make you appreciate the atmospheres dynamic change. Despite the closed in feeling, the monotonous gray tones of the fog and the whir of the wind are actually quite tranquil. It may not be the same as a clear full moon night, but a certain calm is created when the world you see and hear is restricted.

Like most nights, Observer Mike and I ventured out for an evening walk. Winds were from the west around 55mph with higher gusts and the summit was in the fog. Regardless of less than perfect conditions the walk down to Cow Pasture was amazing. Through my goggles I could barley make out objects 12 feet away. The wind pushed and pulled in all direction as my pace slowed and sped up. The constant droning sound of the wind cleared my mind and the crisp moisture of the fog cooled my face. It was so relaxing.

Walking back onto the observatory deck and towards the tower all I could think was how lucky I am to be able to experience all that I have so far on Mount Washington. In the four weeks that I have spent here so far I have experienced more then I could have ever imagined. Things I though I would only see on the pages of a text book I now see on a weekly occurrence and the weather stories told by professors are now my own. Heading off to bed feeling overly satisfied, it has without a doubt been a CAVU day!

 

Rebecca Scholand,  Summit Intern

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