2008-12-30 07:42:46.000 – Jeff Wehrwein, Summit Intern
My last sunset
When I first started at the Observatory in May, I didn’t really have any idea what I was getting into. The idea of living on top of a mountain sounded great, and my interest in weather and computers fit with the criteria for interns. The details of what I would actually do or where I would sleep and eat weren’t really my main concern. As I reflect on the experience, I have trouble thinking of many moments that I didn’t enjoy. This is thanks in large part to my co-workers, who have filled my time here with laughter and taught me a lot about weather. In addition, the boundless dedication and caring of our volunteers has made the experience wonderful. I can hardly imagine my life without this place that has been my home for the past 6 months.
One of the recurring phenomena I have come to appreciate at the Observatory is perpetual change. I have always considered myself somewhat averse to change, so this has been a growing experience for me at times. The coming and going of observers and an ever-rotating cast of interns means always working with new people – only Stacey was on my shift from the beginning to the end of my internship. Instruments come and go as they succumb to the harsh conditions atop the tower. Procedures change as we streamline our processes with technology. The light winds and mild temperatures of summer change to the bitter cold and wind of winter. No two of my shifts have been the same or even similar; that is part of what makes this place so interesting.
As my final shift comes to a close, I am in for another change as I face life away from the Observatory. This week has been a perfect finale, with a successful shot at the century club, weather of all kinds, and the completion of several big projects I’ve been working on for months. My last night on the summit was graced by a gorgeous sunset, our first and last of the week. I will certainly miss the spectacular views and all the people who I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with here.
Meanwhile, change continues unabated as we plunge into January with new interns and a new observer joining the staff in the next few weeks. Though my internship has come to a close, this will certainly not be the last time I see the summit of Mount Washington. Lastly, I want to thank the members of the Observatory, who made this phenomenal experience possible.
Jeff Wehrwein, Summit Intern