Marty Takes a Hike

2012-07-31 10:01:14.000 – Steve Harshman,  Summit Intern

Clouds in the Great Gulf

This shift week started off with rain. For the most part, the summit was stuck in the clouds through Saturday, with a whopping 1.3″ of rain dumped on the peak. Luckily, this didn’t last the whole week and we cleared up for Sunday, allowing for some pretty stellar hiking weather.

Despite being in the clear, clouds remained around the summit with some tall cumulous building up all around us. One particular bank was stuck in the Great Gulf, unable to lift itself over the Northern Presidentials. This is where I took my hike, interested in getting a closer look at this cloud to see just how far down the valley it went. Wanting some additional company for this trek, I grabbed a hiking partner: Marty the cat.

Initially he didn’t seem too thrilled as I carried him outside to the start of the trail. I put him down right outside of the observatory figuring he wanted to return to his all-important napping as quickly as possible. I greatly underestimated him. Once I started hiking down the trail towards the Gulf I heard a jingling behind me and sure enough, there was our mascot prancing down the path to catch up. I’ve seen a lot of dogs as hiking partners but never a cat and I got a lot of curious looks as we marched down the summit cone. Marty seemed pretty excited with this change from his daily routine. He would frequently sprint ahead, turning around to make sure I was still following. Many times he ventured off the path for some quick exploring under some of the bigger rocks; most likely searching for a mouse.

This cheerful attitude however, didn’t last long. Soon enough he was falling behind, voicing his complaints through incessant meowing. I tried to convince him we were close to the end of the hike but he wasn’t having it: stubbornly stopping on the trail. After a bit of arguing back and forth, it was clear that we weren’t going to agree on which way to go. Going our separate ways Marty scurried back up to the summit while I continued my hike to the Gulf to admire the developing clouds.

After I got my fill of views into the valley I headed back up to the observatory. I got back only to see Marty back to his lazy self, asleep on the couch without a care in the world. I tried explaining everything he missed out on, but clearly he was more than satisfied with his decision to nap. Maybe next time he’ll better appreciate the joys of hiking.

Don’t forget: Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 7pm we are hosting research scientist Seth Campbell at the Weather Discovery Center for a free discussion about radio waves. Learn how cell phones, TV and radio transmit signals at the fourth installation of our 2012 Science in the Mountains lecture series.


Steve Harshman,  Summit Intern

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