2010-08-15 16:47:25.000 – Stacey Kawecki,  Observer and Meteorologist

goal: waking up before the crack of dawn

I remembering hearing somewhere that the trick to happiness is setting attainable goals, but goals that aren’t too easily attained. The feeling of triumph and satisfaction of having completed something, and the personal improvement associated with the achievement often leave a residue resembling happiness. I’ve been setting goals my whole life, starting with tying my own shoes. I spent hours making bunny ears and chasing the rabbit under the bridge before I finally, successfully created the knot that would pervade throughout my lifetime. The resulting feeling of elation and accomplishment, combined with my early life obsession with The Little Engine That Could, have been the driving forces behind my life decisions.

One of my more minor (but not less important) life decisions was determining that I wanted to go to Jefferson. I decided this my second summer, after everyone on my shift had done it. Summer 2008 went by, and so did 2009. Finally, summer 2010 I got my chance!

After a rather long Friday, Steve suggested that I get out on Saturday, to Jefferson. I jumped on that opportunity and embarked on my journey yesterday at 1530 EDT. It took 4.5 hours (I’m not especially speedy), but it was refreshing. I made it over to Clay in record time for me, I summited in just under one hour. Along the path, I came across many meadows full of flower and berries. Once I descended from Clay, I happily skipped (I’m not exaggerating) along the Gulfside Trail, looking into the Great Gulf, to a junction. I decided to take a more challenging route and gamboled around the Cornice and up the Caps Ridge Trail. Along the way, I ran into a couple pretty red mushrooms and a lot of rocks. When I summited, that familiar feeling of exhilaration washed over me (though it could have been hunger). I sat down with my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a feeling of contentment to enjoy the view. PB&J tends to invoke a contemplative state, and the signs near the summit definitely wanted their pictures taken. I decided to take one that was symbolic of how far I’d come.

The euphoric state lasted all the way back to the Observatory, and was duly noted by my fellow co-workers. The next goal: get Marty to respond to my affections.


Stacey Kawecki,  Observer and Meteorologist

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