2010-07-31 21:27:56.000 – Stacey Kawecki, Observer and Meteorologist
Warning – this is a long, somewhat sappy, comment.
At 17:05 EST, our interns barged into the weather room, in a maelstrom of giggles. They had just returned from Clay, flush with the effort of hiking and completely rejuvenated. I have to say, I was just a teensy bit jealous. The weather was absolutely perfect for hiking today, with cool temperatures, a little bit of sunshine (that’s good for people who are sensitive to the sun), and almost nonexistent wind.
I don’t want to talk about their hike, but I will talk about my run. A couple of weeks ago, Sabrina wrote about going for a daily run. Well, for me it all started last year. After eating a huge chicken curry dinner, some of us went down to Ball Crag – if I remember correctly, there were actually fireworks over Bridgeton, Maine. We thought that we could either get a better view, or at least some exercise. Walking up the service road had always been a challenge for me, so when the intern (who shall remain nameless, but you know who you are) suggested that we jog up, I readily agreed. I’ve never been one to turn away from a challenge. I couldn’t tell you the length of the service road. I can tell you that it was the longest run of my life. I was in jeans, hiking boots, and I had a disgustingly full stomach. By the time I got to the top, I was feeling seriously ill, but strangely elated. It didn’t stop there. I seized the opportunities for that natural high whenever possible: the crack of dawn, a couple hours after dinner, before dinner. Those opportunities were copious, since the weather was so cooperative; I was able to run straight through November.
Now, a year later, I think I might need new sneakers.
Anyway, tomorrow, August 1st, marks my three year anniversary with the Mount Washington Observatory. I remember the day like it was yesterday. The temperature was actually quite warm; driving up the Auto Road was a nerve-wracking, but awe-inspiring experience. I remember chatting about the flowers at the base of the road (Indian paint brush) and a little bit of banter about where the maintenance person would be. Stopping at a couple of the now, all-too-familiar ARVP sites completely bewildered me. The thing that really sticks out is the way I felt when we turned the corner onto the homestretch portion of the Auto Road (I had no idea that’s what it was called at the time). I was speechless. The only other time I had been to the summit had been in the winter. Bright green sedge blended into the lichen-covered rocks. The prominent Sherman Adams building and observatory tower reigned over the summit. Trees were non-existent, and my heart (usually very stable) skipped a beat. Here was my home, for the next three years. I won’t even attempt to tell you how much I’ve learned or grown, just know that I have learned more in the past three years than I have in my entire life.
Stacey Kawecki, Observer and Meteorologist