One Last Sunrise

2015-05-07 15:57:49.000 – Adam Freierman, Summit Intern


Wednesday was the last day of my winter internship at the Observatory, and so I felt obliged to get up to see the sunrise for a final time. I’m usually upstairs in the weather room by 6:40 for our morning radio weather report to the AMC, but the last time I was able to really sit and watch a sunrise was probably back in March, right after daylight savings began. Wednesday’s show wasn’t spectacular, but it was crisp and quick and struck me because of how far north the sun rose. When I’d last seen it the sun came up over Wildcat, while today it rose over the northern end of the Carter-Moriah’s, just shy of Nelson Crag. Of course, I’ve seen this progression with the sunsets as well, but it was more jarring to see the location of the sunrise shift in one big jump, and it made me think about the transitions that are taking place up here.

This past weekend we saw spring hit the summit with full force. The Cog welcomed its first guests of the summer, skiers and hikers flocked to the summit as we hit 50 degrees for the first time this season, and we just about broke into applause when we saw the Mt Washington Auto Road crew round the corner onto homestretch in their gargantuan effort to clear the road of snow. Songbirds have returned to the summit (I have a lot of respect for the ravens who were a presence throughout the winter) and the melting snow is crawling with spiders and other insects, and even a caterpillar or two. Inside the Observatory things are changing too. This week the storm windows were taken down and we enjoyed a fresh breeze in the weather room, our forecasts are including periods of lighter winds and days without wind chills, and Marty Kitty is finding time to get outside and to enjoy some belly rubs in the sunshine on his favorite chair (he’s also shedding a lot…).

This period of transition makes this feel like an appropriate time for my internship to end. I would certainly enjoy staying on the mountain through a full year to see the rest of the cycle. Soon the leafing of trees will be creeping up the valleys and the alpine gardens will go into full bloom, and it probably won’t feel like summer was long enough when the fall foliage begins sweeping south and the first snow flies. But if I had to pick one season to spend up here, there’s no question it would be winter. This has been an exciting and memorable four months, with too many incredible moments to list (I’m only a little bit jealous that the other shift was up for that 141 mph wind), and an experience that far outpaced my expectations. Most of all though, it has been a great pleasure to spend this time with my shift, to learn from them and get to know them under some pretty unique circumstances. I am grateful to them and everyone in the organization for this opportunity, and to the many volunteers who kept me so well fed this winter. It is a special feeling to have been part of the community of people who have worked and lived on top of Mount Washington. Good luck to the incoming summer interns!

Sunrise from Mount Washington May 2015My last sunrise from the summit


Adam Freierman, Summit Intern

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