Summer Memories

2015-08-13 17:20:27.000 – Nathan Flinchbaugh, Summit Intern

 

I cannot believe the summer season is winding down already. It seems like it was just yesterday I made the trip up Mount Washington for my first shift. Even though this summer passed by in the blink of an eye, the awe inspiring beauty of Mount Washington has left me with many memories.

For example, my first day, I remember pulling off halfway up the Auto Road to put chains on the tires of our van, because of icing at the top. Upon summiting, patches of snow dotted the landscape above tree line. What snow that I saw that morning is now long gone. On that particular day we hit a 98 mph gust, which just so happened to be the highest wind speed I saw all summer long. Talk about being thrown right into the Mount Washington work environment!

Snow still on Mt. Clay my first week on the summit

I remember experiencing my first thunderstorm and watching the lightning flash, witnessing a few direct strikes to our building, and delaying dinner because we couldn’t take our eyes off the storm.

I remember the breathtaking sunsets I’ve watched dip low over the western horizon with fellow staff and volunteers perched high atop the observation deck, and the calming silence that takes over the summit when we realize we are the only ones left.

Sunset on the summit with coworkers

I remember all the things I’ve learned from full time staff members not only about meteorology, but more about life and work in general at this unique location.

I remember the friendships and connections I’ve made with our visitors and the general public. Between casual conversations in the gift shop, to the members who have greeted us with energy and excitement for their tours, it has been incredible meeting so many fantastic people who support us and the work done here.

Many times I am reminded of the special history of the Observatory and the hearty souls that have worked here in the past. Mount Washington to this day still possesses the highest wind speed ever observed by man. To share some of the same duties and responsibilities as the group of observers who were here to witness that, even for just the summer, has been nothing short of an honor.

The season will soon be changing; meaning some of the faces at the summit will be changing as well. I find it difficult to not see myself gearing up for another week on the summit next Wednesday, as I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. Best of luck to the new interns coming in! I am sure your experience here will mirror mine.

As the months have passed I have grown closer to all the dedicated men and women who work here. Due to the distinct lifestyle that all of the employees up here take part in; I do not merely see them as my coworkers, but as my extended family of sorts. Thank you Mount Washington Observatory for granting me the opportunity to participate in this second to none internship program.

 

Nathan Flinchbaugh, Summit Intern

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