Thanksgiving on the Rockpile…

2012-11-27 23:03:38.000 – Stephen Lanciani,  Summit Intern


For every Thanksgiving since I entered this world, I have spent the day with my family. I knew that one year however, I wouldn’t be able to be home for whatever reason. Never did I think this reason would be because I was on top of Mt. Washington…You see, working up here means living here for eight days at a time, holidays included. This was hard for me to grasp at first, but the more I saw how much goes on up here and how dedicated the observers are, I knew that it could happen. So when I came up for my shift this past Wednesday, I was optimistic yet sad as well, knowing that this would be a first for me.

When Thursday rolled around however, I was in for a surprise. The sun was shining bright and temperatures were in the mid-30s outside, while inside we worked diligently on both weather-related tasks as well as dinner plans. Around 2:30 pm, I went downstairs to the kitchen and prepped the turkey before placing it in the oven. Yes, I, the wonderful intern, was placed in charge of cooking the turkey. This task seemed tougher than any other I’ve been assigned, for I did not want to go into the history books as ‘the intern that ruined Thanksgiving’, especially since Cyrena, our Director of Summit Operations, was here with us. After making sure that everything was set correctly, I returned upstairs and wrote up my afternoon higher summits forecast. Ryan, our night observer, began his day shortly thereafter, and suggested flying his go-pro camera on a kite since it was so nice out. Not wanting to pass up on a rare November opportunity such as this, I happily threw on my gear and hurried outside with the crew. After about an hour of flying and sharing some laughs as we were nearly pulled across the deck by the kite, we went back inside to continue our work and finish up dinner prep.

The time finally came, and we all gathered around the table for our delicious meal. I made the turkey, Ryan made green bean casserole, Rebecca made potato casserole, Roger made stuffing, and Cyrena made sweet potatoes and a pumpkin pie. Everything came out perfect, and the way that everyone celebrated together made me feel like I wasn’t roughly 6,288ft. above my kitchen at home. After dinner and dessert, I had time to video chat with my family, and was passed around to all the relatives to say hello from atop the Northeast. I also had a video chat with my girlfriend and her family, so I was happy to get to say hello to everyone back home. All in all, it was an enjoyable day and by far one of the most unique Thanksgivings I will ever experience. If anything, this taught me how to be thankful for the ones you know and love, but also to be thankful for the ones currently around you. You see, each individual has their own story, and if you come together on special days such as Thanksgiving, you can learn so much from them. What did I learn? Well, I really have been learning during my entire time up here, but the holiday further proved to me that the summit crew is some of the nicest, funniest, and most-dedicated people I have ever met. This is their full-time job, and they willingly accept anything that comes with it, even if it means working through the holidays. The summit crew is a family in itself. A family that lives together, celebrates together, and most importantly, works together toward making the Observatory one of the most amazing and unique places on Earth.


Stephen Lanciani,  Summit Intern

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