Thoughts From Our Volunteers

2012-09-18 17:38:51.000 – Patty and Wendy,  Summit Volunteers


As first time volunteers at the Mount Washington Observatory we quickly learned to be flexible… from using available food supplies, getting used to our inexperience with high altitude cooking, learning how to host guests, using ‘summit time’ (EST), and of course, the weather. By the end of our first full day, we had become fairly well oriented to supplies on hand and conquered a full course turkey dinner that was served to fifteen: eight summit staff and seven guests from the first Cog Summit Adventure group who arrived mid-afternoon on Thursday via Cog Railway, to spend the night. We joined the guests to view the thrill of a summit sunset on Thursday, then sunrise Friday AM at 0517 ‘summit time’ (or EST).

Glorious sunny weather rapidly swtiched to glorious stormy weather during the night on Friday. We awoke to zero visibility, average wind speeds of 48mph, and temps that eventually dropped to 28F degrees. Brief visits to the observation deck left us breathless, facing into the wind, shouting to talk. Saturday also brought a special dinner with current and past Observers, NH State Park staff, and a MWOBS trustee, to celebrate the 5+ years of service by Brian Clark who is leaving his post as Weather Observer/Education Specialist in October. The celebration culminated in a competitive ‘Cookie Bake-Off’; the trophy going to Sarah Long.

Sunday was even colder, with clear blue skies that coaxed not only us, but many valley visitors, to explore the summit buildings, exhibits, shops and museum. Rime ice coated rocks, buildings, ropes, towers, signs, railings, the flag pole and the observation deck viewfinder. Evidently we were not the only ones to seek out the wonderment of trying to stand up against 50mph winds, as we watched many of you do the same.

In closing, we want to thank all who are involved with supporting Mount Washington Observatory. Our role as volunteers this week has been to provide a small taste of home life for these dedicated permanent staff, to take a bit of the work load off their shoulders, and to help welcome visitors and guests while enjoying the gifts of such a unique place.

Observer Footnote: Now through September 19, the Mount Washington Observatory is competing against thousands of nonprofits across the country for a share of $5,000,000 through the Chase Community Giving contest. Nearly 200 charities will be awarded grants through this contest, and Mount Washington Observatory has a legitimate shot at winning a grant of up to $250,000 to support its work in research and education. Grants are awarded to the top vote-getters, so I’m asking for your help. Please cast a vote for the Observatory! To do so go HERE, and hurry, there’s only one day left to vote!


Patty and Wendy,  Summit Volunteers

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