Time to move on…
2007-07-11 00:38:00.000 – Jim Salge, Observer
Sunday night, amidst a surprise clearing of the western horizon, I was able to sneak away from the dinner table and find a nice rock to reflect upon the four plus years that I have spent working on the summit. The last rays of golden light were falling on an emerald green landscape, the sky was already ablaze and a strong breeze in my face was the perfect excuse for the slight welling of my eyes. As I watched, the lower hills in the surrounding valley suddenly developed caps of clouds, formations usually reserved for mountains much higher. Even after I thought I’d seen just about everything that this mountain could possibly exhibit, I was still able to experience something new and remind myself why this mountain still inspires, still teaches, and still lends itself to discovery.
I have long known that for many reasons this was not a job that I could do forever. When you accept a job with the Mount Washington Observatory, you accept that the summit, the weather, and the organization will be your life. And my life, especially the surrogate sense of community I’ve felt while on the summit, was certainly very good. I consider it a real privilege to have worked and lived with the dedicated scientists and individuals for whom the work of the Mount Washington Observatory is also their lives. However, it is inevitable that the pull of friends and family, a new set of challenges, and perhaps even a life (a bit) more routine eventually exhibits a force even greater than the love of this amazing environment and the work done within.
Today is my last day working as a weather observer and meteorologist with the Mount Washington Observatory. I have accepted a position to teach high school science near the New Hampshire seacoast, and will be spending the remainder of the summer preparing for this new endeavor.
I wish to thank all of the members, trustees and staff who, through much dedication and support of the organization, have allowed me the opportunity to work at the top, document and study some of the worst weather on earth, and share my experiences through words and pictures on this site. I hope to stay active in within the organization through the forums, events, and volunteering; and will surely continue to see many of the great people I’ve met here while wandering the White Mountains for years to come!
Jim Salge, Observer