View From The Top
2007-07-04 05:12:57.000 – DJ Lavoie, Summit Volunteer
The Northeastern Valleys
It is 4:30am Summit time and I just watched a brilliant sunrise and the day explode here on Mount Washington…Wow! What a place and what a week! This is my first time as a volunteer and not knowing exactly what to expect, that is exactly what happened, the unexpected. The week started out literally in the clouds, but that didn’t matter as the wind never stopped howling, peaking at one point to 80mph causing a bit of excitement! Pretty exhilarating to say that least and that is while being inside. Venturing outside was another world with poor visibility and shifting fog. But by the third day, all this was forgotten as the sunrise burst over the summit. We had a glorious day. Bob went hiking with a friend and I simply enjoyed being here looking far into infinity in all directions, committing this whole scene to memory and taking pictures and more pictures. There are just so many little things that have made this a memorable week: climbing to the top of the observatory tower and seeing ice on July 1, trying to get to the edge of the observation deck in winds of 50plus mph, watching the instantaneous change in weather conditions and shifting clouds. And oh, yes, a hike to the Alpine Gardens, the staff spontaneously singing Happy Birthday and a special Mt Washington Observatory tee shirt!
The staff adds to this wonderful experience. They are dedicated young professionals with so much enthusiasm and energy and fun. Questions were answered willingly and explanations were understandable to the novice. There was no hesitation when I asked Kyle to wake me at 4am to see the sunrise or to leave the supper table to see the sunset!
Cooking was another part of this week and that in itself was rather interesting: a big black industrial size stove with an oven that was a challenge and improvising when something was not available in the pantry. There was no running to the store to get that missing ingredient! But no matter what was served, we ate it.
Now as my stay ends, I can say I saw it all…snow, hail, wind, rain, a rainbow and spectacular sunrises and sunsets and the glorious NH mountains. There is something very special here that is hard to put into words…it is a feeling that surrounds you and lifts your spirit even higher than our 6288 feet! I can hardly wait to return. Maybe in the winter!
DJ Lavoie, Summit Volunteer