2010-06-09 21:24:32.000 – Peter and Susan Goodwin, Summit Volunteers
Our week as volunteer cooks on the summit is over and it is time to go down to the flatlands. We arrived on a beautiful day and had a nice walk around the summit. The next day was in the fog so we stayed close to the building but then on Friday at noon (as predicted by the forecast), the skies cleared and we had a wonderful hike down to Lakes of the Clouds and up Monroe and back. The alpine flowers were wonderful and it was fun to be out above timberline. The next two days were in the fog with only moments of sun but all the ‘exciting’ weather missed us. On Saturday, there was a tornado in Gorham, 10 miles or so north and golf ball sized hail 30 miles east of the summit and on Sunday, there were great storms 40 miles south. Oh, well. Monday brought clearing and colder temperatures with rime ice at night. We took a hike down to the Alpine Garden Trail and weren’t disappointed by the flowers and avoided getting blown off the mountain as we returned to the summit in the 50 mph winds. Tuesday was mostly foggy but it was below freezing long enough to make some good rime ice on the rocks. The patterns were accentuated because the dark rocks weren’t completely covered. Later, we got some pea sized hail.
It has been great fun to experience this place and get to know the crew who take the data and do the jobs needed to keep the observatory and museum running like clockwork. On the two cold nights, we got to hear the hourly clang as the night observer smashed ice off the instrument masts. We saw hail, snow, the sun, the flowers and ever-changing clouds when not in the fog. We also got to see Marty, the cat, quite a bit and saw him trying to climb a wall over one of the bunk beds. A wonderful week on the mountain!
Peter and Susan Goodwin, Summit Volunteers