2010-07-21 20:16:14.000 – Susan Freeborn and Rob Maier, Summit Volunteers
The summit of Mt. Washington has always had a special place in our hearts, although we’ve come from different directions to get here.
Rob: The trek to the summit of Mt. Washington has always been interwoven in my life. I came to New Hampshire as a child to Lake Ossippee, and always hoped for a clear day to see Mt. Washington. In the middle part of my life I hiked up Tuck’s and wandered over to Lakes of the Clouds, Monroe and Madison. In the latter part of my life, after retiring from a long teaching career, New England drew me back this time to Vermont. Always with Mt. Washington on my mind, I would look to see it in the distance. The last time I hiked to the top was at the age of 62, two years ago, up Tuck’s to Lion’s Head. We joined the Observatory over 2 years ago and waited for the chance of a lifetime: to stay for a week at the summit. Mt. Washington; a pinnacle for hikers, a Disneyland for ‘weather geeks’, and a special place for me. This week has been amazing, with many special moments with some very special people. Mike’s thunderstorm, Steve’s culinary adventures, and Stacey being Stacey. And who can forget Marty bounding across my pillow on his way out of the window for his nighttime rounds. Thanks again to everyone.
Sue: I vacationed in Vermont and New Hampshire in my adult years: camping, hiking, skiing…. and always with Mt. Washington either in the background, or as an integral part of the trip. When I heard there was an opportunity to actually live up here and experience it first hand, I knew I had to try it. And I have to say, I’m hooked. There are so many unique experiences I’ve had this week: waking up at dawn and seeing the sunrise over the mountains, experiencing a thunderstorm from right inside it (but being indoors), being able to hike around the top without hiking to the top first, and getting to know the knowledgeable and dedicated staff that works up here. I’ve enjoyed sitting in the main gathering area of the summit building and watching the visitors and hikers come and go in all sorts of weather. I especially like chatting with folks at the top about where they’re from, and what their summit experience is like. Sleeping in the top bunk bed is certainly a memorable experience! Meeting Marty the cat on the Observatory deck early in the morning, before anyone else is around, and watching him have a good scratch on the rocks, is a good start to anyone’s day.So today we pass the reigns to the next pair of volunteers, who will have similar, but very different summit experiences of their own.
Susan Freeborn and Rob Maier, Summit Volunteers