Volunteer Observations

2012-02-22 00:16:02.000 – Katherine MacDonald,  Summit Volunteer

Well, it’s Tuesday evening and I’m going to be heading down the rock pile tomorrow. After another wonderful week of volunteering here at the observatory I do have to admit I’m ready to return home and see my family; but with only fondness in regards to my stay here. It has been an interesting visit. There was a group of science teachers here for an EduTrip last Friday into Saturday. Now there is a wonderful group of kids from Germany on the summit doing projects for their school. They and their instructors have been interesting to talk to. How wonderful it is that people from all over the world have the opportunity to come to the summit of Mount Washington and be a part of this spectacular location. To use the resources here as a classroom and to learn more about weather, climates, geology, etc.

The observers that work here put in countless hours keeping up with all of the tasks that come with being a Mount Washington weather observer. Many observers have been able to take the skills they have learned here and continue their careers in meteorology and other areas of study. Researchers come here and conduct experiments. Companies test their products in the “World’s Worst Weather.” It is why I, and others, are so willing to volunteer. It is my contribution to all that the Mount Washington Observatory has to offer.

It never ceases to amaze me when I come here. Every sunrise, every sunset, the rime ice formations, the Alpine Garden and all that it has to show, the amazing hiking opportunities and unending beauty. Each season, each visit, a gift. The weather can change in a heartbeat. Even though my job here as a volunteer is to cook for the crew and visitors as well as help with the upkeep of the living quarters, so that the observers are free to concentrate on their jobs, there is still time to get out and enjoy the environment. It is well worth it when one of the observers calls down to the kitchen and makes you aware of a beautiful cloud formation, or that there is a clear view of an impending sunrise or sunset.

So as I head down the mountain tomorrow, I say thank you to Ryan, Brian, Roger and Rebecca for being gracious and truly wonderful to work with during my stay here. Also, Thank you to the group from Germany that taught us some fun games as we celebrated our “Mardi Gras’ and their “Carnival” in our own small ways. I’ll leave you with a couple of photos taken during my visit:

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Katherine MacDonald,  Summit Volunteer

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