2012-08-28 18:27:16.000 – Faye Doria & Mark Stevens, Summit Volunteers
A few years ago, I met a hiker on a trail who had just finished a week as a MWOBS summit volunteer. I thought what a great adventure that would be. So, I investigated, became a MWOBS member, and worked my way up the volunteer list. And this week on the summit has been an adventure.
We came a week ago, not really sure what we were getting into. It turns out we had a skeleton crew for the week since they are between interns, with observers on vacation. That meant the crew was largely working or sleeping. Dinner was about the only time everyone had some time to be together and relax.
The weather early in the week was glorious – sunny and warm (up to the 60’s). We took advantage of it to hike. We went to Mt. Clay, down to Lakes of the Clouds and on to Mts. Monroe and Franklin, to the Alpine Garden, Sphinx Col. Saturday we had a bunch of friends hike up and we gave them full tours of the Observatory, including the tower.
It’s been fun to see the summit in all conditions. It’s great early in the morning before the Auto Road opens and just a few hikers are around. Then it bustles all day with trains, cars, motorcycles, and vans. You have to stand in line to touch the summit sign. But the summit empties as the evening settles in, except for the occasional hiker that shows up late. And speculation about that is a frequent dinner topic.
It has been an adventure to spend a full week at the summit.
Faye Doria & Mark Stevens, Summit Volunteers