What Seek the Peak Means to Me

2012-07-21 18:21:35.000 – Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

A collage of some of the scenes from the day.

Today is July 21st, which is this year’s date for our annual fundraiser, Seek the Peak. Since I am writing this at 4 pm, I don’t have any final numbers to talk about like how many people sought the peak, how many people passed through the Observatory, what our fundraising total is, and so on. By the time I woke up this afternoon around 1 EST, most of the days activities were winding down and visitors were starting to depart so they could get down in time for dinner and our after party. So to me, the day didn’t seem that busy, but everyone that I talked to, they begged to differ by the time they all headed down for the dinner and after party. Usually, I get to head down and participate in the dinner and after party festivities too, but for the first time in my 6+ years here, I have had to miss the festivities. Oh well, next year maybe?

Now, Seek the Peak means something differently to each individual organizing it, volunteering at it, or participating by hiking it. But for me, I like to think of Seek the Peak like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and a reunion all wrapped up in one. Let me explain. Seek the Peak is like Christmas because it happens around the same time every year, so we can mark it on our calendars and then eagerly anticipate it. Bags of gifts and goodies are wrapped up and prepared to hand out to everyone participating with even more goodies to give away at the after party. We prepare (over 800 of which were prepared this year) and put out trays of cookies for those stopping by. And on the day, we eagerly await the arrival of all the festivities that come with the special day.

Seek the Peak is like Thanksgiving because, similar to the reason I think it is like Christmas, it is happens once a year and we can look forward to it. At the end of the day, all our friends and family gather to share a meal as well as their experiences from the day and the year since they last gathered. The meal is a feast and when you are done, you feel like you are going to pop from all the good food you just ate. There’s music, toasts, celebrations, and it seems there is that one awkward ‘family’ member you always try to avoid. And when things start winding down, you are kind of bummed to see everyone go but remind yourself that you will hopefully see each other once again and break bread together in a years’ time.

And lastly, Seek the Peak is like a reunion because we get to see participants, past volunteers, current volunteers and observatory fans that we sometimes only get to see at this event each year. While I love catching up with people, it can sometimes be difficult because every time you turn around there is another friendly and familiar face that wants to say hello and catch up but there is only so much time and so much of me to go around that I never feel completely satisfied with catching up with people. It’s one of those days you wish you could multiply into 100 different individuals and sit down with as many people as possible to hear their stories from the past year. But alas, that is the stuff of science fiction for now; so for the time being, I just have to take the brief snippets of information from everyone and wait for another year to pass to catch up briefly once again. So, the countdown for next year’s Seek the Peak begins. Thank you to everyone that participated this year. It was great meeting you or seeing you again and I look forward to seeing you all once again next year!


Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

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