Wii Bowling, Cabin Fever and how Observers get some R&R.

2013-10-04 17:14:20.000 – Brian Fitzgerald,  Weather Observer/Education Specialist

Observer Fitzgerald demonstrates good bowling form

Another work day on top of the Rockpile is just about complete, which has this Observer considering what is on the docket for tonight’s summit activities. We often get asked the question, ‘what do you all do for fun up here?’ to which there are several answers depending on who you ask.

For those of you who do not already know, as Observers at the Mount Washington Observatory we work around the clock, 24-hours a day, with each Observer working a 12-hour shift. For the day Observers, we generally work 5:30AM until 5:30PM, while the night Observers take the other 12 hours. Speaking from a day Observer’s prospective, when 5:30PM rolls around we are generally ready for some relaxation and fun, but this obviously means different things to different people. With weather usually being the limiting factor, usually we don’t get to pick which days we get to recreate outdoors. For me, this means I absolutely try to take advantage of some of the nicer days by hiking down to Lakes of the Clouds, doing a half-loop of the summit cone on the West Side Trail, or enjoying the views on Nelson Crag or at the headwall of the Great Gulf Wilderness.

When darkness or foul-weather engulfs the summit, Observers are likely to be found reading on the couch, playing music, arguing while watching hockey (about the Bruins, Devils or Rangers most likely), enjoying Monday Night Football, or what has been the activity of choice lately: Nintendo Wii Bowling. Observers and Interns alike have been locked in heated Wii Bowling competition for a couple months now, often averaging numerous games each night (unless Jeopardy is on).

While it may seem a little silly just how intensely we play Wii Bowling, it may go without saying how important extra-curricular activities are up here at our weather station. While eight days at a time can be a long period away from friends and family, our hearts definitely go out to the researchers who live in even more remote locations (i.e. Antarctica) who are likely much better at Wii Bowling or whatever their game of choice is.

If you’d like to become a member, or already are a member of the Observatory, and are interested in volunteering a week of your time to see more of what it’s like to live and work up on Mount Washington, visit our Volunteering Link!


Brian Fitzgerald,  Weather Observer/Education Specialist

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