16:40 Fri Nov 24, 2017
Part of the responsibility of taking a position at a continuously-manned weather station atop a remote mountaintop is the knowledge that you will, at some point, be required to work a major holiday. In all honesty, working as a weather observer on Thanksgiving isn’t so bad: we don’t have to deal with holiday traffic, we don’t have to battle other shoppers in a last minute run to the grocery store, and we get to experience the weather the summit is famous for, often with a few surprised thrown in. No, the summit of Mt. Washington is not a bad place at all to spend the holiday. And while the summit is often shrouded in fog (2 out of every 3 days on average!), yesterday, the skies were alive with clouds and color, providing panoramic vistas that, combined with a slight “breeze” up on the Rockpile, could literally take your breath away!
Figure 1. Sunrise bathing everything in shades of gold.
Figure 2. Gentle sunlight illuminating Tip Top House.
After the colors of sunrise faded, high clouds continued streaming in, and a partial undercast was present for most of the day. The rocky peaks of the Northern Presidentials, freshly coated in a blanket of snow, stood up to their moniker: the White Mountains.
Figure 3. The White Mountains living up to their name.
And yet the beauty of the day didn’t end there! Sunset was a brilliant spectacle, with undulating sheets of clouds picking up the colors of sunset, displaying them as glowing pink ribbons dancing across the sky.
Figure 4. Tip Top House illuminated in the colors of sunset.
Figure 5. Sunset view from the northwest deck corner.
After sunset, it was time to get to work on dinner. After all, what is Thanksgiving without massive amounts of food? For the Thanksgiving week, summit staff are on their own: no volunteers, and no interns. Still, though I’m partially biased, our skeleton crew collaborated on an extremely delicious Thanksgiving spread, ready promptly at 6pm and sporting turkey, all the trimmings, and two cranberry sauces to boot! In a scenario that could have turned into Kitchen Nightmares, I’m quite pleased to report that no observers were harmed in the making of the feast, which we sat down together to enjoy in between observations.
Figure 6. Thanksgiving table ready for hungry observers.
Figure 7. Seconds anyone?
Because no Thanksgiving is complete without dessert, we even enjoyed a slice of homemade apple pie, which is this observer’s personal favorite!
Figure 8. Apple pie for dessert!
Taylor Regan, Weather Observer