Monday, July 2, 2012

7/1/2012 - Viewing at Dawn

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.
Henry David Thoreau - Journal

Vacation is over, back to work tomorrow!  I was eager to make a final ascent as the vacation period came to a close, but with other responsibilities facing me this day, there was only one available window for the climb - dawn!  And it was a beautiful trek, to be sure.  I began at about 4:45am, hoping to catch the first ray over the crest of the eastern horizon.  Gradually, I gained elevation and coincidentally, heard beautiful sounds in the treetops.  From the darkness of the night, light was coming and the birds were awaking joyously proclaiming the Kingdom. What a blessed life we have so near to Wachusett, a gemstone in our midst.

At the summit, the sun peeked over the edge, set its course for the day and began the journey to the western horizon.   At the same time, I began my circuit about the construction site ... yes, the fence was still in place even though more landscape work was evident.  I was disappointed, having hoped that it would be down for the July 4th holiday coming up this week.

Sunrise on Wachusett
New Pathway to the Summit
My disappointment was quickly overcome as the north fence had a break in the perimeter!  I mean, not a small break, a large separation, easily made for me to pass!  And so, at this early hour of the day, I entered and headed to the ramp on the eastern face of the facility.

I wanted to be quick, before others might make the summit, yet I wanted to get a good look at what, one of these days soon, would be open to the public.  I guess this was a viewing "by invitation only!"

The solitary sound at this point was my heart beating.  It has been over a year since I first began my blog and watched the weekly construction progress.  Surely, the citizens of the Commonwealth will be impressed when they climb the ramp to the observation deck. 

In fact, I even forgot to take pictures going up ... So, from the Observation Deck ... and then back down the ramp ... come walk with me.

Sunrise viewing from the deck ... a spectacle you won't want to miss!  Sunrise always is so humbling; now the strength, the power, the beauty ... unforgettable.

I remember seeing the deck planks arrive last fall, spending a number of snow storms resting on the ground.  I knew then that it would be quite an impressive work when completed.  I am not disappointed.
Benches - at each corner post of the Tower
 And the view looking up to the cab was quite impressive also ... the erector set assembly up close!

Now to take a look at what I might see below!  It seems so high; the horizon is complete with no trees interrupting my view.
Up Summit Road and the Parking Lot - SE
So high ... this view reminds me of some of the older pictures taken from the observation deck of the early hotel.  Back then, that deck was the fire watch station.

Southward over the Summit Pond
Only those communication towers and antennae to block a full scan of the southern horizon.   I hear that they might be relocated in the near future.  And even if we see them for a while more, the view to other parts of the horizon make up for this minor obstruction. [To the North, by the Ski Lift, we see a similar obstacle with the US Army Corps of Engineers Radio Relay Tower.]

SW to the Windmills of Princeton
Off to the SW the windmills of Princeton are most prominent just off the first tree line.  While one gently rotates in the early morning breeze, the second is idle awaiting repairs.

Truly spectacular.  Very impressive.  Once the word gets out, this will be a spectacle for the world.  Imagine what the views will be from here on a clear autumn day with the foliage at its peak?

Time to make my way down the ramp. 

SE Corner of the Observation Deck ... This Way Down!
Southern Ramp Going Down
And now swinging around to cross the western wall, I head to the north and downward.
Western Ramp
Around the NW Corner to the Northern wall.  Through the railings on the ground level, you can see the signature compass rose marker.  Traditionally, the Top of the Mountain!

NW Corner
Heading Easterly, we descend the northern ramp.

North Ramp
Around the corner and on to the cement ramp that leads back to the ground level.

NE Corner
The home stretch ... back on the ground.

Taking a look around before leaving the site.

Cab and Crow's Nest

From Beneath the Ramp Looking Up to the Cab
The Favorite NE Corner
And as every young farm boy is taught, always close the gate to the pasture when you pass through, so too did I as I left the construction site.  Carefully lifting the end of the fence section, I slid it back in place.  No longer might the animals get out of the pasture ... nor could animals outside the pasture enter either.

Alone at Sunrise

Site of Old Tower - Looking Westward
The site of the old tower is clean and clear of debris.  New visitors will never know it was there.

Prayer Flags At Monument for the 101st Mt. Division
Hanging between two trees just behind the 101st Mt. Division monument.  Messages on the flags clearly indicate that they have been placed in memory of members of this celebrated WWII division.  Its not the Himalayan Base Camp with its prayer flags, but they are no less memorable.

A Look Back
Time to leave; my window was closing and I have miles to go ....

But don't go away ... I will report on the disposition of the old tower and have a final look when the construction fence finally comes down.

[I called the Wachusett Reservation Headquarters later in the day and was told that it would be approximately two more weeks before the fence would come down.  At this time, they are completing the landscape work as well as a short list of items that the contractors have to square away before the fence is removed and the public allowed complete access to the grounds.]

1 comment:

  1. Hello Bob,

    I enjoyed looking through your blog about Mt Wachusett. The Thoreau quotes at your headings are well chosen. I am a photographer residing in Fitchburg and need get a scenic shot of Mt. Wachusett for a client. Could you suggest some vantage points where I might get a scenic panoramic shot of the mountain from a distance?