7S March and 1st Quarter Market Update

YOU are going to want to see these first quarter numbers! We have MORE EXCITING NEWS! The Josh Crowe TEAM welcomes Sarah Greiner Brown as a buyer’s agent. Selling or buying, on or off the resorts we are here to help you with your real estate needs! Sellers know that you may be sitting on an unexpected windfall of cash! Catch up to see what prices properties similar to yours have sold for recently!

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Hidden Valley March & 1st Quarter Update

YOU are going to want to see these first quarter numbers! We have MORE EXCITING NEWS! The Josh Crowe TEAM welcomes Sarah Greiner Brown as a buyer’s agent. Selling or buying, on or off the resorts we are here to help you with your real estate needs! Sellers know that you may be sitting on an unexpected windfall of cash! Catch up to see what prices properties similar to yours have sold for recently!

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Spotted Lanterenfly (SLF)

If you see it REPORT IT! According to DCNR, the map below shows the few counties that this pest has yet to be found! Read the newsletter here.  It was first found in Berks County, PA in 2014 and has a preference for grapevines, maples, black walnut, birch and willows. Read more on HOW it can impact our economy and quality of life!

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40 Years of Resort Experience at Seven Springs & Hidden Valley

This year Abe celebrates 40 years of working the resort markets! From 1982 till 2002 she advanced from agent to Broker of Record for the Villages at Seven Springs. From land development, new construction, marketing, and all of the real estate paper work she has had incredible experiences. One of her favorites was lobbing for the new construction company of Kettler Forlines Inc to open their first real sale division. She shared how life long friendships evolved from many of her 1st time meeting consultations. Here’s a quick review!

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7S Market Update Feb 2022

Sellers YOU could be sitting on a TON OF CASH! With very little listing inventory it is indeed a sellers market! Take a look at the February numbers and catch up with me to discuss your options!

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HV Market Update for Feb 2022

Sellers YOU could be sitting on a TON OF CASH! With very little listing inventory it is indeed a sellers market! Take a look at the February numbers and catch up with me to discuss your options!

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DIXON by McCloskey

55+ years of Friendship.

by patmccloskey

My Pal- Dixon Rich

Dixon Rich and I have been friends since the minor league in baseball. We both talk about how we forged our friendship on the bench. I was a fat little catcher and Dixon played out in left field, but we talked a lot about how thirsty we were and couldn’t wait to get to Dixon’s house for a drink.

Fast forward- Dixon senior bought a cabin on County Line Road and all of us neighbor kids spent the weekends crashed out on the cabin floor in sleeping bags. What a wonderful way to grow up. The winters were always special to me and still are thanks to the Rich family and my pal Dixon.

Dixon, Melissa and Jaime. Laurel Mountain friends for life

Dixon is an accomplished attorney and tax specialist. You might not know that if you visited him and he answers the door with a red bandana adorning his noggin and baggy shorts and construction boots doing someone’s tax work. He plays the Dead while he works and really doesn’t know the difference between night and day. He works when he feels inspired and that may be in the middle of the night. Naps are important to Dixon as he takes them between work sessions. He is a character. A skillful tele-mark skier, Dixon likes to hide out at Laurel Mountain where it is quiet, scenic and he has the place basically to himself most days of the winter. He can work from anywhere and the Laurel Highlands are his home for the winter. The other day he pulled out a pair of old 70’s era alpine skis and attacked Lower Wildcat on an icy morning. I have not seen skis like that in a while but Dixon has a whole houseful of 70s era skis which he uses with tele equipment and a few selected pair for alpine outings.

Valuable nap time for the tax man.

Dixon and I have skied together for over 55 years. But we also have had many adventures in cycling. We used to ride from his cabin to Confluence, Pa on our mountain bikes, getting lost on the way home, running out of daylight and crashing exhausted at the Red and White Store in Indian Head hoping to get a ride back. One time in West Virginia at the Wild 100 Backcountry Race, we both ascended Prop’s Run just outside of the Elk River Touring Center. When we got to the top exhausted, Dixon smiled at me with vivid blue teeth and asked if I wanted some bubble gum. That was his ” Power Bar”. He loves Captain Crunch cereal and other sweet treats. I am trying to get him back into riding more and he claims he will join me again this spring and summer. But his antics on the slopes and on the trails are legendary. Ask him about the plastic shower cap he used to cover his fanny pack when riding. A bright floral pattern which protected valuable cargo in his pack. LOL!!

Dixon does not like to be pinned down with a schedule. He is happy to meet you and ski with you but it is on his timing and on his terms. I call it like seeing an “albino deer” – wonderful to see but never planned. Like me- he likes the quiet of a remote ski area and enjoys the scenery without all the hassle of what takes place at Laurel’s sister area – Seven Springs, which can get a bit hectic during the winter. He has a great head of hair and never wears a hat – no matter how cold. I am amazed sometimes but my wife always says that with that great head of hair, she wouldn’t wear a hat either.

But the most important thing about Dixon is that he is a good friend. They say if you leave this world with friends that you can count on your right hand, you are a lucky man. Dixon is one of those fingers to me. I will always remember when my father passed away unexpectedly in his sleep back in 2001. Dixon was one of the first guys there for me and tirelessly helped me to close down my dad’s business. I could not have done it without him and will always be grateful for his kindness, his help, and his expertise.

Friendships are important. Especially as we age. We need to stay active, pay attention to our health, and most of all, spend time in the great outdoors with friends like Dixon. Thanks for reading and if you see the albino deer sometime, say hello. You will instantly gain another good friend.

 

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Mountain Watershed Association: A Year In Review

Mountain Watershed Association: A Year In Review

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Dear Reader,

For all the years we lived in the Laurel Highlands this organization did the most to maintain and improve the natural beauty and assets of the Laurel Highlands. We encourage you to JOIN and CONTRIBUTE.

Although this past year presented challenges, our dedication to advocacy, conservation, and clean water led us to new accomplishments. A few examples include:

– Fundraising efforts for the Steyer Bridge were successful; we will begin construction this year. We’ll continue to fundraise to resurface the trail leading to Steyer Bridge in 2022.

– We completed installation of the pilot phase of the Rondell-Correal Pilot Mine Drainage Treatment System. It is expected to remove 262 lbs. of acid, 97 lbs. of iron, and 6 lbs. of aluminum from the Indian Creek Watershed each year.– We completed the Indian Creek River Conservation Plan: The Sequel, a document loaded with information that will guide our work in the watershed for years to come. You can read the full document here.

– Eric, our Youghiogheny RIVERKEEPER, hosted multiple river cleanups in the Spring and Fall, removing hundreds of old tires along with metal and other trash. Spring cleanup dates are:

    •  April 30 – Casselman River in Meyersdale
    • May 21 – Yough River in West Newton
    • June 18 – Yough River in Connellsville

– As a direct result of MWA’s advocacy, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection altered the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for MAX Environmental, the only permitted hazardous waste landfill in Pennsylvania.

This is merely a drop in the bucket when it comes to the hard work and dedication shown by the MWA team last year. Our 2021 Year In Review covers the work done in advocacy, conservation, biodiversity, trails, and more.

To showcase the diligent work done by our advocacy team at MWA, we have created a video, “Year in the Yough”, to point out threats to the Youghiogheny River watershed and the actions our team is taking to make sure our beloved land and water is protected from pollution. You can view the video and the annual report on the homepage of our website: www.mtwatershed.com.

If you don’t already receive our monthly emails, sign up on our website to be added to our mailing list. The monthly email blasts contain calls to action, recent blog posts, upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and other announcements.

We hope to see you around the Yough watershed this year. Together, we can fight for clean water and a healthy environment.

 

With deep gratitude,

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Ashley Funk

Executive Director

Meet Taylor Robbins

Taylor is stepping into the new role of Conservation and Recreation Manager at Mountain Watershed Association.

You’ll see Taylor throughout the watershed, monitoring water quality and managing the Indian Creek Valley Trail and Yough River Water Trail.

Read Taylor’s Bio

Mountain Watershed Association

PO Box 408
Melcroft, PA 15462

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Hidden Valley Real Estate Market Update Jan 2022

More Exciting Things happening in the real estate markets at Hidden Valley and Seven Springs. See for yourself!

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Seven Springs Real Estate Market Update Jan 2022

More Exciting Things happening in the real estate markets at Seven Springs and Hidden Valley. See for yourself!

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30 Year Mortgage Rate Above 4%

Predictions are it will not be going back down anytime soon! 2019 was the last time we saw 4%. More info on mortgage rates from MONEY.  Seller’s, consider the higher the interest rates go up the the number of eligible buyers for your property gets lower.

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NEW GENERAL MANAGER FOR SEVEN SPRINGS, HIDDEN VALLEY, LAUREL MOUNTAIN

According to Ski Area Management, beginning Feb 14th, Brett Cook is the new GM for Seven Springs, Hidden Valley, and Laurel Mountain. He’s been involved at Roundtop, Liberty Mountain, White Tail and then back to Roundtop as GM when Vail purchased the “Peak Resorts” in 2019. WELCOME Brett!

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Hidden Valley End of Year Market Update

Another year with really big numbers! Take a look I’ve included the deed to Vail Resorts!

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Seven Springs End of Year Market Update

It’s the last real estate market report for 2021! Lot’s of great numbers and news included! I’ve even included the Vail deed for you to see.

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Vail Resorts Closes Purchase of 7S, HV, and Laurel Mtn

According to HospitalityNet, Vail announced on Jan 3 that they had closed the deal. Read the story here.  Somerset Court house records indicate that 392 acres were purchased for $67,730,667. on the 7S side and 230 acres for $13,300,000 at HV.  Watch for my next market update as I’ll link the deed transfers.  Google Maps show the resorts below

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MORE EXCITING NEWS!

As of Jan 1st, I am an official associate of the Josh Crowe Team!

My extensive knowledge of the resort markets and his of the local market allows us to provide our clients with details into past, present and possible future real estate market conditions. He is a long time resident and is involved within the communtiy with a BA in Business from the University of Pittsburgh. We are able to offer buyers and sellers insight into this current competitive seller’s market ON or OFF of the mountain. Our clients include those who are looking for their 1st or 2nd home and those who are transitioning elsewhere.

Combining our years of experience of the resorts and local markets allows us to provide very unique services. These offerings have resulted in multiple 5 star ratings with local, state, and national awards. We may be reached by phone, text, email, and yes, the mail too.

We hope if you are looking to buy or sell property in the Laurel Highlands you’ll catch up with us!

Please request Abe or Josh

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HV Nov Market Update

The year is almost over! Just one more month to see how 2021 compared to last year. Come take a look at what the market was up too!

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7S November Market Update

WOW, just one more month to 2021! Come check out what the real estate market for 7S looked like in November!

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HV Market Update OCT 2021

Listing inventory is at an all time low. This will reduce the number of sales in the upcoming months. Come check out the numbers!

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7S Market Update OCT 2021

With listing inventory still at ALL time lows sales are being reduced. Check out the Oct numbers.

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7S Market Update September 2021

It is the end of the third quarter! Come see how the numbers look!

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HV Market Update Sept 2021

It’s the end of the 3rd quarter! Come and check out the numbers!

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Haunted Houses

Thanks to GO LAUREL HIGHLANDS for this compilation of scary places to visit for Halloween festivities. Some are family fun and some are for those with strong hearts! Enjoy! Image from Haunted Hollow

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TREES

Who doesn’t love trees and what they offer us! One of our favorite places to enjoy Mother Nature is Hemlock Trail in Laurel Hill State Park.   Six acres of old growth natural hemocks run along Laurel Hill Creek, 1.2 miles.  Here’s a link for some other eye cathing trees around the world.

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2021 PA Private Roadway Act 75

The quick back story is that there a ton of PRIVATE ROADWAYS in PA. When the sellers go to sell, the buyers financing was able to walk away from the transaction if there was NO agreement as to how the road was to be maintained. Now the GENERAL ROAD LAW – REPAIR OF PRIVATE ROADS AND DEFINITIONS Act 25 provides a minimum standard.

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7S Aug 2021 Market Update

You need to see the numbers yourself! Come take a look!

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HV August Market Update

The numbers continue to impress! Come check out the update!

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7 Fixes to Avoid MAJOR Foundation Problems

From my National REALTOR Association comes these tips on avoiding future fondation problems! There are tips to help you NOT to have expensive issues while you are residing there OR for when you go to sell!  Click here for the story!

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Fall Foliage

Pa has over 130 native tree species! “Beginning September 30, weekly fall foliage reports can be found online and will be updated every Thursday. Fall foliage typically peaks for several weeks near the beginning of October across Pennsylvania.” Check out the DCNR website for more details!

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Connecting PA Trails

Did you know, “One of the seven major recommendations of the State Outdoor Recreation Plan is to “Close priority trail gaps in Pennsylvania’s statewide land and water trail network with the overall goal of having a trail within 10 minutes of every Pennsylvanian.” Inside the  Pennsylvania Land and Water Trail Network Strategic Plan (PDF). You’ll find a ” blueprint for state and local governments, trail providers, and other stakeholders to guide Pennsylvania’s trail stewardship and expansion for the next five years.” Read more

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World Cup Mt. Bike Finals Snowshoe WV

Navigating the World Cup with the Shark

by patmccloskey

Shark and Brad Copeland.- Mechanic for World Cup MTB Champ Kate Courtney

” Paddy- take a picture of the Shark with Brad here. He loves my shirt” For the uninitiated, Brad Copeland is Kate Courtney’s mechanic. Kate was our World Cup overall champion and former world champion who rides for Scott USA. Kate still competes and Brad is always by her side. But this weekend, the Shark was at their side as one of his many adventures in the expo booths at the UCI World Cup Mountain Bike Finals in Snowshoe, West Virginia. Mark Sauers, aka the Shark, is a real character and our friend who always makes life interesting when you are in his company. Shark is an enthusiastic mountain biker who is in great shape and always has us laughing as he refers to himself in the third person. ” Paddy- get the Shark’s picture” ” Paddy- don’t forget to text the Shark where you are.” ” Paddy, the Shark is ready to ride.” Hilarious, as is his shirt which he wore that attracted all kinds of attention. I wont’ bore you with why Mark is called the Shark. Suffice to say that in the 35 years I have ridden with him, he has always been…….”.the Shark.”

So after a grueling ride with John Palmieri and the HSD group on the trails of West Virginia, we came back to the condo and showered up to see the world’s best in the races in the afternoons. Part of the routine is to visit the expo booth area and see all the manufacturers booths which also serve as the headquarters for the teams racing in the event. The best of the world are there and racing men and women’s short track, downhill and cross country events. Download Red Bull TV and you will see all the events and the excitement that always attracts us to the wilds of West Virginia. The UCI World Cup loves West Virginia and now loves the Shark.

John Palmieri of HSD fame. Our ride leader for the weekend.
Our group on the tough, muddy, rooty , slimy, rocky trails of West Virginia.
The Shark with Specialized Rider Sina Frei

After Brad commented on Shark’s shirt in the Scott Booth, Shark responded in typical fashion,” The Shark will trade you the shirt for this bike right here.” Brad laughed and said, ” well maybe Shark?” And we wished Kate good luck and moved on.

Lauren Smith of Red Bull TV with the Shark

As we proceeded on our way, we saw the British commentator for Red Bull TV, Lauren Smith, who was totally blown away with the Shark’s shirt. We had a nice chat with her and commented how much we liked the UCI coverage on Red Bull TV. She loves coming to America and is particularly fond of Snowshoe, as is much of the UCI. The races will return to Snowshoe next July and Red Bull TV will be there.

American Cross Country Racer- Haley Batten

Moving along, we noticed that the women racers in the pit area were very approachable and receptive to photographs. Especially when the Shark requests it. Looking at the large gregarious guy in the shark shirt, they are intrigued and come over to us and have a great laugh with the Shark. Haley Batten, who races for Specialized and is one of the rising stars of the sport, laughed at some of the Shark’s outrageous comments in a large decibel range and had to have her picture taken. We told her that Shark is famous and she bought it hook, line, and sinker. We cheered her on later in the women’s races and her engaging and friendly personality will make her a star for sure along with her amazing athletic ability on course.

Shark was on a roll as we set up a makeshift autograph booth with Shark and local North Park mountain bike racing legend Bob Anderson. Bob finds the Shark really amusing and as they both sat down at an empty table, people came over to see what the Shark was all about. He excused himself for a moment and raced over to the Santa Cruz booth when he heard that they were giving away free tires. As he screamed, ” hey, how about some tires for the Shark?”, the Santa Cruz guys willingly complied and the Shark came away with some of his many SWAG gifts.

Bob Anderson and the Shark at their makeshift autograph booth
Shark Swag

As you now know, the Shark has an engaging personality and infectious enthusiasm. After working the crowds in the expo booths, we made our way over to the races to see the world’s best compete. Shark bulls his way to the best viewing positions and encourages me to ring my Swiss cowbell when the racers come by.

Victor Koretzky and World Champ Nino Schurter slaying all in a grueling uphill section
Big crowds at Snowshoe
Yours truly with the official Swiss Cowbell- not some Wal-Mart imitation.
The women launching it in the downhill.

In reality, John Cassucio and his son Simon, Steve Gurtner, Bob Anderson, JB Loughney, Jessie Seeger, and I were all pilot fish in the wake of the Shark’s navigation of the World Cup. We all watched him work the crowds in the expo area and out on the course. Yes, he is hilarious, but if you get to know him like I do, you will find also a kind, generous, and caring person who values friendships. He calls me regularly and screams ” Paddy!!!!!” over the phone with the following ” how are ya?” It makes my day to hear his voice and enthusiasm as he starts another day in the world. He truly would give you the Shark shirt off his back if he felt you needed a lift. A character indeed, but one well worth knowing. I hope I can have another 35 years of riding with him. Well……………. Thanks for reading.

 

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Laurel Highlands #8 for Fall foliage USA Today

MORE LIFESTYLES

Laurel Highlands ranks 8th in USA Today’s top-10 fall foliage spots

Shirley McMarlin
   

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TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Fall foliage is seen along Darlington Road in Ligonier Township on Oct. 21, 2019.

Once again, USA Today readers have confirmed what Western Pennsylvanians have always known — the Laurel Highlands is one of the country’s best places for viewing fall foliage.

For the second year in a row, the Laurel Highlands is a Readers’ Choice Winner in the Best Destination for Fall Foliage category in the USA Today 10Best Travel Award Contest, placing eighth overall in voting amid a field of 20 nominees.

The 2021 Top 1o are:

1. White Mountains, N.H.

2. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

3. Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains

4. Gatlinburg, Tenn.

5. Ozark Mountains region, Ark.

6. Taos, N.M.

7. Door County, Wis.

8. Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania

9. Stowe, Vt.

10. Finger Lakes region, N.Y.

The list is mostly a repeat of last year, except in a different order and with Taos replacing Asheville, N.C. The Laurel Highlands and Poconos switched spots in the numerical rankings.

‘Magnificent blanket of color’

“We are extremely honored to have been nominated for a second year and recognized as a top 10 destination by readers of USA Today,” said Ann Nemanic, executive director of GO Laurel Highlands, formerly the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau.

“Each season in the Laurel Highlands bears its own unique charm,” she said. “When autumn unfurls a magnificent blanket of color along our rolling hills, through our valleys and atop our vistas, it’s a sight everyone in America needs to see.”

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COURTESY OF GO LAUREL HIGHLANDS
Fall foliage seen along the Great Allegheny Passage in Ohiopyle State Park in Fayette County.

But where to go to see those sights?

“Our signature Laurel Highlands Scenic Byway is the ultimate leaf-peeping drive as it extends from Seward, in northeastern Westmoreland County, and winds down through rolling farmlands and charming Ligonier, over the mountain ridges into Ohiopyle State Park before concluding in Farmington, Fayette County,” Nemanic said. “Perhaps take a leisurely scenic drive through parts of Somerset County to the charming trail town of Confluence along Route 281 to soak in the rolling farmlands and mountain ridges in the background.

“Another favorite is Route 40 along the southern Laurel Highlands, which winds past Yough River Lake to Fort Necessity National Battlefield, up to the top of the mountain and the Historic Summit Inn for some amazing views before easing down into Uniontown,” she said.

One of the area’s hidden gems for finding fall vistas is the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, Nemanic said. The trail traverses 70 miles along Laurel Mountain from Ohiopyle State Park to the Conemaugh Gorge near Johnstown.

Among Westmoreland County’s more easily accessible and family friendly spots for fall color are Twin Lakes and Cedar Creek parks, she added.

“As we continue to navigate the unpredictability of covid, and mitigation efforts in general, we have the wide open spaces locals and visitors can experience safely,” Nemanic said.

According to the annual Fall Foliage Prediction Map from smokymountains.com, fall colors will be peak in Western Pennsylvania around the week of Oct. 18.

 

The top 10 fall foliage winners were selected by readers via a monthlong online contest that encouraged travelers to vote daily for their favorite place to peep the leaves. The winning destinations were announced Sept. 10 on the 10Best website.

The Laurel Highlands region also holds other USA Today 10Best honors, including one for top Best New Destinations in 2018 for Flight 93 National Memorial’s Tower of Voices and Best Pennsylvania Attractions for Ohiopyle State Park.

The 10Best.com website provides users with original travel content on top attractions and restaurants for destinations in the United States and around the world. The staff includes local travel experts who specialize in the region or city they write about.

For more information on fall in the Laurel Highlands, visit golaurelhighlands.com.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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Paturday Rides McCloskey

SEPTEMBER 6, 2021
Paturday

Wolf Rocks at Laurel Mountain with the Paturday Crew- Photo by John Cassucio

My friend Jeff Chetlin calls my rides Paturday rides. Kind of a reference to the fact that my mountain bike rides as of late are more relaxed and the theme is to enjoy the ride. I also refer to my rides as PPPP. Pat’s Pleasant Park Peddling. You see, I have chased people on road bikes and mountain bikes for 40 years. This year I decided to just bring it back a notch and ride at my own pace. When my pals come on a Paturday ride, they know they will have a good ride, good mileage, good route and a good time. We don’t have to kill each other, we just need to enjoy the ride. Ride to ride another day, don’t get hurt, and well……………have fun. Nobody is going to the Olympics.

Take this weekend for example. The Paturday ride was at my favorite place locally to ride a mountain bike- Laurel Mountain. I don’t know what it is about the Laurel HIghlands but I feel truly relaxed up there. I like the Laurel Mountains at all times of the year, and I have a couple of good mountain bike routes that challenge the best and allow for the more casual to also enjoy. Paturday means when we come to a particularly tough rocky section- I let the tough guys go and I meet them at the end of that particular section. They have had a challenge, and if I don’t feel like killing myself, I just ride an alternate trail and meet them. They are all smiles and breathing hard and getting what they need. I have a more relaxed section and that is just fine with me. The people who ride with me get their share of the rocks and roots that make a Laurel Mountain ride classic. But I/we don’t have to do all of them. The tough younger guys on the Paturday ride do them all and I admire them for sure. But I get enough skipping the real killer sections. Paturday- something for everyone.

Enjoying the ride.
One of the benefits of the PPPP pace is the ability to look around and see things that I really never saw before. I see the huge ferns that line the trails at Laurel. I take the time to go out to Wolf Rocks Overlook and see the Laurel HIghlands in all their splendor. In a couple of weeks, that overlook will yield spectacular views of the gently rolling ridges with the leaves blazing with color. I never took the time to notice that before. I was too busy chasing the guy in front of me. I also notice that when I ease into a ride instead of blasting out of the parking lot and redlining my heart rate, I do much better on the ride. It takes me a good 45 minutes to warm up. I guess that is a function of getting close to 67 years of age. I am like a diesel. I am not fast anymore, but if I can warm up, I can ride for longer periods of time. If I try to follow the tough guys and blast out of the parking lot- my ride is basically over. Ease into it, enjoy the flora, the things you can see on the trails, and the ride is much more enjoyable if you just take it down a notch.

I have been blessed with a lot of fun friends who ride. The cool thing about mountain bikers is that they are relaxed and the emphasis is fun on the trails. Sure, there are some that still race, or ride race pace, and want to use the rides for training. That is great. But even those guys like the ” chill” atmosphere of a Paturday ride and know that every ride does not have to be a training ride. Mountain bikers are fun people where the apres ride is as important as the ride itself. People bring snacks, beers, chairs and a general state of comradery exists.

So, I guess the point here is no matter what you do, run, ride, hike, or walk, – try a PPPP pace or make it a Paturday pace. I think you will enjoy yourself and see things that you never allowed yourself to see before. Thanks for reading. Fall is coming. A wonderful rime of the year here in Western Pa.

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Seven Springs July Market Update

The sales numbers are still climbing! Check it out!

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Kyre Conde NOT Giving Up

The 24-year-old is one of the first U.S. women to qualify for climbing as an Olympic sport, but her career nearly ended before it started.

EMMA BACCELLIERI

OCT 13, 2020  Sports Illustrated

There is a version of the Kyra Condie narrative that reads a bit like a superhero origin story.

First, you have a baby who climbed—on her family, on furniture, everything. Her parents had to take her out of her crib early because she wouldn’t stop climbing out of it. A bit later, in one of her more memorable climbs as a toddler, she ended up on top of the refrigerator. So when 10-year-old Kyra learned that climbing could be a sport, rather than just a free-range activity, it felt like destiny.

But it became clear that something was wrong shortly after she joined her first climbing team. Her back hurt. Some positions on the wall seemed impossible for her. And a visit to the doctor showed that it was more serious than anyone had guessed: Her spine had a 70-degree curve, like an S, due to severe idiopathic scoliosis that would require surgery. The first doctor who examined her did not leave any room to negotiate on what this meant for her future: No climbing ever again.

She begged her parents to seek a different medical team, and eventually, they found second and third opinions with a different vision: Her back would not be able to bend or twist at all from the bottom of her neck to the base of her rib cage, but if she wanted, she could still climb.

In 2010, a few months before she turned 14, Condie underwent surgery to fuse 10 vertebrae. She was able to start climbing again later that year—and she quickly became better than she’d ever shown the potential to be before the procedure. As she advanced, she outgrew the coaching that was available by her home in Shoreview, Minn., so she coached herself with hours of solo sessions.

At 23, she became one of the first U.S. women to qualify for climbing as an Olympic sport.

A child whose abilities were obvious as an infant grew up to be marked by a physical difference that she embraced to become stronger than ever before: Greek myth, superhero origin story, shades of all of that.

But, of course, the full version is a little more complicated.

Her surgery was indeed an inflection point in her climbing career—the months that she had to spend without the sport showed her how much she loved it and didn’t want to live without it. But her intense pushback on the idea that she would never climb again and her dedication to the craft after she was able to return were shaped less by the situation itself and more just … who she already was.

“I was a pretty stubborn kid anyway,” she says, laughing. “As soon as they said something I didn’t like, I was just, nope, nope, this isn’t the one, I just stopped listening.”

And her striking ascent through her teen years felt much more gradual than it might seem looking back.

“She wasn’t a standout youth star,” says her mom, Cathy. “There are some kids that are, but hers was like this slow, steady, continually improving progress. It kind of snuck up on us.” (Asked whether there was a moment when her talent crystallized, her father, Tom, jokes, “Probably when she qualified for the Olympics?”)

But as Condie prepares for Tokyo in 2021—where sport climbing will make its debut in the Olympics—you could be forgiven for holding on to the superhero story line. After all, just watch her climb, and it’s clear how it seems to fit.

Condie’s style was described once by a commentator as “reckless abandon”—somewhat frenetic, systematically intense, with daring moves that could look impossible until she actually pulled them off.

She never consciously tried to affect such a technique. But after years of climbing uncoached, copying what she admired and figuring out how to make it work for her, it was just how she grew.

“I think what sets me apart in my climbing style is actually the lack of coaching,” says Condie, now 24. “The way I really learned to climb was by watching all the older guys at the gym. I was 12 or 13, and I would try to mimic the style that these twentysomething guys were doing. So I think my style’s really kind of burly and dynamic, for sure—a little bit frantic, but not always in a bad way.”

This took her far. But after she graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2018, as she looked at trying to qualify for the Olympics in 2020, she figured that she might have to leave her home state to pursue serious coaching for the first time. As her climbing had gotten more advanced, it had become trickier to label and fix her weaknesses on her own, and it didn’t help that the more difficult climbs were often more position-dependent, which entailed figuring out workarounds to accommodate her back. And she didn’t have access to a speed climbing wall in Minnesota, which represented an entire discipline to master for the Olympics. So in November 2019, she left her hometown for Salt Lake City, home to the headquarters of USA Climbing.

The transition required an adjustment. She’d been climbing on her own for so long—and retained enough of that childhood stubbornness—that her new environment, for all its benefits, was difficult to assimilate to. “I don’t think I’m the easiest to coach,” she admits. “It’s something I really put a concerted effort into this year, because that’s never been something I’ve been great at. I’ve always been really good at solo sessions, but now, I almost always have a training crew, which is crazy to me—like, I’d basically always climbed alone for the last four years in Minnesota.”

Her coach, at least, thinks that her concerted effort there has paid off.

“If you asked me a year ago, I would have said she was challenging,” USA Climbing head coach Josh Larson says with a laugh. “But our relationship has really grown, and we’ve been able to understand each other and respect each other in all different ways.”

Condie qualified for the Olympics shortly after her move last winter—by making the finals at an international tournament in France—and she prepared for what she expected to be an intense few months of training leading up to Tokyo. The coronavirus, of course, suspended that plan. But now that she’s able to practice more or less as usual again, the postponement has revealed itself to be a potentially important opportunity: an extra year to train on a flexible schedule, without any international tournaments on the calendar, and her qualification locked up.

That extra time is useful partially because the Olympic climbing format is unique. It will combine three disciplines for one set of medals: speed (racing another climber side-by-side), lead (going as high as possible within six minutes) and bouldering (completing as many routes as possible on one wall in four minutes). Generally, those formats are kept separate, and the IOC has already voted to change it for Paris in 2024, with two sets of medals instead of one. For now, however, climbers have to figure out how to balance their strengths for all three at once.

Trying to succeed in all the disciplines requires a balance of speed, power and endurance. “It’s really difficult, because fundamentally, those are just usually antonyms,” Condie says. She’s now training five to six days a week, with frequent double sessions, and has tried to use the extended time between international competitions to experiment with different routines and structures.

“I think for her, it’s been a big thing to go, O.K., this is going to be hard for me, and I’m going to get through it and force myself to work on it,” Larson says. “She’s just putting herself in uncomfortable positions more.”

Her move to Salt Lake City has also allowed her to climb regularly with other women, a first for Condie. After honing her style by watching men, and then spending years on her own, it’s been a welcome change. Canadian climber Allison Vest is now not only a training partner but also her best friend and roommate.

“I’ve never gotten to train around girls a lot,” Condie says. “Especially other strong girls. So having somebody there like her who can push me to be better at basically everything is irreplaceable.”

Vest, like Condie, was largely self-trained before she moved to Utah; they’re similarly intense, which is part of what led them to first become friendly with each other at competitions years ago. In that way, Vest sees Condie’s climbing style as a reflection of her personality.

“She definitely moves quickly, that’s for sure,” Vest says. “But for me, it’s less of a reckless, chaotic sense of things, and it’s more just that she moves really confidently and with authority—like, if she’s going for a hold, she’s going for 100%. It’s not going to be tentative and it’s not going to be super-controlled a lot of the time, but she’s giving it 100% of what she has 100% of the time, and a lot of the time, that pays off for her.”

There, again, is an echo of that superhero origin story. Which is fitting, her parents say, because her approach then is the approach she’s had for everything since.

“I don’t think it really ever registered to her that maybe she wouldn’t come out the other side,” says Cathy. “She looks at what she needs to do, and she does it, and works really hard at it. She’s just like that.”

For more from stories on the most powerful, most influential and most outstanding women in sports right now, check out Sports Illustrated’s series The Unrelenting.

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7S June & 1st Half Market Update

Lowest interest rates, lowest listing inventory, COVID-19 mix them together for the most incrdible first half performance I have ever seen at the resort!

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HV June & 1st Half Market Update

Factors that have created this once in a lifetime sellers market include, lowest iterest rates, lowest listing inventory, AND COVID-19. The picture tells the story!

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REAL ESTATE TAXES

If you are considering buying property at Hidden Valley or Seven Springs there are multpile factors that should be evaluated BEFORE signing that offer! A big one is real estate taxes. Here we have County, Township. and School property taxes. The County (will have the same millage for both resorts) and Township (HV is Jefferson Twp, 7S is Middlecreek) are based on the calender year. School Taxes (HV Somerset 7S Rockwood) are fiscal running from July 1 through June 30th and those bills are just NOW being sent out.

HV millage for the 2021 year school tax has gone up to 43.24 mills. 7S millage is 21.89 mills. That’s a big difference.

IF the assessed value (the number used to find the tax) were the same say $50,000 th HV tax would be $2,162.00 and the 7S tax would be $1,094.50 

Here’s a link to the 2021 Millages for Somerset County

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AUDUBON URGES REMOVAL OF BIRD FEEDERS

So far no one has been able to figure out why birds are dying in at least 9 states. The PA game commission and  Audubon Society of Westeren PA is recommending the removal of ALL bird feeders including those for humming birds. Image by Brent Connoly

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Mountain Watershed Yough River Float Trip

Enjoy a 4 hour float trip on the Yough River from Dawson to Layton July 11,  10 am. Find out more about the adventure,tickets, and more here! Picture from Sharon Speelman, Laurel Hill State Park

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75% In PA Have Had 1st COVID-19 Vaccination

From Governer Wolfs update today 75% of those 18 and older have had at least ONE COVID-19 vaccination. Check out the story.

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HV Market Update May 2021

Listing inventory continues to decline so expect multiple offers! Not seeing any signs of a slow down yet. Check out the update!

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7S Market Update May 2021

Sellers are loving this fast paced, low inventory, crazy market! Buyers bring your check books! Check out the May numbers.

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Birding By Boat This Sat

Laurel Hill State Park is offering a Birding By Boat experience, Sat 9am to 10:30am! YOU NEED TO REGISTER AND BRING YOUR OWN GEAR! Enjoy a morning paddle surrounded by birdsongs and meet some new friends!

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TICK TIME

The outdoors have many pests! Ticks are one of the worst! They are sooo small YOU have to really look for them or deal with the possibility of Lyme disease.  Here’s more from the DCNR resource newsletter,

Bug, insect, tick, cloth, fabric
Be Prepared and Proactive to Avoid Ticks
DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell, and Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam reminded Pennsylvanians that tick-borne diseases are present across the state, and encouraged residents to seek treatment if they have been bitten by a tick and provided tips to prevent tick bites from occurring.
Pennsylvania residents and visitors can take simple steps to reduce their chances of being bitten by ticks by:
  • Covering exposed skin with lightweight and light-colored clothing
  • Avoiding tick-infested habitats such as areas dense with shrubbery or tall grass
  • Using an EPA-approved insect repellent
  • Immediately checking yourself, children, and pets for ticks once returning home
  • Taking a shower immediately to remove ticks that may be crawling on skin
  • Drying clothing and gear in a dryer to kill any ticks
“Taking these precautions and safeguards are important in ensuring an experience free of tick-borne diseases. DCNR remains committed to informing the public and equipping our employees with the necessary tools to address tick bites,” DCNR Secretary Dunn said.

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Women of Dupre breathe new life into an old Sole.

The Soul of Soles

by patmccloskey

“Pat- listen to this.” Gretl Dupre said to me as we walked into the kitchen of Camp Soles in Rockwood, Pa. It was the screen door slamming behind us. She said” isn’t that cool? Isn’t that just the sound of summer?” I thought about that and agreed that slamming screen doors reminded me of a time which was long ago in my life. I remember hearing that all the time in my kitchen at home on my way into and out of the house. It was like the sound of entry into the great outdoors of my neighborhood and at Camp Soles- it was the sound of kids heading out to play on the 263 acre facility which includes the beautiful Lake Triss.

Lake Triss

Camp Soles has been a mainstay of the Western Pa community since 1957 and traditionally run by the YMCA. This season it was supposed to close but at the 11th hour, Gretl Dupre came to the rescue and bought the facility. She had skin in the game. She and her 8 sisters had been campers there when they were young girls and there was no way Gretl was going to let the facility sink into oblivion. Gretl is a ” go getter” and even though she now lives in Seattle, she felt an attachment to the place and will make every effort to revive the spirit of summer camp in Western Pennsylvania. She intends to spend more time here and is on the path to revitalizing not only the facilities but revitalizing the spirit of the camp. She is literally the ” soul of Soles.”

The ever energetic Gretl Dupre.

Gretl and I are old friends as her family were the original owners of Seven Springs Mountain Resort where I spent a lot of time as a kid. As we walked the grounds, Gretl explained her reasons for investing and also her vision for the place. As she first showed me the kitchen which she is refurbishing to meet all the CDC Guidelines for the pandemic, she pointed out the speaker system where she says she will make announcements and raise and lower the flag each day. Traditional camp things but she has so much more planned. She will have campfires and roasted marshmallows and all the fun things that a summer camp will have, but she is more about teaching the kids responsibility with work around the camp which will teach them valuable lessons going forward. Things like sustainability – recycling, planting your own garden and growing your own food. Gretl has a vision of more than “kumbaya” around the campfire. She wants to make leaders of the kids and teach them valuable skills and responsibility that they can use for the rest of their lives. She wants them to have an understanding of the importance of the great outdoors and to respect the environment. In this age of entitlement, it is a noble task to which she is fully committed.

The Camp Motto

We walked around the lake and saw the kayaks and SUP equipment being readied for the season. She showed me the ” ski lodge” and a small hill facing the spacious windows and remarked that she ultimately wants to make Camp Soles a year round facility for families as well as kids. Downhill skiing and cross country skiing with plenty of snowmaking capacity is on the docket. The dormitory lodges which will house the campers are being refurbished and there are many of them around the perimeter of the lake and nestled in the wooded areas around the camp. There is lots of work to be one but the employees of the camp are as committed as Gretl and they all have a ” can do” attitude with their daily chores to get the place up and running for the summer camping season.

Lots of people my age have great memories of spending a week or weeks at summer camp. Those days of hiking, fishing, wearing headbands and beaded bracelets which were made at camp, all are fond images in the minds of a lot of parents today who may wish to rekindle those memories in the lives of their kids. Fresh air and activities outdoors instead of days in the basement playing video games. You can learn so much as a kid when you spend time working and playing in the great outdoors and no place is better than summer camp.

Camp Soles is currently a beehive of activity with planting gardens, refurbishing facilities, upgrading equipment, and a general positive buzzing vibe to the place. It seemed to me that the spirit of anticipation was all around with the ” angel investor” Gretl at the helm. I was totally impressed with what has been done so far to resurrect a beautiful facility that was on the brink of extinction.

As I closed my time with Gretl at Camp Soles I couldn’t help to think how proud her father Herman would have been of her. I am sure he is smiling down on her activities and is somehow prodding her to make things at Camp Soles bigger and better with a new mission.

Old Pals.

There are opportunities to sponsor a camper at Camp Soles this summer. Perhaps your own or maybe a camper who would not have the financial means or the immediate opportunity to partake in this fabulous experience. You can visit http://www.CampSoles.com or go to Friends of Camp Soles a non-profit entity EIN# 85-3514602 to donate or sign up. The address for donation or sign up is 1009 Tall Trees Drive Pittsburgh, Pa. 15241. The phone number for further information is 412-213-5321. The anticipated cost for a week camping is $520.00. Gretl anticipates that there will be a lot of ” heads in beds” up there this summer so don’t hesitate if you want to sponsor a child or get your own child or grandchild involved. Lots to do, lots to learn in the wonderful world of Camp Soles in the Laurel Highlands of Pa. Thanks for reading and thanks to Gretl for making it happen.

 

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End of Year Market Review

The numbers continued to climb in 2020. This will end being a year like no other.  Check these out NOW as the year end numbers! The SELLERS MARKET continues at MOST price points at both resorts. With the population wanting some escape from dense urban living and record low interest rates we are seeing an unbelievable amount of transfers and VERY LIMITED listing inventory.

If you have a property you have been thinking of selling now is the time to MAXIMIZE YOUR BOTTOM LINE. Catch Up with Abe 412-897-8535! The end of 2020 market review will be like no other year we have seen in our lifetime.

Open the links below for the reports.

 

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Night Sking


Keystone, Colorado

This time of year when I was a kid, I used to sit by our phone and wait for Bob Rose , our wonderful friend and neighbor, to call and tell me when he was picking us up for the weekly trip to the mountains. My mother would make an early dinner for my sister and me and we would pile into the Rose’s station wagon for the weekly ski season trip to the Rich’s house on County Line Road near Seven Springs The first outing of the weekend was night skiing and oftentimes it was brutally cold weather at night.

Dixon Rich and I still skiing together 59 years later Seven Springs Mountain Resort at Night

In the early days, there was no snowmaking and the grooming was slim to none. We had to negotiate frozen slopes and trails with wooden skis, cable bindings, and leather boots. But all of us kids didn’t care because we were skiing and that is all that mattered. Seemed like more trips to the fireplace in the ski lodge than during the day, but as long as we could get a hot chocolate and thaw out in front of the roaring fireplace, we were fine and back out we went.

As we became teenagers with better equipment, the benefit of snowmaking and grooming became appreciated. But usually on Friday nights, the groomers were not out yet and night skiers had to deal with frozen moguls and deteriorating conditions until the groomers did their magic overnight for us to have perfect conditions the next morning. Didn’t think much about visibility in those days, just where we were going to build a jump so we could hit it all weekend long.

Fast forward and night skiing took on a new meaning as we included it in the itinerary for trips to Holiday Valley in Western New York with wicked snowstorms blowing in off Lake Erie. Night skiing there was at a whole different level. It was at that time that visibility became a little more important to me as we charged down the slopes making sure to stay near the edge to have the best lighting. Skiing at night is fun but you have to be able to see fairly well because the lights are limited in their range and you can ski in and out of dark spots. And again, it is really cold at night in a ski area. One of the more interesting signs that I have seen was on a chair lift stanchion at Killington and also at Whiteface that said” These slopes are as cold and lonely at night as they were during the 1700s. Don’t ski alone” Wise advice especially if you night ski.

Now in my 59th year of skiing and having skied in 111 different ski areas, night skiing is not a priority with me. Now don’t get me wrong. I still will include a night skiing session when my buddies and I venture northward to Western New York in the early season. We will take anything early on and if it includes a session at night, we do it. I have also night skied in Keystone, Colorado with my friend Norm which was an adventure. Keystone makes it their business to light some black diamond slopes which can be a challenge if the visibility at night it compromised by weather. But the same rules apply to when I was younger. Stay near the edge and take advantage of the best light coming off the stanchions. Norm and I got some extra skiing by venturing out at night. We loved to pack it in and that extra cold session in Colorado always will be remembered.

The bottom line to all of this is that at 66 years old, I still get as excited for skiing as I did as a kid. My first outings are local and then on to the scheduled trips out west and to the Adirondacks. But if someone said to me, ” Pat- lets go night skiing” – I would not hesitate, if it meant more time on the hill. I love to ski and will kick, claw, drive through brutal conditions, ski in the rain, sleet, blinding snow, and work real hard to get my time in. How about you? I close my eyes and think back to this time of the year when after all day Saturday and Saturday night skiing, Bob Rose would find me passed out in front of the fireplace in the ski lodge. ” Get up dummy. Time to go.” I laughed and poured myself into the station wagon. What I would give to do it all over again. You don’t quit skiing because you get old. You get old, because you quit skiing. Thanks for reading and enjoy the winter. It is upon us.

Editors Note, Having been on Ski Patrol at 7 Springs for 15 years and closed the back side at 10:00 I can attest that mountain is just as cold tonight as it was in 1700.

patmccloskey | November 30, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Tags: Holiday Valley Ski Area, Keystone Resort, Seven Springs Mountain Resort | Categories: Aging, outdoor activities, outdoor sports, Outdoors, Skiing, Uncategorized, Winter, winter sports | URL: https://wp.me/p31Q99-1ev

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That Great Smell by Pat McClosky

The Mountain TV

You know, my mother started me on my love for fires. We had a huge fireplace in our house growing up and at the first sign of cold weather, my mom would ask my dad to build a fire as she decorated the house for fall. My mom was the ultimate entertainer and to her, the house was a stage. My dad used to get firewood cut to 36″ to match the large fireplace and grate. He had some real blazes in that house.

Going forward, I had that appreciation for fires as I made my way through ski lodges, and anytime I had a moment to stand by a fire, I would do it, and take in the warmth and the great smell of wood smoke. In Colonial Williamsburg, one of my favorite destinations, they build fires on the street corners in the winter and the period actors discuss the merits of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness warming themselves in front of those ” army stacked” blazes.

I took matters into my own hands when we built our last house and had Teddy Hall come down from the mountains and build a 30’retainer wall, fireplace and bench all out of stone from the mountains. I learned what a shiner was. It is the flat facing stone that is strategically placed amid the dry stack of the stones that give some texture to the stacked stone. Teddy deposited 18 ton of stone in our yard and began his magic culminating in what I always thought was a spectacular fireplace.

My son Jack and I would scour for deadfall with my chainsaw and load up my Jeep with free firewood. He was a bit concerned as a young kid about my sources but I explained that we were doing a favor to the environment. At least that is what I told him. LOL!! Anytime I saw wood that was available, I grabbed it and did whatever I needed to do to get it cut and split. All part of the process of building a great fire in a great fireplace. We had fires all year long as it is a great bug zapper in the summer and a warm place in the winter. Many nights I spent in front of that fireplace contemplating what was next in our lives. When my folks passed, I used to sit out back and look up at the stars wondering where exactly they had gone. I saw heaven in those stars and planets and thought about what my folks saw now? Did they see me looking for them? I drifted off to sleep many nights in front of that fireplace. My brother in law, Duke, called it the Mountain TV as it provided entertainment for many guests to our house for many years.

The suspect Christmas wreath.

Duke would build fires so large in our fireplace that he would catch the Christmas wreath on fire many a night. The remnants of that wreath were a reminder of Christmas and a tradition that lasted many years. If the wreath didn’t catch fire, Duke didn’t build it big enough and Christmas was not complete. We had some other funny times in front of that fireplace. Like when my friend Dean melted the soles of his shoes onto the hearth. I peeled them off the next day and mailed them back to him. I have seen some other amazing things at other fireplaces. Like ski boot shells melting or gloves smoking as they hung to dry with the owners frantically trying to salvage the boots and gloves. People don’t realize how hot a fireplace can get.

The other day, I was riding my mountain bike and I smelled wood smoke coming from the house in the valley below. I can pick up that smell from far away and it always brings a smile to my face and a reminder that my favorite time of the year approaches- the fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas and winter. Probably one of the things I miss the most in moving from my former house to our current one is the fact that I had to leave my fireplace. No more wood smoke, no more sitting out back, but my neighbor Tim has a nice fireplace and when I smell the wood smoke drifting my way, I am thankful that he invites us to come up and enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, I like where we live but it was tough to leave the Teddy Hall masterpiece.

Laurel Mountain Outdoor Fireplace

If you have a nice fireplace- use it. And if you visit ski areas, lodges, or other places where fireplaces are lit during the season, take the time to sit and take in the smell, the warmth, and the quiet time reflecting in front of a roaring fire. Thanks for reading and RIP Teddy Hall. You made our life rich indeed. Thanks for reading.

patmccloskey | November 2, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Categories: Christmas, fall, outdoor activities, Outdoors, Seasons, Thanksgiving, Winter | URL: https://wp.me/p31Q99-1dr

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October 2020 Real Estate Market Report

This is the most recent real estate market report. This includes resort sales for September 2020 AND the third quarter of the year. Just look at the numbers, you will not believe them. We checked everything twice so this is the actual sales recorded at the courthouse.

The SELLERS MARKET continues at certain price points at both resorts. With the population wanting some escape from dense urban living and record low interest rates we are seeing this sellers market continue. If you have a property you have been thinking of selling now is the time, I probably have a buyer for it. Contact me at 412-897-8535.

Agents within BHHS The Preferred Realty are still permitted to list and sell properties within the current guidelines for COVID-19! Sellers can still sell and buyers can still buy and YES we can get to a closing. Now there are even more factors added into the process, social distancing and using all safety procedurals! These are some really good reasons WHY selling or buying with a REALTOR will help to make the transaction much more predictable. Catch up to find out more on how you can buy or sell property and meet  all the COVID-19 protocols.

These reports give you the inside information based on courthouse records as to what has sold at Hidden Valley and 7 Springs Resorts. If you are thinking of selling or buying you need to review these reports and contact us for more information to determine the highest price that will be successful in the market place. Open the links below for a quick look at how sales are going this month. Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share with the public. If you want the UNBIASED facts of what is happening in your community and property contact us. We tell you what factual research indicates and not what a marketing department wants you to believe. YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8535. Open the links below for the reports.

 

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Anticipation Winter will be here soon by Pat McCloskey

Anticipation!

by patmccloskey

I have posted on it before, but it takes a real enthusiasm to be a skier in the mid- Atlantic region of the country. We have to fight the continuing cycle of snow, ice, and rain events along with increasingly milder temperatures. If it were not for snowmaking, and good grooming, we would be in a world of hurt around these parts. We do our best to get our ski days in locally and then plan trips for the west and New England. Covid will offer some challenges but I am undaunted in my quest for the target 30 days which is fairly decent for a guy who is still employed, lives in Pennsylvania, and yearns for the first turns of the season. Nothing does my heart more good than a new pair of boards.

My local ski buddy and my western ski pal also got new boards this season and we are all excited to try them in hopefully a short month or two.

New Lake Tahoe Stocklis New Heads for my local pal

To me, a new pair of skis is like a jump start to the season. I get a little bummed at the end of the season when the last turns are made and I have to wait another 8 months to ski again. With a new pair of boards, the anticipation is increased among the changing leaves and the falling temperatures . It makes the 8 months seem to race quickly as I anticipate the first turns of the season, especially excited to try a new pair of skis. November comes quickly with You Tube Ski TV and vicariously I begin the season in advance of the first tracks around here.

Wooden skis, cable bindings, leather tie boots. Back in the day

My passion for this sport began when my folks first took me skiing. ( They didn’t ski but wanted my sister and I to get started). I will never forget my first pair of wooden skis , and my excitement then is no different than it is today embarking on my 59th season. Anyone who skis remembers his or her first pair and can probably name most of the skis that they have used since then. I remember my dad subsequently buying me my first season pass and also a pair of Head 360s for Christmas. My job was to earn the money for my first pair of buckle boots and boy was I excited when I first tried on my Koflachs. No more bloody knuckles tying ski boots. But the important thing was that my dad was teaching me to earn money so that I could buy what I wanted. It meant more to me and is a lesson that I carry with me today. Any trips, equipment, and lift tickets were my responsibility from that point on and I mowed a lot of lawns, shoveled a lot of driveways, hauled a lot of steamer trunks caddying at my dad’s club. Working in the box factory in college helped pay for a lot of things and the lesson was being ingrained with every pay check. It still is today when I budget for trips, ski equipment, and ski passes.

I think a lot about my dad when ski season starts. Especially when I tune my skis on the bench that he built for me some 40+ years ago. Every time I add to my quiver of skis and get a new pair, I think of him and the message that he taught me to earn the skis that will earn my turns. So many memories of ski seasons past, but the anticipation of what is to come is only accentuated by the vision of a new pair of skis, waiting to be mounted. Think snow and think safety in the coming ski season. Wear your mask, wash your hands and make sure that skiing is there for all of us this season. Thanks for reading

#head-skis, #stockli-skis

patmccloskey | October 26, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Tags: Head Skis, Stockli Skis | Categories: Exercise, Fatherhood, Inspiration, Motivation, outdoor activities, outdoor sports, Outdoors, recreation, Skiing, Uncategorized, Winter, winter sports | URL: https://wp.me/p31Q99-1db

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Change by McCoskley

So my wife and I were hiking the other day up in the Laurel Highlands and she said to me,” It took 32 years ,but I finally am hiking with you up in the mountains in the woods.” We both chuckled as I recounted all the times I told her how peaceful hiking is and how beautiful it is especially at this time of the year. The colors are vibrant as the changing of the leaves ushers in the fall season here in Western Pa. As empty nesters now, we are taking advantage of a lot of opportunities even in this restricted time.

As a byline, she also told me not to take her to any trails that might have rattlesnakes and I agreed seeing that I know ground zero up there for those sightings. But we did see bear scat and she was amazingly calm when we discussed black bear in the area. All in all, Janet is becoming an avid day hiker and when I approached the subject of possibly camping out and sleeping under the stars, she was not ready for that………..yet. But day hiking is relaxing and in this day of rapid fire change, it is nice to see a calm, peaceful changing of the leaves with a relaxing activity like hiking.

Interestingly, the outdoors has become a refuge for a lot of people in this Covid age. Many of my friends across the country are also making use of the time hiking, camping, and enjoying their native surroundings near their homes. From camping near the coastal mountains in California, to camping and riding mountain bikes up in the Bend, Oregon area, to hiking the Green Mountains of Vermont, my friends for the most part are staying close to home and enjoying nature at its finest. Recreation is becoming regional until things become a little more certain.

No matter where you live, there are opportunities to get outside and enjoy the change of seasons right in your own backyard. The fall is one of my favorite seasons and as I think about what has happened to all of us over the last several months, it is encouraging for me to see that active people are out and about. Even a lot of people who were not necessarily outdoors people, have taken the opportunity to buy a bike, a kayak, hiking boots, camping gear if they can get it. It’s nice to be in a remote place without a mask, right?

With change comes the knowledge that the winter season is approaching and people like me are looking forward to that change as well. Not sure exactly how the ski season will be in 2020-2021, but we are prepared with ski passes, trips planned, and a general positive feeling that being outdoors in the winter will be good for all of us. Keeping positive and hoping for the best. But at the very least, there are outdoor activities that can make winter fun and a lot of people might be trying snowshoeing, winter hiking and camping, and cross country skiing for the first time. We can all encourage them and join them to get through all of this together.

In this changing world, we have to stay positive and know that the only thing that is constant these days is change. When we see the colors fade and the leaves falling from the trees, we know that soon enough they will be green again and another season will be upon us. But in the meantime, enjoy each season near to your home and take advantage of spending time with friends and family in the outdoors. It does wonders for your physical and mental health. Thanks for reading.

” To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven”

– Ecclesiastes 3

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April 2020 Real Estate Market Report

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Agents within BHHS The Preferred Realty are still permitted to list and sell properties within the current guidelines for COVID-19! Sellers can still sell and buyers can still buy and YES we can get to a closing. It may take longer depending upon whom else in the transaction is working! Now there are even more factors added into the process, social distancing and using all safety procedurals! These are some really good reasons WHY selling or buying with a REALTOR will help to make the transaction much more predictable. Catch up to find out more on how you can buy or sell property and meet  all the COVID-19 protocols.

This is the April 2020 real estate market report. These reports give you the inside information based on courthouse records as to what has sold at Hidden Valley and 7 Springs Resorts. If you are thinking of selling or buying you need to review these reports and contact us for more information to determine the highest price that will be successful in the market place. Open the links below for a quick look at how sales are going this month. Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share with the public. If you want the UNBIASED facts of what is happening in your community and property contact us. We tell you what factual research indicates and not what a marketing department wants you to believe. YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8535. Open the links below for the reports.

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Robert “Wags” Wagner Retiring

After a long military career, requested piano tuner and technician, and licensed real estate agent since 2002, Robert “Wags” Wagner has decided to retire! He will still be helping Abe on the marketing and social media programs that they have built over the past 17 years. Look for the new solo; Adrienne “Abe” Wagner platform to be rolling out  this month!

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June 2019 Real Estate Market Report

This is the June 2019 real estate market report. These reports give you the inside information based on courthouse records as to what has sold at Hidden Valley and 7 Springs Resorts. If you are thinking of selling or buying you need to review these reports and contact us for more information to determine the highest price that will be successful in the market place. Open the links below for a quick look at how sales are going this month. Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share with the public. If you want the UNBIASED facts of what is happening in your community and property contact us. We tell you what factual research indicates and not what a marketing department wants you to believe. YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8535. Open the links below for the reports

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COUNTY LINE BRIDGE WORK BEGINS MAY 6th!

Jeff Himlar of the Trib Live posted that on MAY 6 the County Line Bridge by Somerset Trust will be undergoing renovations. If you’ve traveled to 7Springs you had to have noticed that one lane of the second Rapid Bridge Replacement was higher than the other. Read his story here

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December 2018 Laurel Highlands Market Update

This is the December and end of year 2018 real estate market report. These reports give you the inside information based on courthouse records as to what has sold at Hidden Valley and 7 Springs Resorts. If you are thinking of selling or buying you need to review these reports and contact us for more information to determine the highest price that will be successful in the market place. Open the links below for a quick look at how sales are going this month. Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share with the public. If you want the UNBIASED facts of what is happening in your community and property contact us. We tell you what factual research indicates and not what a marketing department wants you to believe. YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8535. Open the links below for the reports.

 

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November 2018 Laurel Highlands Market Update.

This is the November 2018 real estate market report. These reports give you the inside information based on courthouse records as to what has sold at Hidden Valley and 7 Springs Resorts. If you are thinking of selling or buying you need to review these reports and contact us for more information to determine the highest price that will be successful in the market place. Open the links below for a quick look at how sales are going this month.

Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share with the public. If you want the UNBIASED facts of what is happening in your community and property contact us. We tell you what factual research indicates and not what a marketing department wants you to believe.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8535. Open the links below for the reports.

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4th Frank Lloyd Wright house coming to the Laurel Highlands

REPOST FROM THE LAUREL HIGHLANDS VISITOR BUREAU

LAUREL HIGHLANDS, PA., (March 20, 2018) – After a 1,000-mile journey, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Lindholm House, aka Mäntylä, will now join Fallingwater, Kentuck Knob and Duncan House in calling Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands home.

Originally built in 1952 in Cloquet, Minn., the Lindholm House was carefully dismantled and shipped to Acme, Pa., in the spring of 2016, where it is currently being rebuilt by Thomas and Heather Papinchak. As owners and operators of Polymath Park, the Papinchaks are no strangers to Wright’s creations. Their architectural resort offers overnight lodging at Wright’s Duncan House, which was moved from Lisle, Ill., and rebuilt on the site in 2007, as well as two homes designed by his apprentice Peter Berndtson, the Balter and Blum homes.

“The groundbreaking and the addition of Wright’s Lindholm house is keeping pace with the thriving and unique experience our guests encounter at Polymath Park,” said Thomas Papinchak, Polymath Park’s CEO and design-builder. “The Lindholm House has been kept private for decades; it will be exciting for all involved to unveil this original grand Usonian masterpiece.”

Typifying Wright’s “Usonian” style-his effort, late in life, to create affordable housing in a design language that expressed his distinctive perception of the “American landscape.” The Lindholm and Duncan houses offer visitors a truly unique opportunity – the chance to stay overnight in a Frank Lloyd Wright house. The Llindholm House is expected to welcome guests in Summer 2018. When guests reserve either home, they are given access to the entire home, not just a specific room. These homes are two of a select few Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the entire U.S. that offer overnight lodging. Reservations can be made online at www.polymathpark.com or by calling 877.833.7829.

A Must-Do Destination for Architecture Aficionados
To architecture experts, Frank Lloyd Wright was the greatest American architect who ever lived and one of the greatest the world has ever seen. To those who appreciate nature, it’s easy to see how the magnificent natural landscape of Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands inspired the prolific architect.

Wright (June 8, 1867-April 9, 1959) designed more than 1,000 structures in his lifetime and saw more than 500 of them to completion, but the high concentration of homes open for public tours in a setting as beautiful as Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands is an uncommon occurrence.

Perhaps Wright’s most widely-acclaimed creation, Fallingwater, was built between 1936 and 1939 for the Kaufmanns, a prominent family from Pittsburgh. Dramatically cantilevered over a waterfall, the house exemplifies Wright’s concept of organic architecture: the harmonious union of art and nature. A National Historic Landmark, Fallingwater has been selected as one of “50 places of a lifetime” by National Geographic Traveler. Fallingwater is the only major Wright-designed house to open to the public with its furnishings, artwork and setting intact.

Just seven miles southwest of Fallingwater and high atop a bluff overlooking the Youghiogheny River Gorge stands another Frank Lloyd Wright architectural masterpiece, Kentuck Knob. A great believer in the beauty of natural materials, Wright combined the native sandstone with tide water red cypress to create a chorus of color and texture that replicates the surrounding landscape. Wright began this project for the Hagan family in 1953 at the age of 86, five years before his death. In addition to the house, the grounds of Kentuck Knob feature 30 pieces of sculptures by Andy Goldsworthy, Anthony Caro and Claes Oldenburg.

Located within a short drive of the four Laurel Highlands landmarks, Falling Rock at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort provides a tribute to the organic architectural style of Frank Lloyd Wright. Designed by David Merritt, who studied at Wright’s school at Taliesin and then incorporated the master’s philosophies into his own work, Falling Rock features 42 rooms, each of which is served by a butler. In addition to this top level of service, guests enjoy a pillow menu, nightly cookie turndown and exclusive access to an infinity pool.

About Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands
A magnificent mountainous region, the Laurel Highlands spans 3,000 square miles in southwestern Pennsylvania. Located an hour east of Pittsburgh, the beautiful four-season destination offers some of the most spectacular natural scenery, outstanding outdoor recreation, historic sites and attractions, family activities and world-class resorts. Notable destinations within the region include three architectural masterpieces by Frank Lloyd Wright – Fallingwater®, Kentuck Knob and Duncan House – Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Flight 93 National Memorial, Idlewild and Soak Zone, whitewater rafting at Ohiopyle State Park and more.

Located within 200 miles of the major metropolitan areas of Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland and Washington D.C., the Laurel Highlands can be easily accessed from exits 67, 75, 91 and 110 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Visitors to the Laurel Highlands can find information online at www.LaurelHighlands.org, calling 800.333.5661, www.facebook.com/laurelhighlandsPA and www.twitter.com/laurelhighlands. Established in 1958, the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for Fayette, Somerset and Westmoreland counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. Check out the 2018 Laurel Highlands Destination Guide!

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Author: Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau

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January 2018 Real Estate Market Report

This is the January 2018 real estate market report. These reports give you the inside information based on courthouse records as to what has sold at Hidden Valley and 7 Springs Resorts. If you are thinking of selling or buying you need to review these reports and contact us for more information to determine the highest price that will be successful in the market place. Open the links below for a quick look at how sales are going this month.

Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share with the public. If you want the UNBIASED facts of what is happening in your community and property contact us. We tell you what factual research indicates and not what a marketing department wants you to believe.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8535. Open the links below for the reports.

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November 2017 Real Estate Market Report

This is the November 2017 real estate market report. These reports give you the inside information based on courthouse records as to what has sold at Hidden Valley and 7 Springs Resorts. If you are thinking of selling or buying you need to review these reports and contact us for more information to determine the highest price that will be successful in the market place. Open the links below for a quick look at how sales are going this month.

Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share with the public. If you want the UNBIASED facts of what is happening in your community and property contact us. We tell you what factual research indicates and not what a marketing department wants you to believe.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8535. Open the links below for the reports.

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October 2017 Real Estate Market Report

This is the October 2017 real estate market report. These reports give you the inside information based on courthouse records as to what has sold at Hidden Valley and 7 Springs Resorts. If you are thinking of selling or buying you need to review these reports and contact us for more information to determine the highest price that will be successful in the market place. Open the links below for a quick look at how sales are starting this year.

Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share with the public. If you want the UNBIASED facts of what is happening in your community and property contact us. We tell you what factual research indicates and not what a marketing department wants you to believe.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8535. Open the links below for the reports.

 

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TAX REFORM, HOME OWNERSHIP MATTERS!

Tax Reform, specifically HOW the mortgage interest deduction will be changed, is something EVERY Home Owner needs to understand! According to a study done by Price Waterhouse IF the mortgage interest deduction is passed as presented, of the 80% of home owners who take the deduction ONLY 5% would still qualify! For properties in PA you would no longer be able to deduct property taxes! Click this link and Let Your Elected Rep Know Where You Stand!

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Fast Freddie by Pat McCloskey

Fast Freddie

by patmccloskey

The first time I skied with Fred Siget was in Snowshoe, West Virginia with Larry Walsh of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. I had some limited training but had experience as a ski instructor. So, as my maiden voyage with a visually impaired skier, I had the original blind skier in our area in front of me headed down Cupp Run. Right turn, left turn, right turn, stay, stay………..all of a sudden the only tree in play was before me as I yelled “crash” and Fred sat down on his way to running into the only tree within hundreds of yards. I felt so bad, but Fred dusted himself off with a smile and said, ” Pat- don’t worry about it at all. This will be one of many.” And we continued down the slope. This began a 40 year friendship with the one and only Fast Freddie Siget.

Fred lost his vision as a result of an accident with a high pressure hose when he was a volunteer fireman. As devastating as this injury was, he was undaunted. He became the first computer programmer for Koppers Corporation that was visually impaired. He continued dancing, and he learned to ski with guys like Larry Walsh, Jim Conley, Lynne(Kravetz) Hartnett, Shorty Leco and Micky Hutchko. People who took the time to work with Fred and make him into a pretty good skier by the time I came along. Fred always had ideas on how to make things easier for blind skiers and how to improve guiding techniques. He was the first guy I knew that purchased a transmitter where the guide had a microphone and he had an ear piece which made calling out commands easier and understandable with snowmaking machines roaring in the background. I used it one time standing on top of a slope and calling commands to Fred as he skied by himself down to the chairlift. With his” Blind Skier” jacket on, people were shocked viewing his run. In the bar afterwards, we had some fun with Herman Dupre the owner of Seven Springs Mountain Resort. I put the microphone on and guided Fred over in front of Herman and told him to tell Herman how much he admired his red flannel shirt. Herman was stunned and later remarked to me laughing that he was starting to “get hot thinking about all the free passes I gave to Fred and now he is telling me how much he likes my shirt!” Hilarious.

Fred was a bus driver in the old days and always missed driving. One night after skiing, I asked Fred if he wanted to drive again. He was puzzled. I took him to the upper parking lot at Seven Springs and guided him into the drivers seat of my Blazer and let him have the wheel. I gave him commands like skiing. Right turn, left turn, stay straight, …the smile on his face was priceless. Then we did some donuts and the laughter was infectious. Fred never forgot that night.

Fred was always anxious to help new guides. He put himself at risk during the training but always felt that it was worth it not only to train guides that could assist him, but to help the other visually impaired skiers who were beginning to show up at the BOLD( Blind Outdoor Leisure Development) outings at Seven Springs.

Fred was a local legend due to his skiing. People knew him and admired him as they skied past him or saw him making turns from the chairlift. They knew him in Vail, Colorado where he skied regularly with the Mon Valley and Pittsburgh Ski Clubs. But perhaps the most compelling thing about Fred was his kindness and appreciation for his fellow skiers and guides. He always remembered your birthday and when he called me, he sang, ” Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, get plastered, you bastard, Happy Birthday to you.” That made me laugh out loud every year. He would always ask about my wife Janet, and my son Jack. Jack would ski with us when he was a young guy and Fred always was interested in how he was doing in school and in his sports. Fred always thought about other people. He was popular for his skiing for sure, but as a person, you could not get a better guy who was always interested in others and never talked much about himself.

We lost Fred this fall at 94 years of age. Although he had an amazing life, we will miss him. I always think of him when I see people who have heartache in their lives or something that has tragically shaped their future. Fred never let his accident slow him down. He always said that he did more as a visually impaired individual than he ever did before losing his sight. He took a perceived bad thing and turned it into opportunity. Shouldn’t we all learn from that lesson? R.I.P Fred, I will miss you for sure. Thanks for reading folks.

patmccloskey | October 19, 2017 at 11:31 am | Tags: Blind Outdoor Leisure Development, Seven Springs Mountain Resort | Categories: Aging, Blind Skiing, Inspiration, outdoor activities, outdoor sports, Outdoors, recreation, Skiing, Volunteering, Winter, winter sports | URL: http://wp.me/p31Q99-Ri

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TAX REFORM

Our National Association of REALTORS has been actively engaged in the tax reform debate. The plan is expected to double the standard deduction and eliminate all personal deductions except the Mortgage Interest Deduction and the deduction for Charitable Contributions. The plan eliminates the deduction for State and Local Taxes. This will be devastating to middle class homeowners by removing economic incentives for homeownership and raising taxes by an average of $851. By doubling the standard deduction, the Mortgage Interest Deduction would only be available to the top 5 percent of taxpayers.

PLEASE LET YOUR REPRESENTATIVES KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!!

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Fall Foliage Forecast by PennLive


By Marcus Schneck mschneck@pennlive.com
Unseasonably hot, dry weather throughout much of September may have doomed hopes for a particularly vibrant fall-foliage period this fall in much of Pennsylvania.

“Several factors lead me to believe that what looked to be an excellent fall foliage year has been mitigated by this latest hot, dry weather pattern, coupled with outbreaks of maple anthracnose in a fair number of areas,” noted Ryan Reed, the environmental education specialist in the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources who compiles the weekly fall foliage report for the state.

“Despite this, there will be good fall foliage viewing throughout the state in forthcoming weeks. One may have to simply travel further between areas of brilliant color.”

For now, he said, fall foliage season continues in its preliminary stages statewide. Some northern-tier forest districts are showing more than 50 percent color in stands of northern hardwoods like maple, cherry and birch.

Central and southern forests are showing strong indicators of future color, with bittersweet, Virginia creeper, dogwood, walnut, hickory, birch and a few maples sprinkling color over the landscape.

The recent warm spell seems to have slowed the color transition, and even forced early leaf-drop in some areas.

Southwestern Counties (Allegheny, Washington, Greene, Westmoreland, Fayette and Somerset counties): In Forbes State Forest, peak color is expected during the first and second weeks (Negro Mountain and Laurel Ridge) in October.

The Laurel Highlands are separated by three separate ridges that vary in elevation, often leading to a succession of peak foliage. The Mt. Davis Division encompasses the highest point in Pennsylvania and peaks before any other region of the Laurel Highlands. The Laurel Ridge, extending from Ohiopyle to Seward, is the next area to peak, followed by the western-most areas of the Laurel Highlands, Chestnut Ridge, and Pittsburgh area.

Southern Region (Area south and east of a line through southern Monroe, Dauphin, Bedford and southeastern Somerset Counties): In Buchanon State Forest, several vine species (poison ivy, Virginia creeper, bittersweet) are adding early red and yellow colors to the forest edges. Hickories and birches on drier sites have also turned yellow. Route 30 offers a pleasant view of the Buchanon State Forest, and Tower Road and Bark Road vistas reveal beautiful scenery in the valley.

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Route 31 Road Construction

It began May 8 and has a very long way to go!! When you exit the PA Turnpike at Donegal be prepared to experience delays! The project begins just above the turnpike exit and continues down to the turn to Route 711 at Sarnelli’s. In a months time much has been done with much more to come! Please pack your patience and watch out for the workers!

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National Flood Insurance EXPIRES Sept 30!

The last time the National Flood Insurance was allowed to expire approximately 40,000 transactions, a MONTH didn’t happen!! WHY? Because if your property is in a flood zone area AND you don’t have flood insurance, NO bank will finance it! Being active in our local, state, and national Realtor Associations has allowed Abe to meet face to face with elected representatives in DC and Harrisburg to explain WHY it is critical to ensure it doesn’t expire again! Check out the information slides!  

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Pat McCloskey’s thoughts on Laurel Mt. Ski Area

The Return of a Classic Ski Area

by patmccloskey

I have skied a lot of areas in my time and most of them were in New England where there are the giant, corporately run areas and the smaller privately held areas. The smaller areas always held my interest because they had a sense of tradition and a feel of skiing in another time. Recently, in our neck of the woods, down here in the Banana Belt, Laurel Mountain came to life again this year. It went from being one of the lost ski areas to a vibrant, resurgence of a classic ski area reminiscent of those areas in New England. In fact, there is a tie to Mt. Cranmore in the Mt. Washington Valley of New Hampshire. Apparently, when the Mellon family first had the idea to develop a ski area in 1939 for the members of the prestigious Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier, they hired Hannes Schneider to lay out the trails. Hannes Schneider was the ski school director at Mt. Cranmore who was brought to the US from Austria by the industrialist Harry Gibson, a friend of Richard King Mellon. Schneider is widely acclaimed as the father of ski instruction in this country.

When you first pull past the stone entrance hut on the mountain road, you feel as if you are driving back in time. The parking lot is never full and as you make your way to the top of the mountain lodge which has been recently refurbished, you can relax in an Adirondack chair by a roaring fire and put your boots on. You can then take your brown bag lunch inside or take advantage of some good comfort food in the new bar area in the base of the lodge. The picture windows look out on the whole Ligonier Valley which is not only scenic during the day, but a sight at night if you choose to night ski. The refurbished snowmaking by HKD and the new Pistenbully groomer make the Wildcat slope a delight to ski and it is known to have the steepest vertical in the state.

I remember skiing Laurel when it was run by the state and had some amazing powder days there with Frank Pipak, a friend who took the PSIA exam the same year that I did. Although, I spent the winter prior to that exam in Sugarloaf, Maine, I often credit my runs down Lower Wildcat with preparing me for the steeper terrain that was utilized in the exam. My friend Hiller Hardie always says, ” if you want to get your legs ready for the western trips, lapping Wildcat at Laurel will put you in good form.” Your legs get a work out on lower Wildcat with the steep vertical pitch.

When Seven Springs Mountain Resort decided to bring Laurel back to life this season, along with the DCNR of the State of Pennsylvania, it was time to promote it. I have told a lot of friends about my good times at Laurel and how they must try it. Like my two snowboarding friends, Tina and Mark Sauers who were totally enthralled with the area and the family feel to the place.

We have some challenges down here in the banana belt with the weather being on the edge of rain and snow. But credit Laurel with good snowmaking and grooming to make it possible for enthusiasts like me to get the most days out of rather dismal early winter conditions. I have a lot of good memories of skiing at Laurel back in the day including fun times with my son Jack and our visits to Fort Ligonier and the Pie Shop in Laughlintown at the bottom of the mountain.

Two years ago, Hiller, John McWilliams, Jeff Balicki and John O’Toole and yours truly used our snowshoes to hike into the closed area and after unloading our packs, took two runs down Lower Wildcat. Four hours plus of hiking for two runs was “having to have it” and it showed our devotion to an area which we all loved. It is so nice now to have Carl Skylling’s new Sky Trac chairlift instead of bootpacking to claim our vertical.

So if you are a local, get over to Laurel. You won’t regret it and if you are visiting, check it out. Lower Wildcat will surprise you even if you are a veteran of steep skiing from points beyond. I am so happy it is back. Hannes is probably up there smiling at all of us. Thanks for reading.

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Best Fall? Laurel Highlands or Vermont?

fall-bridge

Below a blog post by biker, skier Pat McCloskey.

My friend Helen Durfee always said that the fall season in Western Pa is just as nice as Vermont, just a little less dramatic. She grew up in the Laurel Highlands and lived the first part of her married life in Vermont. I agree that Vermont and New England are famous for “leaf peeping” but I have to say that this particular fall here in Western Pa. has been spectacular.

I have been treated to some amazing days of mountain biking and hiking this fall where I have taken the time to enjoy the color of the leaves. I have taken the time to “savor” the days like a fine steak or fresh seafood. I try to take little bites and enjoy the flavor. Like my commute to work on Squaw Run Road. I don’t go the fastest route to work but rather the scenic roads to enjoy the changes in the leaves each day. This year the changes have been remarkable.

Another contributing factor to my enjoyment of Fall 2016 has been the app that was suggested to me by my friend Eric Durfee( Helen’s husband and native Vermonter). It is called ProHDX and can be downloaded on your I-Phone. This particular app allows you to shoot a photo and really get the focus and colors sharply so that the end result is an I-Phone photo that looks particularly good compared to most. I am not a real good photographer and the only camera I have is on my I-Phone. But I have really enjoyed using this app and the convenience of the I-Phone on a ride or a hike can yield some spectacularly sharp images.

The one nice thing about a hike or taking in the view from a mountain bike is that you can avoid all of the cars packed with “leaf peepers” and enjoy the quiet transformation of the season in the woods of Western Pennsylvania. Many past seasons have been rushed with race pace rides looking at nothing other than the persons backside in front of me. Games, practices, kid’s activities take a lot of time and effort for many of us. But as you age and the seasons of rushing to activities wane, it is a great practice to slow down, take in the seasons, and enjoy the flames of the maple leaves, the golden colors of the oak trees and even the pale shading of the ferns on the forest floor. In my old backpacking days, I did take the time to hike and enjoy the fall in the Laurel Highlands. But in the many years since, those times had been replaced by soccer games, basketball games and general activities with my wife and son. Now I have a college student who does his own thing, and my wife and I are trying to slow down and enjoy what God provides for us by way of a natural display of color.

So, I guess the message here is to savor your experiences. The yearly season change where the warm days try to hang on into Indian Summer, create some spectacular viewing if you take the time to enjoy the days. You don’t have to go to the mountains to enjoy the scene. Just look out your window, your windshield, or take a walk in the neighborhood. Smell that fall aroma of leaves. See the tannin of the leaves change the creek colors. Notice the difference. Slow down. Thanks for reading.

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PENN SCENIC VIEW SOLD!

This incredible 183 acre parcel of breathtaking views, trails and a lake recently transferred. Court house records show the transfer for $999,000. For years it has been a favorite wedding destination with picturesque settings and background vistas. It has a multitude of trails, some rentals, and the main building for entertaining. Records show that the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy was the purchaser.

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Pursue Your Happiness

Pursue your Happiness

Just got word that the new slogan and logo for PA Tourism was has been unveiled! Take a look at the video and see what you think! It made me want to get out of the office and have some fun! Check out the Visit PA site to see it live! Look for the next editions of the state’s travel guide to be called “Happy Traveler” and the e-newsletter renamed “Happy Thoughts.”

 

 

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Dollar General Under Construction

Dollar General 2015

Almost immediately after settlement construction began on the new Dollar General store. The 1 acre parcel (abuts Route 31) sits in front of the Donegal Community Center on the left hand side of the road as you are headed to the resorts. You’ll definitely notice the dirt being moved as they install their own septic system. Most likely you’ll see the store opening sometime in the spring of 2016, weather permitting:)

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Shaker Urgent Care Center Under Construction

Right after you pass the Family Dollar store on Route 31 you may have noticed dirt being moved around. It’s the first new construction project we’ve had in the Donegal corridor for some time!   We’re still working on getting more details for you but if you’re looking for rental space here’s their email, ShakerUrgentCare@gmail.com

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Construction Ahead!

Fall 2016 is to be the beginning of a very major and long road project for Donegal! Beginning at the Donegal turnpike exit and to Sarnelli’s Market at Route 711, Route 31 is going to get wider and have existing roads moved around. Let’s start with the turnpike exit. Below you can see how the new road will extend past the current one!

1 Turnpike

The next major change is the interchange of route 711 to Ligonier and the school. The old road to the school is to the right of the new highlighted road.

2 711 and school

Then comes Schoolhouse Road which will cut across the farm and end up right outside of the BHHS office (bottom left building)!

3 School house - us

And the last major fix is at the Route 31 and 711 intersection as shown below. Sarnelli’s Market is on the corner of the bottom right.

4 31 and 711 Sarnellis

We think you should explore some other options to consider NOW before the construction gets underway. Try getting off at New Stanton to Route 66 and taking the Mount Pleasant exit. There are multiple ways to get to County Line road from there! Catch up with us and we can share some more back roads!

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All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Copyright 2022.



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