August 2020 Real Estate Market Report

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.

This is the most recent real estate market report. 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.

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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June 2020 Real Estate Market Report

 

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.

This is the most recent 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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Bring your “A” game if you wanna play!!

Thanks Pat, been following those legs and lungs all my life!!

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The “B” Team Bringing Their “A” Game
by patmccloskey

A little while back, I was on a rather spirited mountain bike ride up at Laurel Mountain with some pretty strong riders. Among them was my friend Steve Gurtner, who is a strong rider in his own right. But that day, he looked at me and said, ” Pat- we are the ” B” team bringing our “A” game. I laughed out loud and will always remember that line because it fits my persona to a “T.” In all honesty in all of my cycling over the years, I have always ridden with stronger, more talented riders and always felt like I was that “B” team constantly having to bring my “A” game in order to keep up. Take my early days in road cycling with the ACA.( Allegheny Cycling Association). I had the good fortune of riding on the road with some pretty talented guys who took the time to bring us “B” team guys into the fold. People like Mac Martin- a national class rider who took us out of our comfort zone and gave us the finer points of road racing on training rides. I can remember being in our local criteriums when they would put the “B” group in with the “A” group and we had people like Mac, and Matt Eaton, and the Chew brothers who would lap us but help us in the group with tips and suggestions not only to help us, but to improve their place in the group. Things like ” bridge that gap, Pat, so I can get up there.” I definitely had to bring my A game in those races in order not to jeopardize my participation. These guys were national champions who were kind enough to give us tips and help us in a race situation. But we had to dig deep and bring that “A” game. They would roar by us but help us along the way.

Moving ahead to mountain biking. I rode with the Greenlee’s Mountain Bike team back in the day and was coached by Chuck Greenlee, the owner of the shop, and head honcho of the group. I would go on their training rides with the expert riders who were nice enough to wait for me at the corners. But I had to step it up again in order to participate. I was no expert rider like those guys, but if I wanted to improve, I had to dig deep and remember being totally exhausted after all those rides on week nights. It all helped at race time but still, I was bringing the” A” game because I had to.


My Tuesday night rides, which were famous for bringing riders of all abilities to ride our local park, were eventually taken over by the expert riders who used my ride as a training ride. Eventually, the only way I could keep up was to take short cuts. Not quite bringing the” A” game but a tactic that I still use today. I still often ride with riders who are younger, stronger, more talented than me and I need to bring that” A” game week in and week out in order to participate. I remember riding with Scot Nicol, the founder of Ibis Bicycles, who is my age. I asked him, ” How long do you think we can ride like this Scot – at our age?” His response which I have recounted many times was,” Don’t even think about it, Pat.” ” Just keep riding.” I suppose he is right. I want to do this cycling thing as long as I can and if I have to be pushed by a talented group, so be it. I will be back out in Bend, Oregon in a few weeks visiting Jeff and Julie Chetlin, Tim and Barb Girone, and their posse of younger, talented riders. So hopefully, again, I won’t think about it and hope to hang on.

Finally- when I thought about this post, and the meaning of that great quote by Steve Gurtner, I also thought about it in general terms. Don’t we all have to bring our “A” game to the game of life? Sometimes we have to dig deep to be kind, considerate, generous, courteous, in these times of uncertainty? Don’t we have to bring that “A” game even when we are tired and don’t think we can keep up? If we do dig deep, it not only benefits us, but also those around us to whom we show mercy and kindness even in the midst of fatigue or despondency. Yes, most of us are the “B ” team, but if we can bring that “A” game as often as we can, life will improve in just a small way. We might not be national class and can’t change the world, but we can certainly “bring it” and help out one individual, one life, one neighborhood at a time. Thanks for reading.
ACA photo courtesy of Eric Durfee. Another “A” guy in many ways.

patmccloskey | June 22, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Categories: Aging, Bicycling, Cycling, Exercise, Health, Inspiration, Mountain Biking, outdoor activities, outdoor sports, Outdoors, recreation, trails | URL: https://wp.me/p31Q99-180
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The “B” Team Bringing Their “A” Game

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Ride To Ride Another Day

By Pat McClosky

 

You know, as the 65 year old kid ages, I think about a lot of variables that come into play while pursuing the activities we like. When you think about it, staying in shape, exercising, and getting fresh air and sunshine, especially in these days of quarantine and gradual social interaction, is key to your sanity and well being. One of the things we don’t want is to get hurt in the process.

Part of the thrill of mountain biking and skiing, for instance, is the ability to ride over obstacles and pick lines that are challenging but all within reason. Thus my saying of “ride to ride another day.” Mountain biking is a sport where you do have to keep your wits about you to successfully navigate the obstacles on the trail and concentration is key, looking ahead and not at your front wheel. Kind of like skiing in a way where you are looking down the hill and not at your tips. Looking ahead gives you better reaction time and that is compromised when you narrow the visual field. For me though, concentrating and knowing when to “send it” or not, is really important as an older rider. I don’t want to get hurt. I want to ride for exercise and not anything else. I also don’t feel a need anymore to stress myself all the time. Once in a while to test your fitness and see if you can still hang is fine. But for the most part, I want to enjoy my ride and not turn it into a death march.

One of the things that has been happening lately in my group or groups has been injuries. My one friend says he gets injured when he is tired from consecutive days of hard riding and his skills are compromised because of the fatigue. Another friend gets hurt because he is thinking about other things and not concentrating on the task at hand. Both of these guys are really good riders but are willing to take chances that I am not willing to take. Again, I ride to ride another day. I don’t want to spend my time recovering from injury. I would rather ride or ski. I tend to ski faster and better than I ride and I always make it a habit to concentrate on every turn so that I don’t catch an edge. I try to make each run a series of good turns instead of a series of high speed linked recoveries. Again, ski to ski another day. Which brings me to the point. None of us are competing in the World Cup so why not enjoy the ride instead of putting yourself in a position of potential carnage? Especially as you age. Recovery is not that easy for warriors in their 50s and 60s like my groups. I always say mountain biking is an accident waiting to happen unless you approach it conservatively. Now, there are always the cases where things happen, but you can be in some semblance of control if “you know your limitations.”

I guess I think about these things and feel a need to write down my thoughts, especially now with the need for all of us to get out and get some sunshine while we wait for things to open up safely. We all are going to have to assume some level of risk in this post Covid world if we want to live our lives to the fullest. Can’t live in a bubble forever. Be smart but live fully. But when you do, remember to “ride to ride another day.” That goes for a lot of things, not just mountain biking or skiing. Then you can drink your post ride/apres ski beer in one piece and say, ” the older I get the better I was.” Thanks for reading. Be a follower. Enter you email to the left and get a once a week post from the 65 year old kid.

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March 2020 Real Estate Market Report

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Agents within BHHS The Preferred Realty are still permitted to list and sell properties! Sellers can still sell and buyers can still buy and YES we can get to a closing. Although it may take longer depending upon whom else in the transaction is working! And 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 (like me) will help to make the transaction much more predictable. Catch up to find out more!

This is the March 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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February 2020 Real Estate Market Report

This is the February 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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Warm thoughts about climate change.

Webmasters Note: Over 20 years ago I sold my Pittsburgh home and rental properties and moved to the foothills of a speedbump to the Rockies, 7 Springs. In the following years I gained a life partner “Abe”  and a ski partner Jim “Kapper” Kapp both who lived the winter life with me in the Laurel Highlands and mountains through the world. How many MLK and Presidents weekends Kapper and I danced down the edge of corkscrew and Avalanche or bombed the Gunar chair line in fresh POW? Night excursions along the LH Trail in snowshoes or just post holing in our yard or faceplanting off the deck into feet of snow satisfied my appetite for winter. As I look out of my office window today at the brown field and blooming Roaring Run forest across from the house those snowy days are just memories from  a guy that has been looking out that window nearly every day for over 20 years. The “LET IT SNOW” sign came down this year, although it was greatly needed. I concur with Pats observations. R. Wagner

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The Global Warming/Climate Change Disappointment.
by patmccloskey

So far this winter season, I have had to chase the snow. From skiing and hiking in the rain, to heading west earlier this month, and later next month, to actually ski in some honest to goodness snow. But like I always say, I can’t be out west all of the time so I need to maximize my winters right here at home. Recent meteorological history suggests that climate change is a reality around these parts. Here in Southwest Pa, we are right on the borderline of the snow/rain events. So you really need to head north of Interstate 80 to get to snow country that so far has eluded the climate change issue. At least for now. We had that opportunity this past weekend when Janet and I ventured north to Bradford, Pa. The Icebox of Pennsylvania. I love winter and have posted about that love many times. But when you are standing on a pair of snowshoes and stopping to view and hear the gurgling of a winter mountain stream, it takes your breath away. There is complete silence in the wilds of Pennsylvania save the running water under the ice laden streams. One of the cool things about snowshoeing is that you can easily manage the trails by staying on top of the snow instead of post holing with your hiking boots. We use ski poles as well to aid in our balance and the movement among the snow covered pines and over the bridges of the streams. And if you want to go off trail and bushwhack to get to another stream or point of interest, the drifts are no match for snowshoes. I love bounding over drifts and off trail to enjoy all that the woods have to offer this time of year.

I always struggle to get the most ski days, schlepp equipment to the airport and to the ski areas, get some snowshoe days, look for snow, and in general get what I once had as a regular thing. I never had to search for winter. I grew up with it. Sled riding in the neighborhood with snow all winter. My dad built a skating rink for us in the backyard. We never had issues with weather. Winter was winter. Now we fight the weather, the rain, the sleet, and try to make the most of it outdoors. Sometimes we just have to go on the search for winter because this issue of climate change is affecting our weather down here in the banana belt and it is frankly discouraging to a winter guy like me. At the end of the season, I almost breathe a sigh of relief that the tension I put on myself is over for another year. I get mad at the forecasts, I constantly look at ski reports, I DVR ski races to ease my pain. I can vicariously root for Mikaela Shiffrin or Tommy Ford on the TV after a rain soaked ski day here in the changing weather scene. I will do whatever to enjoy the winter and that includes making things as easy as possible for my wife whose passion for the winter is not as keen as mine.

Please note that my wife calls me the Sherpa. Ang McCloskey Sherpa. Two pair of skis, two pair of boots in the pack, two helmets and goggles. She handles the poles. Full disclosure, not that she won’t carry her own stuff, she is perfectly willing. I just do it to make life easy for her and encourage her to chase the snow like me. So bottom line, I am discouraged at the local winters anymore and kind of bummed at climate change and global warming. I do what I can to help the environment in my own small way. I am a contributing member of POW ( Protect our Winters), the Jeremy Jones endeavor to lobby Washington to heed the call on climate change. I know that weather and climate have cycles over the centuries but there is something to be said about what we do to our atmosphere by way of CO2 emissions . I get it. Other countries better get it too!! Otherwise, our winter scenes, mountain streams, ski slopes, and snow clad peaks will be a distant memory for many folks. Support POW. http://www.protectourwinters.org Thanks for reading folks.

patmccloskey | February 24, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Tags: Protect our Winters.org | Categories: Exercise, Hiking, outdoor activities, outdoor sports, Outdoors, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Weather, Winter, winter sports | URL: https://wp.me/p31Q99-12P
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The Global Warming/Climate Change Disappointment.

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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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Out of Disaster Comes New Life

Out of Disaster Comes New Life

I finished a book recently which told the story of the Big Burn forest fire that occurred in 1910. Three million acres were burned in Northern Idaho, W. Montana, Eastern Washington, and parts of Southeast British Columbia. Aside from the devastation to forest land, Timothy Egan tells the story of the origins of the US Forest Service. I am always interested in seeing the backstory on things and this book tells it.   The interesting tale related was how much the sitting President, Teddy Roosevelt, had valued conservation along with his associate Gifford Pinchot. Mr. Pinchot spent his whole life dedicated to the establishment and preservation of the National Parks and National Forests under the Roosevelt and Taft administrations. Timothy Egan spins an interesting side tale on the personality of Pinchot that is  worth reading.

Egan goes on to point out that the large forest fire and the resulting inquiries into the efforts of the rangers under the US Forest Service, were combative. Similar to today’s politics, there was national interest in conservation and the support of the USFS. The  opposition saw the USFS as a waste of time and government money.  In the opposition camp, were congressmen and senators who supported large scale logging and pillaging of the American West. Roosevelt fought hard against these lobbies and along with Pinchot, who later became Governor of Pennsylvania, kept the fight for conservation alive. In the end, the Forest Service was funded handsomely by congress and the lumber lobby eventually gave its support if only to keep the potential harvest in tact.

The compelling result of the fire, establishment of the US Forest Service and final support, let to the continued development of the National Parks Service and the continued development  of the National Forests and Monuments. The difference between a National Forest and a National Park is that the National Forests encourage use by the public to include skiing, mountain biking, fishing, and other outdoor pursuits. The National Parks are somewhat limited to public use other than observation with strict regulation of activities within the Parks. A little more stringent but a different ethos in preserving the pristine environment. However, with the foresight of people like Teddy Roosevelt, and Gifford Pinchot, we have these national treasures which are available to all of us.

I have had the good fortune of visiting Yosemite National Park with my wife and son a number of years ago and along with yearly trips to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area within the Inyo National Forest and visits to the Tahoe ski areas within the Tahoe National Forest,I am always impressed with the beauty and immense wilderness that is preserved. Janet and I also make use of the Allegheny National Forest near our home here in Pennsylvania along with use of many State parks along the way.

Recently I had the great experience of riding mountain bikes in the Deschutes National Forest in Bend, Oregon and was amazed at the quality of the trails and the maintenance of miles and miles of trail systems through this national forest. A lot of this maintenance in the national forests could not happen without the efforts of volunteers who preserve and develop trail systems for multi- use.

It all came together for me when I read this book ” The Big Burn” and realized that there was a lot of time, effort and anguish, in the establishment of national land and the need for preservation and conservation facilitated by the USFS. Not every available piece of land should be deemed for development. There has to be recreational opportunities for our children and grandchildren and I am grateful that men like Pinchot and Roosevelt, back at the turn of the century, had that same vision. If you get the chance to ever visit a State Park, a National Park, or National Forest, do it. You will see how a disastrous fire back in 1910 led to the conservation efforts which have served all Americans for well over a century. Hooray for Teddy Roosevelt- Bully!!!!!

If you like my weekly musings, please enter your email to the left here and be a follower. Or scroll down all the way on your smart phone and enter there. I appreciate it.

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January 2020 Real Estate Market Report

This is the January 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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Creative Genius

Creative Genius

You don’t have to be a Picasso, or Brahms or Mozart, or even Martin Scorsese to be a creative genius in my book. Lots of my friends are really creative and can look at an opportunity, or a problem, or a riddle and figure out how to best create a solution. Perhaps the best creative genius that I knew, who was able to solve most problems and riddles, was my father. A Carnegie Tech mechanical engineering graduate, Dick McCloskey saw most things as a fun challenge. His engineering mind was always at work and he relished the opportunities to create solutions that would last. He could plumb, do electrical work, solder, and artistically create things like the treasure chest that he made me as a kid. I still have it some 55 years later and store my mountain bike maps there. My dad made us an ice skating rink in the backyard by using 2X4s as rink perimeters and a large roll of Visqueen plastic as the liner to the rink. He would fill it with water every winter and we were not allowed on it until it was completely frozen for fear the skates would cut the plastic. Many nights were spent on that rink on the back patio and it was the centerpiece for the neighborhood kids for winter entertainment.

When I first started to go to Tuckerman Ravine in the spring for the ritual of spring skiing, I needed a way to lash my skis to the external pack that I owned. My dad rigged up some aluminum tubing with some hasps and wing nuts and presto, I had a frame that allowed me to attach my skis with the boots in the bindings to the outside of the pack. Skis pointed to the sky on either side of the pack.

Interestingly, my friend Eric who lived in Vermont at the time, was faced with the same challenge and he made his supports from wood. We have laughed about that in later years as the boy from Steeltown had metal supports and the boy from Vermont had supports made exactly the same from wood. Creative genius from two different perspectives.

But the masterpiece which was created around the same time by my dad, was the ski bench that he made me and I still use some 42 years later and is featured in my blog photo here. I remember going to my dad and saying to him that I needed to have a bench now that I knew how to tune my own skis. Thanks again to my creative genius friend Eric Durfee ,who taught me everything I needed to know about tuning skis. He was also perhaps the best ski instructor I ever had but that is another story. I told my dad that I needed to have a bench using the vices that Eric had given to me and he looked those over with great thought. What popped up in his creative mind was something I would never have imagined. A door from the hardware store complete with hinges. He knew that I needed to have a place for my bindings to fit and he cut the door to the specifications of my skis allowing the bindings to rest in a cut out hole in the door between the two vice pieces. He then mounted the door on the wall of my townhouse in the garage with supports underneath either side of the horizontal door. When I was finished tuning my skis. I flipped the door up to be secured by a hasp on the wall and pushed the supports up against the wall and the whole bench was out of the way until the next time I needed to use it.

The interesting thing is I still use the bench today and as an aside, it also serves as a refrigerator in our garage for items that my wife wants to keep cold. My dad never saw that coming, but the creative genius of my wife allowed her to think about a place to keep things cold in the winter and as long as I did not get metal filings or wax in the food, she was open to storing things on my ski bench when it was not in use for it’s original intent.

I could go on and on about my dad’s creative genius. There were so many things that he made for me that we enjoyed together when I was a kid. Today people just buy things. My dad made them, and his love for creating solutions is something I will never forget. Perhaps the biggest benefit about my dad’s creativity was the chance for me to spend time with him. I cherished those moments and I think about him every time I open up that bench, heat up the iron to wax the boards, and get the file ready for the side edge tunes. My dad never skied, but he and my mother made sure my sister and I did and I am in their debt so many years later. Creative genius is more than just the solution. It is the catalyst to education and a chance for guys like me to appreciate and look back so many years later with thankfulness and love for my dad and mom. Although my creativity is on the other side of the brain, I still look back with respect and love for those who educated me with their ability to see the solution. Thanks for reading.

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December 2019 Real Estate Market Report

This is the December 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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Happiness is the first downhill run.

Breaking the Seal

So finally after waiting 8 months to ski again,( mild depression sets in on the last day of skiing no matter how much I like mountain biking), we rode up the chairlift and effectively broke the seal on the new 2019-2020 ski season. I said to the group it is like breaking a seal on a bottle of Gatorade. You take that first thirst quenching taste and then replace the cap. You feel so much better and you have done what needed to be done and experienced opening day even though the terrain was limited. Seven Springs Mountain Resort( our home area here in Western Pa) did a great job of snow making and grooming to open some nice skiing for the crowd that had been waiting patiently amid all the postings from the Ski the East group on Facebook. We were finally in the mix and proudly posted that the Springs was open for business and all is well.

Now you might ask, ” Why go up for one slope and two trails?” But my avid skiing friends all remarked in unison, ” Why not?” After a nice breakfast hosted by Seven Springs for all the season pass holders, ( which was excellent by the way), the enthusiastic crowd converged on the two chair lifts and the lines were long. But the best part was that nobody seemed to care and everyone figured that they would eventually get on the chair to take their first run of the season. Waiting in line was fine with all the “hellos” and ” how was your summer” conversations and not one person had a frown on their face or a negative word to say. We are all skiers and we are breaking the seal on the new season.

 

My friends Jaime and Melissa Thompson had been texting and giving me email updates all week on the gigantic snow whales that were forming because of the round the clock snow making . Armed with an arsenal of new HKD snow making nozzles and towers and a new 20″ main water line, Seven Springs was locked and loaded. The groomers eventually flattened the whales and the smooth groomed surface was ready for the taking. For the uninitiated, whales are huge snow piles that form in strategic areas from extended snow making. The water drains through the pile and when it is “seasoned” the pile become rubble for the groomers who smooth it over a larger area.

No matter what, your first run of the season is always exciting. From day one for me, back in 1961,  to the present day, I always cherish that first chair lift ride and that first turn down the mountain. I will always remember those first of the season outings with Bob Rose picking us up in the station wagon for the weekends in the mountains. I couldn’t wait for the phone call. My mom had dinner waiting for me when I got that call to be ready in a half hour on a Friday night. What a great way to grow up as a kid.  That excitement still is with me all these 58 years later. And although that first turn is always a little ragged. I thought to myself, “is the tuning ok or is something amiss?” But then I realize that I am in the back seat and need to get forward. Once that comfort sets in, the turns became more smooth and I realize that once again, ” I have this” and a new season begins.

Bill Boucher said it best when he stated in the lift line that it is hard to explain this enthusiasm to most people especially folks who don’t ski. But he went on to say that,” Pat, this has been such a huge part of our life and it still is.” Skiing is a lifestyle. We are not people who ski once in a while, we are skiers! It defines us, as Bill so eloquently explained. I agreed wholeheartedly as we lapped runs on the famous Wagner Bowl and Cortina Trail. Obviously we are anxious for more and as we eagerly watch the Weather Channel for upcoming favorable temperatures and snowfall, we know that to ski in Western Pa, on November the 23rd before Thanksgiving is indeed a true bonus. Yes, Utah, Tahoe and Mammoth await me and I am anxious as anyone to get this party started.

But like I always say with my pals Jaime and Melissa, ” you can’t be out west every weekend so why not enjoy what we have locally at Seven Springs and soon Laurel Mountain.

Our Laurel Highlands are most enjoyable and no matter what, as everyone said this weekend,” Why not!!” Thanks for reading.

Enter your email on the left of the page and be a follower or scroll down to the bottom of your handheld device and enter there. I like to share my viewpoints and scratch my writing itch. Hope that you all enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

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November 2019 Real Estate Market Report

This is the November 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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October 2019 Real Estate Market Report

This is the October 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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You see that Trail? Don’t take it.

” You see that trail? Don’t take it”

Please observe this picture of so called ” experts” trying to all repair a chain at a recent MTB event in West Virginia. Take a moment to take it in. Then PLEASE,PLEASE, take a moment to review this link. https://youtu.be/L6YrqZ7HZ-0 This is the opening scene from my favorite movie ” The Quiet Man” with John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Ward Bond, Barry Fitzgerald and the affable Victor McLaglan. Stop, take a moment and watch this hilarious scene where everybody’s an expert as in typical Irish fashion. Finished? Ok? Don’t skip it. You won’t get the rest of this drivel.

Now, fast forward from this iconic film from 1952 to the present day characters hovering over the good doctor’s chain down in West Virginia. Everybody involved is an expert. Initially, the issue is the Doc. His bike is used and abused as he makes a practice of riding over every log and rock pile he can and trashing his bike in the effort. He abuses himself too. How many guys fall and break their nose on the rocks only to put it back in place and keep riding? Dirty Harry’s Bike Shop always tells us that they could fix the Doc if only he would leave his bike long enough for them to do a thorough and well needed repair. Nonetheless, issues ensue and the repair is like a magnet to the confident crew of “experts”. First comes the ” Shark” who muscles his way in and takes hold of the chain and mumbles what is needed by way of a quick link which ultimately is the wrong one. Minutes, which seem like hours, roll by with the crew getting impatient to ride only to be stalled by the first attempt to quickly repair the chain.

The others, like the author here, making a funny face at the behest of our rider/photographer who laughs at the scene and makes detrimental and funny remarks about the Doc and his assistant trying to muscle the repair. The photographer’s wife here is disinterested as she longs to begin the ride so as not to put the afternoon’s activities any further behind. We are there to see the Mountain Bike World Cup Finals and the quick link issue is anything but quick.

Finally John, similar to the Barry Fitzgerald character who comes in to rescue John Wayne from the pile of Irish “experts”, brings the right link to the repair and silently and swiftly repairs the chain and the Doc is saved from further ridicule. Then the real fun begins. What trail to take? ” You see that trail over there? Don’t take it, it will do you no good.” In typical Irish fashion, the crew discusses where to go and the maps come out, the memories of the trails, and the GPS indicators which do absolutely no good in remote West Virginia. Finally the quick witted photographer and unofficial leader of the pack takes over and takes us on a repetitive route of rocks, roots, steep climbs and missed opportunities. Once again the maps come out and everybody’s an expert on where to go, and if we can ride to a place where we can take a chairlift out. The Doc takes the main group on a detour as he says he knows that the fractal group has gone ahead there. He turns left with no idea about where the “left” will take them.

Mountain bikers are funny people. Passionate in their pursuit of fitness, fun, great gear, and finally knowing how to survive and where to go on the wilderness trails which we all love. But everybody is an expert. We all think we know all the trails and don’t need maps or GPS. When we get lost, it is someone else’s fault and the resultant conversation of what trail we should have taken, fruitlessly leads us to conclusions of no consequence. The beers come out afterwards and the abuse continues with laughs, recommendations on what are better trails, and what we all will do the next time we ride together.

Newcomers are always pleasantly surprised at the variety of personalities and abilities on the rides and if nothing else, they will know that if they take the trail that they think is right, it will do them no good at all. Thanks for reading.

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September 2019 Real Estate Market Report

This is the September 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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August 2019 Real Estate Market Report

This is the August 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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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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April 2019 Real Estate Market Report

This is the April 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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March 2019 Real Estate Market Report

This is the March 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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New Deck Ideas

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2019 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

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Climate Change in Pennsylvania

Cindy Adams Dunn is PAs sixth secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Here’s an excerpt from her Jan newsletter “This past year brought historic flooding and rainfall to our state — a trend that’s predicted to continue as our climate warms. As part of our continuing efforts to address this and other impacts of climate change, DCNR published and is moving on a climate change adaptation and mitigation plan.”
One month last year I dumped our rain gauge out twice to record an unbelievable 15 inches of precipitation. No wonder our area broke past rain fall records in 2018! We love our mountains but need to remember that the water flows downhill and flooding in the Laurel Highlands was extensive.
Check with your municipalities to see what their plans are to help your property stay dry. We’ve seen some areas begin to raise taxes to make repairs and corrections due to flooding. Be informed and attend a monthly municipal meeting!

 

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CYBER SECURITY

Everyone is concerned with home security, but few realize the importance of their cyber security. Without precautions your credit and bank accounts could be severely impacted and possibly wiped out. For my real estate license renewal, I took a class in December with Robert Siciliano a sought-after expert on cyber security. I am only sharing information from a class, I am not representing myself as a financial consultant, tax advisor, or attorney. Please feel free to consult with yours before taking action.

For three hours we heard stories of how our identities could be stolen, our good credit reduced to nothing and our banks accounts emptied. The biggest recommendation was to enact a credit freeze at all four credit scoring companies (TransUnion, Equifax, Experian, and Innovis).

We have been able to do this since 2008, but no one seems to be taking advantage of this free procedure. It stops you or the bad guys from opening up any new credit lines in your name. Do not worry you can unfreeze it at any time. So, when you want to buy something (like a car or house) you ask which of the four credit companies they will be pulling your credit history from and you unfreeze those accounts for a few days and then refreeze them.

Here is the shocker, you should do this for all of your children, yes, even the baby. Mr. Siciliano shared stories of kids who were making applications for financial aid for college and their credit history was already compromised making them ineligible and setting up a huge mess to try and straighten it out. Look for his book, “Identity Theft Privacy” on Amazon (Best Selling Author recognition). To learn more here is his website for you to research, https://safre.me/.

Here are more helpful tips.

  • If you would like to see if your e-mail has been hacked go to https://haveibeenpwned.com/
  • Never pick up a thumb drive off the street and use it
  • Do not use the same password
  • Use a 2-factor authentication for all log ins; and
  • Get instant text notification of credit card purchases

Stay safe out there!

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Government Shutdown and Flood Insurance 2019

Once again Realtors are successful in standing up for home ownership rights! This from our National Realtor Association (NAR).

“Congress on Dec. 21 passed legislation that extends the National Flood Insurance Program until May 31, 2019. In an unexpected policy decision, though, FEMA on Dec. 26 said it couldn’t allow insurers to issue and renew federal policies while the partial government shutdown was ongoing. That ruling was unexpected because in past government shutdowns, FEMA continued to operate the program as authorized. NAR, along with other organizations, including the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, urged policy makers to reevaluate the decision. Congress expressed concern as well.

After discussions with NAR and other concerned entities FEMA reversed their unexpected and controversial ruling the agency released earlier this week.

FEMA and the Administration deserve credit for hearing our concerns and acting swiftly to address them,” says NAR President John Smaby. “This new decision means thousands of home sale transactions in communities across the country can go forward without interruption, as Congress intended when it renewed the flood insurance program earlier this week. Our research has shown that 40,000 home sales are lost every month that flood insurance is not available.

In a critical win for home sales while the partial shutdown of the federal government is ongoing, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will issue and renew flood insurance policies.”

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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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September 2018 Laurel Highlands Market Update

This is the September 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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August 2018 Laurel Highlands Market Update

This is the August 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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July 2018 Laurel Highlands Real Estate Market Update

This is the July 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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National Flood Insurance Program Extended

More than 129,000 REALTORS sent over 423,000 emails to Senators and members of Congress asking to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Today, that effort paid off!

Under legislation passed by the U.S. Senate today, NFIP will continue renewing or issuing new insurance for four more months. The bill, which cleared the House last week, is expected to be signed into law shortly (before tonight’s midnight deadline).

We applaud lawmakers for taking this needed action to prevent disruptions to closings in thousands of communities across the country. Now extended through November 30, 2018, the NFIP is in desperate need of reforms that will make the program solvent and sustainable in the long run. The National Association of REALTORS will continue fighting for these reforms as the next NFIP reauthorization discussions loom later this year.

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June 2018 Laurel Highlands Real Estate Report

This is the June 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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May 2018 Laurel Highlands real estate report

This is the May 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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March and 1st Quarter Market Report

This is the March 2018 and 1st Quarter 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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What it takes to be a skier in PA.

You Have To Be a Grinder

You know folks, you have to be a real grinder to be a skier in the mid-Atlantic region of our country. We had it rolling this winter with the cold that froze one of my pipes, and created great snow making weather. This coupled with the fronts steamrolling over the Great Lakes provided wonderful lake effect snow and then…………the bottom fell out. 78 degrees last Tuesday with torrential rains coming from, what the weather service calls, a once in a 100 year event. So we go into grind mode and ski in the rain, sleet and other borderline weather that results from low pressure coming up from the Gulf and a shift in the jet stream. But again, we are resilient here in the mid Atlantic/Ohio Valley/Laurel Highlands, and our enthusiasm never wanes.

Take Robert “Wags” Wagner for instance. He is shown above with his affable smile no matter what the weather is. A successful real estate broker, Wags has a real history of enthusiasm for the Laurel Highlands. http://www.laurelhighlandsliving.com wags@abeandwags.com A veteran Green Beret, a PSIA certified alpine and telemark instructor and ski patroller, Wags always looks at the bright side no matter what. He never says “die” and to his credit, he lit his sign again to hopefully bring more snow to the region. There is a lot of history to this sign which used to reside on the balcony of his girlfriend’s condo. Adrienne lived on the third floor and it was quite a task getting the sign up there. She is now Mrs. Wags. But in later years, it was reconstructed and it sits waiting to be lit every fall outside their home off of County Line Road. Now it is lit again hoping that we salvage some snow and ski weather in Western Pa. We need some help from above for some more winter weather which may return this weekend although now it is 66 degrees.

But again, you have to be a grinder here and be willing to ski in the rain, sleet and snow and faithfully get days in locally. I spend many a day driving to Laurel Mountain no matter what the weather. I even went to a snowmakers website http://www.chssnowmakers.com – Jason Sawin at jsawin@chssnowmakers.com , and purchased a pair of water proof snowmaking gloves to go with my Patagonia Pro Gore Tex bibs and parka. I am totally dry now that I have solved the issue of wet gloves. Like my friends, I will ski to the last flake especially here in Western Pa. Even if it is a soggy flake.

However, truth be told, you do have to subsidize your local days with out of town ski days, out west, or in New England. In the last two years, with the weather and all, I must confess that I have more ski days out of town than locally. My wife and I take trips with our friends and in a few weeks, I will finish off the season with the annual guys trip which this year is slated for Colorado. But like I tell people, you can’t always be out west unless you live there and we live in the mid-Atlantic so we make the best with trips and skiing the local scene no matter what.

But what is up with this weather, man? I have been hiking in this biblical rain., skiing, taking spin classes and trying to stay positive- like Wags. But it is tough when the meat of the winter is taken away by some gulf, moisture laden,sopping wet, low pressure system that seems to linger on and on. Good thing is the west is getting snow seeing that they had it a little thin early in the season. But hey, it could be worse. Just like I always say, ” Things always look darkest before they turn black.”……….. Just kidding!! Truly grateful for many things. Thanks for reading.

Go to Pats Blog for more stores about skiing, biking, and hiking in SW PA.

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The Day the Dupres Disappeared at 7 Springs

1975TrailMap

At one time we blogged on Active Rain. This was a post Abe wrote about the history of Seven Springs and how the change of ownership was removing the Dupres from the resort.

 

We recently discovered that the “Dupre” meeting room at Seven Springs has been renamed “Wintergreen” and that all of the history of the family that created Seven Springs is off the walls. In 1994 Abe wrote this story to honor “Grandma Dupre” and the family legacy. Yes, it’s long but you don’t build a resort in less than 200 words!

In Fond Memory of Helen Kress Dupre

1902-1994

… honoring the years of hard work and dedication she and her family have contributed to creating the Seven Springs we know, love and enjoy today.

Yesterday…

In 1927, Adolph Dupre was raccoon hunting with some friends from Ligonier. A moonshiner, defending his still, took a shot that came uncomfortably close to his ear. The men hightailed it out of the forest! But Adolph just couldn’t forget the magic and beauty of those woods.

Helen Kress cast her own magical spell on Adolph as they dated only three months before tying the knot! The same year they were married, he returned to the woodlands and purchased two and a half acres for thirteen dollars at a tax sale.

 Helen and Adolph made their living from forest management, producing maple syrup, building and maintaining the farm and eventually from renting the cottages they built from the land. Over 20 years, a total of 28 cottages with native stone, hand-hewn beans, slab siding and their own individual half-acre lakes were completed.

Adolph knew that the business and professional people from Pittsburgh and Greensburg (even then) needed a place to escape. Helen had her hands full with the awesome responsibility of feeding and attending to the guests. The three kids began doing chores as soon as they were able to walk! The Dupres kept reinvesting their profits into more land. Adolph was a well-known man at the Somerset courthouse.

Finn Ronne, a prominent Antarctic explorer working for Westinghouse Research, knocked on their door on winter day in 1931. He told the Dupres that he had been to Harrisburg to research records and find out where the “snowiest” place was and that this was it. He wanted permission to ski.

Adolph liked Finn so much that he built him a warming hut. Other skiers weren’t so welcomed, though. You see, the barbed wire fence that enclosed the pasture that the ski slope dumped into stayed up all year round. The skiers had to jump it or try to ski under it, often times ripping their clothes and damaging the fence. Adolph was forever mending it.

In 1935, the first mechanical rope tow, powered by a Packard Automobile engine, was installed for the skiers on Suicide Hill. They used the car wheels, without the tires, as pulleys to carry his tow. It provided smooth channels for the rope.

Twenty-seven years of backbreaking work saw tremendous growth for the homesteaders. They now boasted a club house (the Tyrol house), a ski lodge, nighttime skiing, seven rope tows, six slopes, nine trails and two tennis courts. Adolph passed away in 1955. Helen, Herman, Philip and Luitgarde pushed on with the dream.

The 60’s came with a new indulgent outlook on life. Helen never understood the hippie generation. She said. “You’ve got to have a purpose – something to work for. We’ve never had time to stop & wonder if we’re happy because there is always to much work to be done.”

And work they did. The 60’s saw the private club change to the world-famous resort. The first snowmaking system was installed, construction of the new lodge was completed and an additional 73 deluxe rooms and four executive suites had to be added.

Dining rooms were opened as well as ski shops. Seven Springs became a municipality, two lounges were opened, ski rentals were now available in the lodge and a convention hall with a seating capacity of 1.500 was added to the main lodge.

The next decade saw the opening of the 18-hole golf course, the construction of Lake Tahoe for an expanded snowmaking system and the completion of the ten-story high rise that added 313 rooms to the resort. Exhibit Hall, racquetball courts, a 3,000-foot airport runway and a new ski lodge were also constructed.

In the 80’s, Kettler Forlines was invited to become the exclusive builder developer for Seven Springs, offering resort living in condominiums and townhouse communities in Swiss Mountain and the Villages. Major expansions for skiing and snowmaking occurred, including three triple chairlifts and one quad lift that increased lift capacity in over 20,400 skiers per hour, the addition of Giant Steps, Gunnar Slope and Turtleneck Trail (a skiable terrain which exceeded 500 acres), and the opening of the Learn-To-Ski area for beginners and the installation of the NASTAR race course.

Today (1994)…

The Dupres have grown from a family of five with humble beginnings to a family employing a staff of 1,400 in the winter and more than 800 year round that services one million customers annually. The 90’s are here. Two years ago, Seven Springs celebrated its 60th anniversary. Now that Helen is gone, you may wonder what direction Seven Springs will take. Well, the visionaries are still here. The underlying belief that people want to get away from it all is still deeply imbedded in the Dupre’s philosophy.

Seven Springs is currently working with professional consulting firms in the ski and resort industries to map out plans and improvements for the next five years. They’re reviewing slope planning and development, traffic patterns, food, bar, and hotel services as well as other amenities that may be up and coming. As the builder/developer for Seven Springs, we have agreed that a goal of 40 new homes a year is in line with their game plan.

This year alone you will see improvements totaling in excess of three million dollars at the resort. The indoor swimming pool has a new look from ground up, the hotel lobby has been renovated and new carpeting will appear in many of the lounges, restaurants and meeting rooms. New interior signage has been added, a state-of-the-art bowling alley is up and running (AMF AccuScore automatic scoring machines that speaks ten languages!) and the golf course has a new Verticut mowing unit and a computerized irrigation system. Hair Expressions is expanding and providing additional services, “Calasis at the Springs” will offer facials, pedicures and waxing (look for special discounts for homeowners!) and a new fly fisherman’s club (catch and release) is forming for 1995.

Family fun and adventures are prominent in Seven Springs’ future. Activities for your family in the summer include bonfires with cookouts and hayrides, horseback riding, mountain biking, volleyball, racquetball, golfing, tennis, shuffleboard, bocci, Alpine slide, bowling, swimming and miniature golf.

For the children, Kid’s Korner offers child care services seven days a week for kids that are of walking age of older. Then there is Kid’s Kamp that features sporting events, nature studies, arts & crafts, hayrides, picnics, fishing and indoor and outdoor games for ages 5-12. Lunch and snacks are provided as well as half and full day sessions. Three and five day packages are also available

Festivals have become a real crowd pleaser over the last few years. Mark your calendars for the Wine & Food Festival, Autumnfest/Open Houses, Polkafest and the newest, the Laurel Arts Jazz Festival. It features three days of jazz from Brazilian to BeBop. Day, evening, and weekend passes are available.

Tomorrow…

Twelve years later the resort is sold to the Nutting Family ending the Dupre’s 74 year dream. Family to family, growth and progress continue.

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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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December and 2017 Real Estate Market Report

This is the December and all of 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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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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September 2017 Real Estate Market Report

This is the September 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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The Oldest Guy by Pat McCloskey

The Oldest Guy

by patmccloskey

 

” Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming,” Wow! WHAT A RIDE!”

-Hunter S. Thompson

I have also heard this with the ending, ” missing parts, leaking oil and screaming “Geronimo.” I always subscribe to this way of living because I like adventure, travel and experiences in my own way. However, due to a series of events recently, I have had some thoughts that question my verve. Some of this began a couple of weeks ago when I was discovering that I was the oldest guy on the mountain bike rides. I really should not let that bother me but with the death of my brother in law at 61, and some other news of contemporaries who have had their troubles, I began to question my lifestyle as I march quickly towards 63. Sometimes, I feel like I am in an out of control vehicle and can’t stand on the brakes hard enough. Life is screaming by.

Then God plops me down right in the middle of Somerset county in an old barn for Biff Swager’s 65th birthday party( Is that the greatest name in the world?……Biff Swager!!!). Biff’s wonderful wife Annie organized the surprise party and all the old ski crowd came out in force. The food was wonderful, the band was GREAT, and the group danced their asses off( no other good way to put it), yes they danced their asses off and the joy of life was in full swing. Sue Baum Treacy summed it up best when she marveled at the group and vowed that we all have to get together this winter and ski because that is what brought us all together as kids in the first place. She and her husband John walk the walk by recently retiring and hopping on the back of their motorcycle, touring the west.

So, that was a real shot in the arm and dispelled any thoughts about age when I saw my group of contemporaries really enjoying each other’s company and killing it on the dance floor- of an old barn. Even Herman Dupre who is in his 80s, said he has so much work to do, he wants to live until he is 124. His wife Sis said “I will give him 100 from me and that is it.” We all laughed and as I drove off into the night, I thought what a great group and a great reason to keep living life as large as possible. You don’t have to climb Everest or do something outrageous to be adventurous. For me, taking that first ski turn down a chute out West, or rolling over a giant boulder field in West Virginia on the MTB is adventurous. Just have a positive attitude and engage in new ventures. The joy of a bike ride in cool fall weather can garner the same feeling of adventure that Jimmy Chin feels on a mountain peak. Not as dramatic, not as bold, but still relatively speaking, a personal adventure. Do what you can but like NIKE says…………just do it!!!

I remember asking Scot Nicol, the founder of IBIS Bicycles, one time on a ride,” how long do you think we can keep riding mountain bikes like this Scot?” He looked at me and said, ” Pat- don’t even think about it. Just keep riding.” This is sage advice from a Californian who really enjoys what he does. But what else dispels those internal thoughts that say, ” you are 63- who are you kidding?” Besides the joy of a ski turn and the beauty of the mountains, and the fitness created by riding a mountain bike, there are things that define self worth. The love of a spouse, the caring for friends, volunteering, being there for a cause, and spreading the good word of the Kingdom. True self worth is nothing more that knowing you are loved by the Good Lord. We are so blessed. It is incumbent upon all of us to care for each other, one person at a time, one neighborhood at a time. Make the effort folks, because as I have recently seen, life is fragile and we need to make the most of every moment. The time that is spent with your family and friends is so valuable. Sometimes you don’t realize it until someone is gone.

I know where I am going someday. But in the mean time, I will definitely leak oil, skid broadside in a cloud of smoke, and live life with that promise ahead of me. Who cares if I am the oldest guy? Thanks for reading.

patmccloskey

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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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The Bike and Box Turtle by Pat McClosky

So, I am pounding up the Bathtub Trail, kind of clearing my head on a solo mountain bike ride this week and I come upon a box turtle right in the middle of the trail. I did something unusual- I stopped. I checked him out and marveled at the way the color of his shell blended in with the rapidly changing leaves all around me. I looked at the texture of his shell and thought to myself, what a wonderful Creator who weaved this beautiful ecosystem we have to enjoy right in my own county park. As I made my way up the trail, I noticed the diversity of the leaves that were beginning to cover the ground. Flaming red maple leaves, brilliant yellow oak leaves, multicolored ash, chestnut, and other species of deciduous trees that spread their foliage like a patchwork blanket before me. Fall has arrived and I am contentedly happy.

Usually I try to ride for a good workout and push myself, even on solo rides. But this day was reserved for more pleasant riding, kind of like mobilized hiking enjoying the natural world all around me. At this time of year, the trails are usually dry and you can pretty much ride as fast as you can and feel “in the zone” as you rail the corners and pound up the hills. This is the time when most of us are in peak shape and the euphoria that you feel after a fast paced ride is intoxicating. But, there are days in the fall when I like to just ride the bike for relaxed transportation in a world that is peaceful, welcoming, and shelters you from the pressures of the real world. The changing leaves are all around and along with the shorter evenings, the cooler temperatures, and the smell of the tannin in the leaves displays something that Western Pa. has in it’s bag of tricks to entice travelers and natives alike. If you are out in it, close your eyes and take a deep breath of that musty, woodsy, cool air into your lungs. Only at this time of year does it smell like that. Summer fragrances, winter blasts of cold air,spring evening smells, are all good eye closing intakes, but the fall air is the best.

The mountain trails in our Laurel Highlands are coming alive with color, and arm warmers, vests, tights, are all practical wear as the cooler temperatures welcome in the coming winter season.

But back to the box turtle. Instead of using him as a speed bump, I took the time to examine him and notice how he fits in. The diversity of the changing flora seem to welcome him as part of their patchwork of color. The buck are starting to surface and as they stare at you with their fully grown racks, they are part of this diversified animal kingdom that makes up the forest in the mountains and parks of Western Pa. Turkey, grouse, groundhogs, raccoons, birds of all species, including the majestic osprey and red tail hawk, are busy preparing for the long winter ahead. Bald eagles are visible in the mountains and their wingspans continually amaze me as I stop to take in their flight pattern in the ridges to the east. I see open chestnut pods releasing their treasure to the scurrying squirrels and chipmunks. Acorns,and seeds of all kinds are being scooped up by very busy little rodents who take great chances using the trails full of hikers and mountain bikers. The come perilously close to losing their life as they dodge the knobby tires of the many bikes on the trails.

But as my mind wandered, I thought about how all of this fits together. The trees, the leaves, the animals, all form the ecosystem that we call the forest. As I ride along, not in anaerobic debt, I take in the smells, the sounds, and the sights of a changing natural world. Yet it is one entity created out of a patchwork of diversity. Kind of makes you think doesn’t it? Enjoy the fall. Thanks for reading.

patmccloskey | September 28, 2017 at 11:41 am | Tags: Laurel Highlands | Categories: American Culture, Bicycling, Culture, Cycling, Diversity, Environment, Faith, Inspiration, Mountain Biking, outdoor activities, outdoor sports, Outdoors, recreation, trails | URL: http://wp.me/p31Q99-QP

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August 2017 Laurel Highlands Real Estate Market Report

This is the August 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.

Play VisualTour
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A Natural Cause by Pat McCloskey


Go to Pat’s blog for the story with photos
A Natural Cause
by patmccloskey

A number of years ago, my wife Janet and I were strolling through Sausalito, California when we came upon a gallery featuring the art works of Grace Slick. Now, I was a huge fan of the Jefferson Airplane when I was younger and Grace fronted the band with her sultry yet powerful voice. I was pleasantly surprised to see that she was also a very talented painter held in great esteem in the Bay Area. People surprise you. Not that you think they are not capable, but it is a pleasant surprise to see folks from one genre of accomplishment, move into another with relative ease. Case in point- my friend Angelo Ross.
I first met Angelo while we both were ski instructors and he was making his way up the PSIA ladder to his current position as a Development Team member of the Educational Staff. Angelo always took ski instruction seriously along with his main line of work as an Environmental Science teacher at Greensburg Salem High School here in Western Pa. I also ride mountain bikes with Angelo and on a recent trip to West Virginia, he told me about yet another passion that has turned into a very interesting business.
You see, Angelo is a talented artist whose work has developed over the years and now is featured on athletic and casual wear.
The story goes that Angelo became acquainted with the equally talented folks at Commonwealth Press in Pittsburgh who saw the value of his work and mentioned to him that they should begin the process of marketing Angelo’s art work on casual and athletic wear. Thus was the birth of http://www.naturalcause.org One of the interesting things about this is that Angelo is marketing his art work through the medium of clothing, but he has another cause in mind besides pure mercantilism. You see, he lives Environmental Science – his passion, and therefore is dedicated to furthering the goals of local environmental causes like the Youghiogheny Defense Fund. This is part of the Mountain Watershed Project http://www.mtwatershed.com which preserves the environmental integrity of the Youghiogheny River among other waterways in our region. Whitewater rafting and fishing are prominent in these waterways and Angelo is dedicated to preserving these for generations to come. A portion of all proceeds that he generates through Natural Cause goes to organizations like these. Another cause for his generosity and passion is the Mt. Davis Challenge bicycle race, run in conjunction with the Confluence Tourism Association which promotes recreational activity in the Laurel Highlands. Jim Sota runs the event and it has been a successful race for many years. Angelo supports the cause. The man walks the walk and does not just talk the talk.
I am continually amazed by people. You know them through one area of your life and then you realize that there is much more to this person than you thought. People have abilities that cross over in their lives and it is refreshing to see that a young guy who you know from skiing and mountain biking has such a passion and such a talent and that he is creative enough to market it and donate to causes that reflect his passion.
I love hearing the stories like Natural Cause. I like to hear how they were created and how the business is doing. There is a lot of negativity swirling around these days and I make it my business to always be positive and encouraging. It is great when I see positive attitude and generosity come from others like Angelo. Natural Cause is a breath of fresh air to our local environmental causes and I hope that you all will go to his website http://www.naturalcause.org, view Angelo’s art work, and order some product. You can wear it with pride knowing that your money has been well spent and that the beneficiary of your generosity are the watersheds, trails, and events that make our region so special. Well done Angelo Ross!!! Thanks for reading.
patmccloskey | July 27, 2017 at 11:59 am | Tags: Mt. Davis Challenge, www.mtwatershed.com, www.naturalcause.org, Youghiogheny River | Categories: American Culture, Art, Bicycling, Culture, Cycling, Education, Environment, Friendship, Hobbies, Inspiration, Mountain Biking, outdoor activities, outdoor sports, Outdoors, Pittsburgh, recreation, trails | URL: http://wp.me/p31Q99-Po

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Hidden Valley Mountain Metric

This is a mountain bike “ride” through the Laurel Highlands on July 15! Options include a metric century (100 km/63 miles), a half metric century (50 km/32 miles), and a free shorter option for casual riders and families. Ride is fully supported and includes 6 categorized climbs!  Get your climb on, get out of the oppressive heat of the city and come enjoy the Laurel Highlands with your friends and family! Here’s the link for registration and more details!

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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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Bridge Replacements!!

PLAN NOW!! The last two *bridges* on the picture are the ones back to back on County Line Road by and just above Somerset Trust. If you stop in at the Saltlick Township office you can see the maps outlining the new one way traffic patterns!! The Rapid Bridge Replacement Project will eventually see 588 structurally deficient bridges in PA replaced. For those of us headed to Seven Springs this will mean ONE LANE traffic! There are alternative routes. Catch up with us for some other options!

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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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Keystone Balance

bobs-balance

Searching for some local artwork for the master bedroom I came across these photos of stone balances and was pleasantly surprised that they were the talent and photographic skills of old ice and rock climbing friend Tim Anderson. Tim had been restricted from the climbing world due to a shoulder injury and found he had this unique talent for stone structures and balance. These balances use unaltered stone, local rock, no glue, and are destroyed once the photo is taken. Some are so delicate of a balance the slightest breeze can knock them over. You may find Tim in one of the many local streams and locals in the Laurel Highlands. He has travelled to festivals all over the world to exhibit his unique talent. Go to his website www.KeystoneBalance.com for more.

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Laurel Mountain scheduled to open

Excerpts from recent article in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

“Finally, Laurel Mountain will be open this year for skiing. It’s finally going to happen — that’s been the feeling around here,” Buchan said.

The resort atop Laurel Mountain, along Westmoreland’s border with Somerset County, closed at the end of the 2004-05 ski season. Seven Springs signed a 10-year lease with the state in 2008 to operate the Laurel Mountain slopes.

On Friday, workers were making progress on the ski lodge after the resort was infused with $6.5 million from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Buchan said the upgrades include a modern ski lift, significant improvements to the trails, snow-making equipment and nearly double the snow-making capacity from a new pond with a 27 million-gallon capacity.

Ligonier Construction Co. in Laughlintown was awarded the $5.158 million general construction contract. Merit Electrical Group in Oakmont received a $369,800 contract.

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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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Abe and Wags 5 Star Professionals for Pittsburgh 2016

realtor-logo

Abe and Wags Wagner have been selected as 5 Star Professions in the Real estate Industry again for 2016. They have been selected every year since the award was started in 2011. Five Star Professional surveyed Pittsburgh area residents who purchased a home price more than $150,000 within a 6-month period from June to November 2015. The final list of Agents represent less than 5% of the agents in the Pittsburgh area and they are the only agents selected that specialize in the Laurel Highlands.

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Family Fun at our Local State Parks Feb 19-21

Family Fun at our Local State Parks Feb 19-21

If you are looking for something different to do consider visiting Laurel Hill, Laurel Ridge, or Kooser State Parks over the weekend of the 19th to the 21st! Activities may include horse drawn sleigh rides, hillbilly curling, sled dog demonstrations, live music, snowman/snow sculpture contest, and outhouse dash, guided cross-country skiing and snowshoeing (equipment available), sledding under the lights and more! 814-445-7725

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Bridge Replacement on County Line Road

Heads up!! Bids just went out for BOTH bridges on County Line Road through the PA Rapid Bridge Replacement site! Here’s a link to the site that talks about how the RBR was created. These are the two bridges you cross if you are going to 7 Springs from Champion. They are in the first 100 yards of County Line Road after east of Route 711.

The first bridge on the schedule is the second bridge before the big curve. This project is referred to as Bridge 498. The calendar shows a start time of May 2016 through April 2017

The second bridge to be replaced is the one right after you make the turn on to County Line Road to head to Seven Springs. It crosses over Indian Creek right by the ICV Trail. This project is referred to as Bridge 497. Start date on this one, Aug 2016 to May 2017.

From my conversations with the project manager there will be temporary lights installed to handle the traffic flow. Stay tuned as we’ll be updating the process. You may want to become familiar with some of our back roads!

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Updates to 7 Springs ski slopes

7 Springs Snowmaking

This is excerpts of a November 15 PG article by Larry Fine. 7 Springs purchased 4 Pisten Bully ParkPro snow groomers and 5 HKD SV 10 Impulse snowmaking tower at the top of North Face. Snow Boarding magazine rated the Spot as the 2 best boarding area on the East Coast. They have created an Uphill Ski Access program from 7 to 9AM for skiers who want to skin up the slopes. They are also opening the Highlands Market on County Line Road just outside of the main entrance. It will have seating for 30, offer house made food, a large craft beer selection, and grocery. Foggy Brews on the second floor of the base lodge will be open every day during ski season.

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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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Bids out for Laurel Mt. Ski Area

Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, 10:51 p.m.

Bids for general and electrical construction contracts at the Laurel Mountain ski area have been opened and are under review by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Five companies submitted bids for the general construction proposal, which carried a cost estimate of $1 million to $5 million. The work includes demolition and replacement of one chair lift; site clearing and tree removal; improvements to snow-making, water storage, pumping and distribution; upgrades to electrical service and regrading of ski trails.

Six companies submitted bids for the electrical construction proposal, which had a cost estimate of $500,000 to $1 million. That portion of the project includes supplying and installing exhaust fans, site electrical upgrades, electrical work for a ski lift and trail lighting.

“Our goal is to award the winning bid and notify within a week,” barring any questions about the submissions, said Terry Brady, deputy press secretary for the department.

Laurel Mountain Ski Resort opened in 1939 for Rolling Rock Club members. In 1964, the property was given to the state with the stipulation that no summertime activities would take place there and no lodging would be built.

The resort closed from 1989 to 1999, then reopened and closed several times between 1999 and 2005 because of mild winters and financial problems. In 2008, Seven Springs Mountain Resort signed a 10-year lease to operate the site as a concession.

For general construction, the apparent low bidders and their three base bid amounts are:

• Ligonier Construction Inc., $4,623,000; $5,048,000; $5,158,000

• A. Merante Contracting, $4,897,711; $5,117,711; $5,240,711

• James T. O’Hara Inc., $5,670,000; $5,990,000; $6,170,000

• Clearwater Construction Inc., $5,805,000; $6,150,000; $6,425,000

•CH&D Enterprises, $9,747,117; $10,066,530; $10,386,500

For electrical construction, the apparent low bidders and first two base bid amounts are:

• Merit Electrical Group, $353,000;

• Mashan Inc., $399,900;

• Westmoreland Electric, $449,000;

• TSB Inc. doing business as Schultheis Electric, $494,200;

• David W. Jones Co., $546,700;

• Power Contracting Co., $587,149

The amounts for the companies’ third base bids are:

• Merit Electrical Group, $369,800

• Mashan Inc., $429,500

• Westmoreland Electric, $471,000

• TSB Inc. doing business as Schultheis Electric, $518,500

• David W. Jones Company, $585,700

• Power Contracting Co., $614,600

Both sets of bid results were to be opened Aug. 6, but the general construction bid opening was delayed because of last minute fine-tuning of the proposal’s wording, Brady said. The department didn’t immediately award the electrical construction contract because it wanted to award contracts for both portions of the project at the same time, he said.

Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or nchynoweth@tribweb.com.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/8937738-74/construction-electrical-inc#ixzz3m6qtBEJi
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

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7 Springs Rib and Wing Festival July 24-26

RibandWing

Join us at the annual Rib and Wing festival with plenty of vendors and entertainers at 7 Springs Resort July 24-26. Here is a list and description of the food providers and entertainers.

Armadillo’s BBQ and Rib Company

Over 160 culinary awards, including Best Ribs & Sauce in America, reaffirm Armadillo’s BBQ and Rib Company’s dedication to bring you the very best. Our mobile equipment is state of the art yielding perfect barbecue every time. Weather it is a Big Texas style barbecue, a quaint little steak dinner, or everything in between; “It’s Available.”

Armadillo’s BBQ and Rib Company is the 2006/2007 Pro Football Hall of Fame Grand Champion for the Most Outstanding Ribs and BBQ Sauce. Along with our 160 Awards we were crowned Grand Champion of the Columbus Ribs and Jazz Festival 2006 and Grand Champion BBQ Sauce in the Great West Virginia Rib Cook Off “Huntington 2004, 2005 & 2006″ “Best Ribs 2004 and 2005″ plus many more!

Butch’s Smack Your Lips BBQ

Basting mop clenched in one fist, steering wheel in the other, rolling cooking pit rattling behind, Butch Lupinetti is back on the road. His destination could be Chicago, Minneapolis, Cedar Rapids or anyplace in between. But the outcome will never change. Butch will pour sweat for 20 hours a day, standing in a cloud of wood smoke, exquisitely charring tons of pork ribs, beef briskets and chickens. When it’s over he’ll be loaded and rolling again; very likely with a huge trophy and a check.

Nationally Butch has been repeatedly recognized as one of America’s great barbecue chefs. Butch has been actively competing in competitions since 1992. He has won over 400 awards, including a Grand Champion win for the State of New Jersey – a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned event, the Jack Daniels Invitational BBQ and The Best In The West Cook-Off in Sparks, Nevada, the super bowl of barbecue competition events, just to name a few. During those events, his sauce has won 1st place in contests such as the Great America Rib Cook-Off contest held in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2014, Butch’s Smack Your Lips BBQ won Best Ribs, Best Sauce and People’s Choice awards at the Seven Springs Rib & Wing Festival.

Pigfoot BBQ

Pigfoot BBQ Co. is owned by Jerry and Debbie Gibson. They started competing in Rib Cook-Offs in 1982 in Cleveland, Ohio at the National Rib Cook-Off, which was the first Rib Cook-Off as we know them now. Jerry and Debbie began competing professionally in 1989 and have traveled the country from Florida to Toronto, as far west as St. Louis and as far east as Boston.

Along the way they have won over 250 Awards for Best Ribs and Sauce. Including seven time winner of the People’s Choice Award in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Best Ribs and Sauce National Ribfest, Naperville, Illinois; Peoples Choice Greatest Ribs in America, Cleveland, Ohio; Best Sauce and Ribs Twin Cities Ribfest; Best Ribs in Ohio six years straight and many more awards.

Smokin Joe’s Hog Wild Barbecue

Joe is a “barbequer” by choice. He loves the art of barbeque.

Joe retired from the State of Ohio in April 2003 with 30 years of service in the Food Service Department at the Richland Correctional Institution and started his business in June of the same year. Operating a barbeque business has always been what Joe wanted to do in retirement, and now he is “Living the Dream!” Smokin Joe’s Hog Wild Barbecue has participated in rib cook-offs in seven states: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and West Virginia. Our proudest award was Best Sauce in 2008 at the Naperville, IL Ribfest, notably the largest cook-off in the Midwest. We have won over 100 awards during the past eight years including: Best Ribs, Best Sauce, Best Brisket, and Best Beans in the Midwest.

Randita’s Food Truck

Randita’s is an all-vegan cafe serving organic, healthful, and delicious plant-based food. In addition to our restaurants in Aspinwall and Saxonburg, our mobile food trailer and catering services are available to provide your next special event with food that is good for you and good for the planet.

About The Rib & Wing Festival Entertainment

Martyr Kanin

Martyr Kanin fans run deep. They’ve compared Martyr Kanin to everything from an acoustic version of the Counting Crows to the mellow stylings of David Grey to Bob Segar to Jack Johnson. It’s tough to classify Martyr Kanin’s music as a specific genre: their plethora of originals can be anything from driving and daring to soulful and heartfelt. They also love to entertain crowds with their own versions of everything from Bon Jovi to Michael Jackson to John Denver.

NOMAD

North Of Mason Dixon, aka NOMaD, made a tremendous splash on the regional country scene in late 2004 after placing third in a highly publicized, country showdown competition; Since then, this steadily climbing, beyond high energy act has garnered a great deal of success and shows no signs of slowing down.

Opening for national acts like Brooks and Dunn, Toby Keith, and Rascal Flatts (to name a few), being solicited by several tourists destinations such as Ocean City, MD and the Poconos, having performed as a featured artist at some of the areas biggest events and venues (Dollar Bank Jamboree, Post Gazette Pavilion, and the Pepsi-Cola Roadhouse), and performing for such organizations as the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Penguins, this Pittsburgh based band delivers a refreshing and unique sound they call “Hard Rockin’ Modern Country” that defies any other description.

Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers

From the Iron City Houserockers of 1979 to the current incarnation of The Houserockers, this band has always been one of America’s hardest working rock and roll bands. A Rolling Stone review once echoed the words “they are up there with Springsteen, Petty and Seger”. Pretty good company, don’t you think?! From Love’s So Tough to A Good Life, the band has changed but the music remains true to their Pittsburgh, Steeltown roots! Hard edged, rock and roll with fine lyrics from the ringmaster, Mr. Joe Grushecky. More than just a “bar band”, a Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers show is one of the best shows you will see, hands down! And here are the guys that are currently making it happen.

Shot O’ Soul

Formed in Feb 2008, Shot O’ Soul has evolved into one of the top blues bands in the Pittsburgh area. Shot O’ Soul has headlined some of the best stages in the area including Moondogs, Cefalo’s, The Baltimore House, Baja Bar at Fox Chapel Yacht Club, Sharpsburg Guyasuta Days, Millvale Days, Etna Community Park, and various private clubs and charity events. Shot O’ Soul placed 3rd in the 2009 Pittsburgh City Paper Best of the Burgh readers poll in the category of Best Blues Band. A real achievement after so little time on the local scene and a testimony to the enjoyment that Shot O’ Soul brings to it’s audiences! Now featuring it’s most talented lineup since it’s formation, Shot O’ Soul are ready to make their mark on the local Pittsburgh live music scene. This band, fronted by it’s 2 outstanding male and female vocalists and an excellent song selection of original songs and classic favorites, is giving Pittsburgh music fans the best 1-2 vocal punch in the area! Come on out and see for yourself why “everything in life needs a Shot O’ Soul”.

Bo’Hog Brothers

Over its 20 year history, the band got their blues education playing in the Steel City’s smoky bars and still performs up to 100 shows a year. The most recent lineup of the band features the unpredictable Gregg Krupa on guitar, with his ever changing interpretations of the music, and the incredibly musical and creative play of Sudden Steve Binsberger on piano and organ. Hank Raffetto and Nick Crano complete the band with a rhythm section that has worked together for 10 years.

Junction PA

In the early 1970’s six young men came to a small western Pennsylvania town to attend Grove City College. They formed a musical group there that became the most sought after band on that campus.

The band members came from different geographical locations and diverse walks of life. By the time the members met, each had groomed different musical styles. Yet, during their first practices it became apparent that they were developing an unusual chemistry and a unique sound. As one record company exec later stated, “they don’t sound like anybody else!” As they continued working on their original material they sensed that something special was being created. The fusion of their different backgrounds and musical genres became in effect .. different roads leading to this one place. Thus, the band was appropriately named Junction Pa.

Over the years they remained close, occasionally getting together to play some of the songs they had recorded as well as trying out some new ones to see what their combined efforts might generate. In 2011 these “jam” sessions came to full fruition as four of the original members met together to record some of this new material. They also began touring again showcasing their signature vocals/harmony on these outstanding original songs.

The Brighton Boys

The Brighton Boys have been playing around the Beaver County and Pittsburgh area for three years. Since starting as a lounge band at restaurants, they have gone on the share the stage with big names like Donnie Iris and The Cruisers, and play venues such as Stage AE, Mr. Smalls, The Altar Bar and Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. They have built up their credibility as one of the top bands in the region. Their sound combines classic songs with a new fresh style that is popular today.

Walk of Shame

Walk of Shame, based out of Pittsburgh, PA, plays a great mix of “bar/party” rock and is committed to playing all of your favorite songs to sing, dance, and drink along to.

It’s not uncommon to hear “Timber” followed by “Sweet Child of Mine” at a WoS show! The guys try to give something to everyone, and always take requests. Venues like working with the band because of their willingness to play whatever the patrons want to hear. The commitment to forging long-term relationships with places is what has made WoS one of the most sought after bands across the country.

Sydney Hutchko

Sydney has given music a lifetime of dedication, from her classical music education that put her on stage with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Pittsburgh Opera to stints as a Music Row intern while attending Nashville’s Belmont University. While at Belmont, she put a band together, playing shows in Nashville and in the tri-state—Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia area. She threw herself into interning opportunities, including McGhee Entertainment, whose legendary management roster ranges from Darius Rucker to KISS.

In return, she’s already seen the kind of success few singers fresh out of college could even dream of. She has opened for Miranda Lambert, Florida Georgia Line, Brett Eldredge, Charlie Daniels and the legendary George Jones; performed on the long-running Wheeling Jamboree; and spent 22 weeks on the MediaBase country chart with her single “Southern Curves.”

The hard work that ties it all together has her poised for a breakthrough. She continues to shine on stage, both as a headliner and in support of country’s biggest stars.

Chris Higbee

Chris Higbee has a passion for country music. He is a complete musical artist skilled in fiddle playing, singing, song writing, and playing various other instruments. Chris’ passion is deeply felt by anyone listening to his work or partaking in a live performance. Chris’ performance energy is so infectious it has been known to convert the most stubborn non-country music fan into HigBillies, the self-named fan base of Chris Higbee. His performances always draw a large and committed crowd.

Shake, Shake, Shake

A marquee value band who took time off this year to rebuild and reinvent themselves around founder/drummer extraordinaire, Justin Betz. With an extensive talent search, he found the incredibly talented frontman, fresh face, Tim Carty. He has all the moves of today’s pop stars and takes the lead on stage to pump up audiences with his star power and passionate vocals. Shake Shake Shake is back with their best lineup to date.

Scott Blasey

Scott started playing music in 1986 with three guys named Rob, Greg, and Dave. We formed the Clarks at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where we were honored as “Distinguished Alumni” in 2004, and spent the last twenty years traveling around the country preaching our brand of rock-n-roll salvation. We sold a bunch of records, toured with some big names, and played on Letterman. We’re hugely popular in our hometown of Pittsburgh and still play about 80 shows a year all over the U.S.A. – from DC to LA, and Appleton to Austin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Marinades for Dinner and More

This venue is quickly becoming a favorite for its Sunday Brunch and Dinner. Fresh ideas and homemade food each week pleasing your appetite for good home style cooking and atmosphere at very reasonable prices. Always casual and BYOB. Open for events and every Sunday for Brunch from 10-3 and Dinner from 3-8. Events, catering, weddings, celebrations, and planning made easy for you at our location or yours. Seating up to 125. Outdoor pavilion. Bed and Breakfast rooms available, up to 8 for events. View the WEBSITE for catering ideas and events open to anyone who likes to have fun! Located at 327 Mt. View Road, Donegal, PA 15628  724-221-5793  www.marinadesgrill.com.

Directions: From Turnpike exit 9 go east on Route 31 1 mile, turn right on Mt. View at the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices office, go about 1 mile, on right.

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Nemacolin 5 Alarm Chili Cook-off June 13, 2015

Nemacolin Chili Cookoff

Compete in the Restaurant Division of Nemacolin’s annual Five Alarm Mountain Madness Chili Cook-off

Have you been told that your restaurant has the BEST chili? PROVE IT by registering for the Restaurant Division at Nemacolin’s 6th Annual Five Alarm Mountain Madness Chili Cook-Off! Winner will receive Bragging Rights, an Award Plaque and a One-Night Nemacolin Stay with $150 in Resort Spending Credits. For more information, contact Ashli Mazer-Workman by email or by phone at 724-329-6387.

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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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Trillium Time!

For those of you who follow our BLOG you know how much we love the Indian Creek Valley (ICV) Bike and Hike Trail. Most of you will easily find it because it is located across from the Somerset Trust Bank on County Line Road (Please, only use their parking when they are closed). Although there are multiple sections with each one having its own unique characteristics, including FLOWERS! One of our personal favorites is the Trillium and this weekend they will be blooming for all to see! Check out the ICV website!

 

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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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Back on the Road Again

Enjoy the Ride

by Pat McCloskey

It is mud season now. April showers bring May flowers but for mountain bikers, it is a time for us to wait until the trails are dry so we don’t trash them for the rest of the summer. I bring out my road bike and begin the long process of trying to get in shape after a winter of maintenance trail running, snowshoeing and skiing. I can always ride in the rain on the road bike because I am used to the drill. If you don’t ride in the rain in Pittsburgh, you don’t ride much in the spring. Trust me, as I get older, the process gets a little harder but I am dealing with it in a more mature way which I will discuss in a short. Suffice to say, I don’t blast out of the parking lot these days. I ease on down the road. As I meander on the country roads north of my house, I think back to the painful rides at this time of the year when I raced a road bike. It was always a chore to try to get in shape so that you didn’t get dropped on a training ride or in a race. You had to scramble just to be able to ride with your friends. As I daydream on my current rides, I think back to when I used to meet Art Bonavoglia, Frank Habay, and George Sagan up on Saxonburg Boulevard waiting for a crew to come up out of Shadyside in Pittsburgh. I slowly dragged my sorry butt out of bed and made my way to the meeting point where George, Art, Frank and I waited for the freight train that was coming. Scott Dismukes, a former track cyclist- strong as hell, Bob Gottlieb- Cat 2 rider of local fame, Barb Katzenburg-national class road racer, and Mike Alex- PHD candidate in Electrical Engineering at CMU riding a mountain bike with slick tires. These guys could ride and when they came roaring up the road, you better be warmed up and ready to jump on the pace line or you were history. I would see them in the distance and sigh to my friends,” Here they come.” The pain began. The destination was always Lake Arthur up in Butler County. These are beautiful country roads here in Pennsylvania but all I saw on those rides was the backside of someone faster than me in the paceline. As we exchanged pulls, ( mine were always the shortest), we made our way through pastoral fields and dairy farms. Virtually no traffic which made the ride as pleasant as it could be but the pace increased with each country mile. By the time I got to Prospect, Pa with a stop at the country store to reload on food, I was exhausted. I can remember laying on the sidewalk jamming Fig Newtons in my face and washing it down with Gatorade as fast as I could swallow. I looked at Mike Alex and said,” How the hell do you ride that fast on a mountain bike?” He said the slick tires helped but he was only being humble. I looked at Art, Frank and George and said, ” How am I going to make it back?” But I always managed it somehow. Fig Newtons and bananas were the Cliff Bars and Power Bars of the day. That type of energy food was not available yet. The Newtons and the bananas generally did the trick but when I pulled into my townhouse I was totally gassed. The killer crew left me and roared back to Shadyside logging in excess of 100 miles.

As I come back from my daydream on my road rides now, I am usually alone. I think back to that far away time in a galaxy far, far away. Painful spring rides, wool jerseys, leather hair nets, toe clips and cleats, downtube shifters, and steel road frames. Today I ease into my spring road rides. The equipment is lighter, smoother shifting, and carbon fiber rides a lot more comfortable than Reynolds tubing, although there is something to be said for the classic steel frame. I don’t stress myself. I don’t need to train. If a hill comes, I shift down and noodle up until I reach the top. I don’t have to do what Mac Martin used to tell me. ” Take it out of park McCloskey, and when you reach the top of the hill, don’t just coast- put the hammer down because your competition will be coasting behind you.” I don’t need that pain anymore as the 60 year old kid. My road rides now are enjoyable. I can look at the spring blossoms, ride in the softly falling rain, and really……enjoy the ride. I mostly mountain bike these days but I must admit that I look forward to bringing out the road bike in the spring. It reminds me of my past and I definitely don’t have the pain that I used to go through at this time of year. Like life- I am now enjoying the ride. I see flowers, trees, farms, and sights other than the back of some guys lycra shorts. Haul that road bike out guys and gals, let the trails dry out. Thanks for reading.

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Trout Trail Fly-Fishing March 21

Trout Trail Event Planned

The 4th annual Laurel Highlands Trout Trail will hold an opening reception at 7 p.m. March 21 at the Lincoln Highway Experience.  The evening will start with a presentation by Leo Vense, a premiere fly-fishing guide, and includes a short fishing DVD; an exhibit of vintage fly-fishing rods and reels; demonstrations by Ken Vallino and Scott Minster, whiz fly-tiers; and a sampling of juried artisan items with a trout theme.

The program, for $10 per person, includes craft beers, select wines, and assorted appetizers. To register, visit the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor at www.LHHC.org, click on Gift Shop, then Event Tickets.

The Trout Trail was recently listed on VisitPA’s Ten Places to Fish promotion!

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Stoneycreek Rendezvous Whitewater Festival

Stonycreek Rendezvous,

Kiski-Conemaugh Sojourn

The Stonycreek Rendezvous will be held May 15-17 based at Greenhouse Park in Somerset County. The Rendezvous has become one of the biggest whitewater festivals in the country.

A water release is planned all three days to assure adequate flow through the Stonycreek Canyon (Class III-IV whitewater).  If flows are high enough, six other streams in the area offer Class II to V whitewater.  The festival also features food, music, beer, camping, a whitewater rodeo, races and more.  On the web: benscreekcanoe.com.

The Kiski-Conemaugh Sojourn will be held June 4-7.  The schedule: Thursday, Johnstown to Seward through Conemaugh Gap, 15 miles, mostly flat paddling with a few Class I or II ripples; Friday, Robinson to Blairsville through Packsaddle Gap, 10 miles, mostly flat paddling with a few Class I or II ripples; Saturday, Conemaugh Dam to Avonmore with stop in Saltsburg, 12 miles, flat paddling; Sunday, Avonmore to Roaring Run; 7 miles, mostly flat paddling. See www.conemaughvalleyconservancy.org.

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Memories of Brad English by Pat McCloskey

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It was a bright, sunny day last Sunday in Somerset, Pa. when the clan started to arrive. Heidi and Melissa, Annie and Biff, the Bouchers, Lars and Inger, the Baum girls, Linda Belle, Dixon, Porter,Patty, and a host of others who call the English family their friend. You could feel the warmth of long lasting friendships in the building and in many ways, the group was holding each other tight as mountain life enthusiasts do. Mountain people are a tight knit group all held together through a love of sliding down a mountain on skis, riding knobby tires, hiking, fishing, and otherwise enjoying the mountains as a place of rest, fun, and safe haven with friends.

We lost one of our own last Thursday when Brad English was taken from us so unexpectedly. That is why the gathering at the funeral home was in many ways a meeting of the clans from up in the Laurel Highlands. You had the locals, the weekenders, the commuters, all the folks who forged friendships up at Seven Springs Mountain Resort here in Pennsylvania. The North Hills group, the Fox Chapel group, the Mt. Lebanon group, and of course the Seven Springs and Rockwood group. All close knit friends for many years. It was a homecoming of sorts seeing that some of the group had moved away, but as everyone paid their respects to Greg and Mary Ellen English and their family and Brad’s lovely daughter Jenny, you could feel the warmth in the room and the need to hold on to our life in the mountains. Bill Boucher put it best when he said, ” This one really hurts.” And it did. Brad English was one of the good guys. A friendly welcoming man who grew up in the mountains, built his own house, raised his daughter, and was a friend to everyone on the mountain. He was the first guy standing in line at the Gunnar Chairlift every Saturday when I made my way from the North Face lot to the base of the Gunnar chair. Both of us enjoyed the first chair up the hill, and the groomed perfection that lies ahead for the early birds on the ski slopes. Brad had a great sense of humor when he harassed the ski patrol and lift operators to open the lift up early. He wanted to ski and in his own funny, needling way, the lift guys and the patrol scrambled to make his wishes come true. Brad was a skier, a hunter, a fisherman, all things mountain. Interestingly, when I was a young guy skiing at Seven Springs, the English brothers were in my estimation, the best skiers on the hill. Natural talent. Even when Brad did a stint living in Vail, I remarked out there that Brad was still one of the best skiers in Vail. He was an enthusiast, skilled skier, and sportsman. But most importantly, he was a friend. He was welcoming into his home, and was one of us and now he is gone.

Tuesday there was an on slope service, which is what he would have wanted. Friends skiing, watching the celebration of life from the top of the chair, toasting with frosty beverages and literally and figuratively setting Brad’s spirit free to the Laurel Highlands which he loved so well. The Gunnar Chair and slope will always be home to Brad. I will always think of him while riding that chair on Saturday mornings.

Life is so fragile and the message that kept ringing in my head was what my mother always told me. ” To have a friend is to be a friend.” That is why she had so many friends and it holds true with Brad English. Lots of friends on that mountain. Life flies by so fast and it is easy to get caught up in the day to day. Easy to never make plans to get together with friends, easy to let convenience get in the way, easy to let work schedules dictate your life. But in the final analysis, your family and friends are everything. Cherish them. Cherish the old times and keep the friendships alive with a phone call, a lunch, a ski date, or whatever. I am guilty as much as the next guy. But like Bill said, this one hurt. It makes you think when you lose a friend. Embrace opportunity. RIP Brad. Thanks for reading.

Photos and title courtesy of Melissa Updegraff Thompson and Annie Rose Swager.

patmccloskey | March 12, 2015 at 12:06 pm | Tags: Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Skiing Western Pa | Categories: Friendship, outdoor activities, outdoor sports, Outdoors, Skiing, Winter, winter sports | URL: http://wp.me/p31Q99-EY

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February Financing Report

For the Week Ending February 27, 2015. This report compliments of Kurt Sieg

Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen eased concerns of a pending policy rate increase. Her testimony helped to stabilize rates this week.

Durable goods orders rose in January, showing manufacturing may be starting to stabilize. This points to a strengthening of the U.S. economy.

Consumer prices dropped in January, led by cheaper gas. Low inflation means the Fed may have to start the process of hiking rates later than June.

January new home sales fell only slightly despite big declines in the snow-battered Northeast. Supply rose to its highest level since 2010.

January existing home sales were at a 9-month low but were still up 3.2% from a year ago. Tight inventory and low rates continue to be factors.

Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index improved for the 4th consecutive month, showing that housing is stabilizing at a national level.

Teacher: “What is the chemical formula for water?”

Student: “HIJKLMNO”

Teacher: “What are you talking about?”

Student: “Yesterday you said it’s H to O!

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.

Sincerely,

 

Kirk Sieg
862184/LO.045354/MB800302.019-BR
Equity Resources, Inc.
(724) 799-3465
www.callequity.com
ksieg@callequity.net

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Tales of 7 Springs Past

FOLLOW PAT’S BLOG

Standard Race

For all of us growing up at Seven Springs Mountain Resort here in Pa., Lars Skylling, the Director of Skiing, was like a god to us. Handsome, with the Swedish accent, and great skier to boot, with Stein Eriksen form. We all looked up to Lars and wanted to emulate him on the slopes. Lars is shown here in this picture below, receiving his award for induction into the Pennsylvania Snow Sports Hall of Fame. He has the Tyrolean jacket on with the green tie- third from left in the back. Great guy, we all love Lars. He is retired now but I had the opportunity to ski with him a couple of years ago in Vail and for a guy in his elder years, he still made elegant turns. IMG_4952
So, when we were kids, Lars was the ski school director and he started an open race every Sunday after the day session ended that was called the Standard Race. My buddy Porter said it was called the Head Standard Race but in any event, it was an open, four gate flyer from the top of the front side of the mountain down to the finish line in front of the old warming hut. If you came within a certain percentage of the time that Lars laid down, you received either a gold, silver, or bronze “7” pin that we all clamored for with every run that we made. As we all got older and into our early teens, we were able to finally get that gold “7” because we were catching up to the master. However, Lars threw a surprise for all of us when he added the upper trail on the Stowe slope and jumped the corner when he made a right hand turn down on the Cortina Trail. Whoa!!!!! We all were taken by surprise and the conversation on the hill that day and on the chairlift to the start was whether we had the guts to jump the corner like Lars did. If we didn’t, there was no way we would get the gold so we all had to see if we had the bravado to do it and if we survived, we got the coveted pin. photo
One year, I decided that if I leaned forward at the finish line and tried to break the beam with my hand, I might be a little faster. Unfortunately, I blew out of my bindings when I lurched forward and took out the whole timing device and the electric eye. John Fraser and his dad came running out of the hut to see if I was ok, but the real challenge was to get the timing device up and running again. As we all crossed the finish line, Bob Rose would herd us into the station wagon that he had strategically placed outside the warming hut and the North Hills clan would eventually make it back to Pittsburgh with a dinner for the crowd at my folk’s house. My parents didn’t ski but they sure could cook and entertain. That was their contribution. All the kids talked about the race and how we ended up. If you got the gold pin, you were a stud, and everyone knew that the next step was the day that you would finally be able to beat Lars straight up. That day eventually came for most of us as we got older and faster. But no matter the outcome, we all loved Lars and if we were able to finally best his pacesetter time, it was a milestone in our skiing career that we would never forget.

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ATV CLUB

It is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive, “Where can we ride our ATV’s?” Here’s one option, the Indian Creek Valley ATV Club. Easily found by staying on 711 to White, maybe 8 miles from Sarnelli’s, then look for the sign on the right (if you come to Indian Head you passed it).  They offer year round riding for ATV’s and UTV’s on over 30 miles of “safe and groomed trails.” There’s a mix of elevation and difficulty to challenge any rider. Their website offers more details, check it out and safe riding!

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All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Copyright 2019.



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