7S Market Update APRIL 2022

I can remember the markets where we had over 100 listings and they would sit for a year or two! Times have changed and now listing inventory is almost non existent, buyers are waiting for properties, and many sellers are sitting on a ton of home equity! See what’s up with the April market!

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Hotel Tax Update Resort Owners

As reported in the Tribune-Democrat Johnstown, the Somerset County Treasurer is catching up with those NOT paying their 5% hotel tax! In a past post I shared the forms and more details but basically if you are renting your home part time you are responsible to pay up! According to the article one home owner owes 16,000 in back hotel taxes! Here’s the story.

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7S March and 1st Quarter Market Update

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

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Hidden Valley March & 1st Quarter Update

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

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Spotted Lanterenfly (SLF)

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

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Vail Resorts to Raise Wages to $20 For Winter Season

Here’s a follow up link to an editorial about the pay increase from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

According to Sierra Sun  “The new base pay will apply at all the company’s U.S. resorts. Canadian resorts will also increase base pay to 20 Canadian dollars per hour. Those in skilled positions — including ski patrol, drivers and others — will start at $21 per hour. Vail Resorts CEO Kirsten Lynch said salaried employees will see wage increases beyond the current rate of inflation. The company made the announcement in a press release on Monday in advance of the company’s 2022 second quarter earnings call.”

Hmmm the employment page on 7S is currently showing $13.50 per hour for most of the open jobs. The article does say “for the 2022-23 ski season” time will tell!

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40 Years of Resort Experience at Seven Springs & Hidden Valley

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

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7S Market Update Feb 2022

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

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HV Market Update for Feb 2022

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

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4507 Swiss Mountain New Listing

Buying or selling, we are here to help you! Check out our newest listing,

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Encouragement McCloskey

Affirmation

by patmccloskey

Affirmation with the Cow Bell.

So the other day, I was riding my mountain bike at our local park trying to get back into some semblance of shape after a tough winter on our trails. Once the snow came and the thaws and freezes, the ice on the trails was too tough for me because I don’t have studs. So with the recent spring like weather, I figured I would go out again and start riding. I was making my way up a hill when a guy who was hiking with his wife said, ” Hey!………..good job”. I kind of chuckled at that comment and said thank you and kept riding. It kind of reminded me of the old mountain bike racing days when I would be killing myself up a hill and some kind soul observing on the side of the trail would look at me and say………..” Hey- good job.” Those kind of comments kind of spurred me on to the top of the hill and then helped me make my way enthusiastically to the finish line. It is amazing how a little positive commentary can spur you on.

I always returned the kindness at the World Cup Mountain Bike Finals in Snowshoe, West Virginia with my cowbell. When the pros would be making their way up a heinous climb, I would encourage them with my cowbell. Many of them were so focused that they they never wavered in their concentration. Others like American Haley Batten would smile and enthusiastically say “thank you” and keep riding spurred on by the pro-American spectators wishing her well.

The Shark and the affable Haley Batten

Affirmation is usually the result of the acclaim of a job well done. At Snowshoe, you can see the result of hard work of the world class athletes, and the support they got from their home team and trainers. We cheered them on- affirming their hard work. Affirmation comes after the support of someone trying to do something positive. Support them first- then affirm them.

We all have the opportunity to support people on their way up or maybe on their way back. For instance, I have a neighbor who had a severe stroke and is making his way back. He has been through a lot along with his supportive wife. The guy is a noted, retired orthopedic surgeon who has had some tough breaks with his health. I have tried to support him as well as his wife in different ways, but the other day- I saw Dr. Tim out on a walk using his walker encouraged by his ever supporting wife, Joyce. I looked at him and said, ” Good job, TIm.” You could see the smile on his face because I affirmed the hard work he has done to make it back. When I was at his house the other day, he showed me his strength by pulling me with his arms. The guy is a big strong guy and although he is in his 80s, he has made a remarkable come back. He deserves affirmation and we give it to him.

I have another friend who has had a stroke as well and he is making his comeback. Although he is younger, he has worked hard to come back. He is an avid mountain bike rider, skier, backcountry adventurer, snowmobiler, and traveler. He has his moments of despair, but I always affirm his hard work and tell him that he will be back stronger than ever. People need support when they have difficult times and we all can give that support. And when they make their way up over the hill metaphorically, we can give them the affirmation that they deserve.

Jeff on the comeback trail.

There are a lot of people today that can use our help. Friends who have had a death in the family, are having health issues, maybe are going through a divorce or other personal issues, or people that just need a boost up that hill. We can make the effort to support them and when they make progress, we can affirm that progress with a kind comment like- ” Good job- keep up the good work.” You may not need to use a cowbell to affirm them, but you can certainly recognize that people go through a lot and can use a word or support, a kindness afforded to them, and affirmation that gives them that boost that they need. To have a friend is to be a friend. Thanks for reading.

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DIXON by McCloskey

55+ years of Friendship.

by patmccloskey

My Pal- Dixon Rich

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

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

Dixon, Melissa and Jaime. Laurel Mountain friends for life

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

Valuable nap time for the tax man.

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

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

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

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

 

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Getting the most skiing on busy days

 

How to Ski an Area Effectively

by patmccloskey

Whiteface , NY

Jon Weisberg from http://www.SeniorsSkiing.com suggested that I write a piece for him on how to effectively ski a given area. Interesting topic which can be shared in his magazine and also on my blog here. Kind of kill two birds with one stone so to speak. So here goes.

Let’s start with the smaller areas like we have here in Western Pa. and Western New York. Moving from slope to slope or trail to trail regularly can be an effective way to maximize the satisfaction out of an area with a smaller vertical drop. I also try to make as many turns as I can in order to really utilize the terrain. Maybe a ski with a tighter turn radius can be used and often if you combine the tactic of ” keep moving” and “make turns”, you can see where the best snow is at a smaller area and then focus on lift lines and crowded conditions. My favorite local area has one really good slope- the best slope in Pa. It also has a number of trails and glades as options, but really, I like to lap Wildcat at Laurel Mountain and utilize its steeper terrain to the best of my ability. People ask- ” Pat- how can you ski the same slope all day long?” I tell them it is the best slope in Pa. and I change up my lines every run. Skiers left, middle and skiers right always yield a different challenge each run and really you can make the most out of limited terrain if you vary your lines. I mix it up with some selected runs down the trails at Laurel- often taking in great views of the Ligonier Valley. But for the most part, you can see me lapping the Cat each time from a different line.

Mammoth Mountain, California

Moving on to larger areas, a number of tactics come into play to effectively ski an area. The first one is to get there early to beat the crowds. This is true everywhere you ski. Oftentimes the best grooming is available in the morning or the morning’s best powder stashes can be accessed if you get up early and get to the parking lot and on to the slopes early. Once there, I often follow the sun. Look for where the sun shines first and go there for good visibility. If the slopes are not crowded, feel free to rip some big GS like turns because there is no fear of lots of people impeding your progress. Once the slopes begin to assemble people, those moving targets need to be respected and you can move on to another area which may not be as sunny and perhaps less crowded. I try to avoid the crowds at all costs. At Deer Valley a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the lifts servicing the black diamond slopes seemed less crowded. The reason is that the entry to those slopes were pretty icy and people tended to avoid another run. For me- that is the green light to keep skiing them. If you can stand a little bit of adverse conditions, you will have a particular run or runs to yourself with no lift lines.

Steins Way at Deer Valley

Skiing at lunchtime is another tactic where you see the lines dramatically disappear. Make use of the time and pump in a snack bar or some fruit that you have packed in your parka and wait until later in the day to eat lunch. It is amazing how areas empty at lunchtime and then especially on a Sunday, when people tend to leave for home, you can access a lot of vertical. I remember being in Austria with my friends Mark Singleton and Kenny Griffin. The local lift attendant looked at us quizzically and asked why we were skiing so much at lunchtime? We were supposed to be taking a “siesta” but as Type ” A” Americans, we were trying to access the most vertical we could get and take a break from the Euros stepping all over our skis in the lift lines. People want to ski and they want to get by you. Sometimes your skis tended to take a beating. LOL!!

On a powder day- people tend to hunt the fresh lines and leave perfectly good snow behind that is cut up from the masses. I ski with wider skis ( 107 mm under foot) on powder days and no matter how the new powder gets cut up from the crowds, the wider skis just plow through without even a thought. People with narrower skis tend to egg beater and disappear when the smooth, powdery, runs are cut up. But if you have the right equipment, you can continue to ski the cut up lines and avoid lift lines and the rush by the locals for new lines.

Arapahoe Basin ,Colorado
Northstar, California

Also- don’t be afraid to try new areas. It is easy to get into a rut and ski all the same areas on a trip or regularly in your home region. But the more terrain you can access that is different, the more your skiing will improve. I have skied in a lot of different areas in my lifetime and I am glad that I took the time to do so . I get in a little bit of a rut locally but even at that, I try again to mix up the lines, and the runs for maximum use of limited terrain.

When skiing with my wife, I also employ another tactic in that I check the area grooming report. I see where the most recent grooming has occurred and head there. She thanks me for the recon. Lastly- another tactic that can be used is to ski the lower part of the mountain after most of the crowd have moved on to the upper portions of the mountain. People will take a few runs down below and then head up to the rest of the terrain. Oftentimes if you ski the upper part early, you can come back down and the lower half of the mountain is empty. And the best is that- most of it is usually still in the sun on a good day.

Think ahead. Out think the masses and you will have a good day or week navigating the areas the most effectively. Ok Jon? LOL. Thanks for reading.

patmccloskey | February 28, 2022 at 6:25 pm | Categories: outdoor activitiesoutdoor sportsOutdoorsSkiingUncategorizedWinterwinter sports | URL: https://wp.me/p31Q99-1vU

 

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TAX TIME and RENTAL DEDUCTIONS

Did you rent out your primary or 2nd home in 2021? If so some of you may be wondering just IF and WHAT your deductions may add up too. First YOU should discuss this information with your tax advisor as I am only SHARING information directly from the IRS. This information discusses “Topic # 415 Renting Residential and Vacation Property”  There are multiple links to help you file in April.

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Mountain Watershed Association: A Year In Review

Mountain Watershed Association: A Year In Review

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Dear Reader,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

With deep gratitude,

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Ashley Funk

Executive Director

Meet Taylor Robbins

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

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

Read Taylor’s Bio

Mountain Watershed Association

PO Box 408
Melcroft, PA 15462

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Hidden Valley Real Estate Market Update Jan 2022

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

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Seven Springs Real Estate Market Update Jan 2022

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

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30 Year Mortgage Rate Above 4%

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

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

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

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How China Made Olympic Snow

Here at Seven Springs, Hidden Valley, and Laurel Mountain we are all accustomed to man made snow. But for the Olympics’? Here are two stories that feature the how it was done process. NPR and the New York Times

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The Poma by McCloskey

by patmccloskey
The Moment of Truth
Leslie McKee suggested a post on the iconic Poma lift. She said it would be a good post in and of itself and she is right. How many of you who started skiing battled with the monster of surface lifts as a kid? I can remember moving from the rope tow( which itself burned up many gloves) to the Poma lifts at our local resort. Although we got many comments and instructions on how to ride the Poma, it was always a matter of getting prepared in the track, waiting to grab the right one, and presto……off to the races. As a little kid, they always told me if I fell, not to hold on to the Poma- just let go. But what did most people do? See below. LOL!!!
Don’t hold on………LOL:!!!!!
The other frightening thing as a little kid was if the spring in the Poma was quirky, you would oftentimes be lifted right out of the track, high into the air( or so it seemed) and tried to set your feet down in the track again without falling. You never sat down. You would place the platter between your legs and hang on. Never sit down. The mantra for all of us. Poma lifts became a thing of the past in many areas but still are used to get skiers from place to place in the larger areas out west. There is still a need to connect chair lifts and in a lot of areas the only way is to transport people across a flat via a Poma lift. I have so many memories when I step into the loading zone of a Poma lift these days. I am heavy enough now not to be spring loaded into the stratosphere and I certainly know not to sit down or do what we always did and try to move in and out of the track. We all did that and tried to hang on the pole for as long as we could and launch it at the end of the ride up and laugh when we let it go. We were always the same jagoffs who would jump out of a chairlift if it was low enough and ski away from an operator who was yelling at us threatening to take our passes. Kids!!!!
The T Bar
The cousin to the Poma lift is the T-Bar. More commonly used these days and especially in Europe to transport skiers up the mountain and get them across flats between chairlifts. This lift is ridden by two people and if you were a taller person and you rode with a shorter person, it became a difficult task. The taller person had the part of the bar riding up his or her back while the opposite was true for the shorter person. Constant adjusting and laughing in the case of us youngsters at the time and a little more concerning riding it as an adult. Now for those of you who know me, I am not a confrontational person. However, one time in Austria, I happened to be riding up a T Bar with a shorter French guy. He kept jawing at me in his Gallic dialect and basically was trying to get me to adjust the position of the bar to suit his shorter stature. After a while, and listening to his verbal abuse for longer than one should ever have to, I leaned over to him and said, ” If you keep yelling at me, you are gone.” He either didn’t understand or ignored my warning and he caught my left elbow and was sent careening down the slope never to be seen again. Viva la France!!!!!

Surface lifts were intimidating, frightening, and most of all loads of fun growing up as a kid. I don’t even give them a thought today but when Leslie reminded me of all the fun times we had as kids battling the Poma lifts, I had to jot down some memories. One last one was the Poma lift at our smaller municipal ski area where I was trying to get one of our blind skiers up the hill. Regis Sullivan was a heavy guy and I put the Poma between his legs and mine and we rode up together. I screamed ” stand up Regis” because if he sat down, I am sure the ski patrol would have been involved. Another time I had a nun with a colostomy in the same position with me on the Poma. I laughingly suggested that she stand up and don’t fall. I told her I didn’t want the fallout from that one. LOL!!!! She was very open about her colostomy and I was very open about me not wanting to face the consequences.

So, thanks Leslie. I am sure I will have a few laughs like all of you reading this. Think snow and ………..don’t sit down!!!!!

patmccloskey | January 31, 2022 at 6:38 pm | Tags: Poma Lift | Categories: Humoroutdoor activitiesoutdoor sportsOutdoorsSkiingWinterwinter sports | URL: https://wp.me/p31Q99-1vi

 

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XC and the Olympics

New post on chroniclesofmccloskey

Go Nordic!

by patmccloskey

Olympic Gold Medalist Jessie Diggins,

Years ago, I met a young lady who was a member of the Middlebury College Nordic Ski Team. She was recounting her workout routine while quickly demolishing a half gallon of ice cream right before my eyes. She had to pay close attention to her diet and make sure that she was eating enough calories to fuel her practices and meets. In many cases, they just can’t eat enough. You see, cross country ski racers are a rare breed. Among endurance athletes, they have the most impressive VO2 data and their engines are unmatched in the endurance sports world. We have a real superstar right here in the U.S with Jessie Diggins who is a member of our U.S Nordic Ski Team and a gold medalist from the most recent Olympic games in Korea. She has had tremendous success on the World Cup and is a favorite for gold in the upcoming Olympics in China. These athletes are amazing and their skill and endurance is worth watching on the upcoming coverage of the Olympics in February. Check them out.

More gold in China?

If you take it down several notches, there are opportunities out there for the mortal man to participate in this winter sport. I am an alpine skier and rarely get to go cross country skiing any more but I have always had respect for people who make use of Nordic ski centers like the one we have at Laurel Mountain right here in Pa.

Laurel Mountain Nordic Ski Center

The cool thing about cross country skiing is that you can enjoy it casually like a nice tour through the woods or you can make it a real workout. Traditional skis can be used in the machine made tracks and the feeling of gliding along with your skis floating though the tracked trail is spectacular. Shorter skating skis are also available and you can skate your way along groomed trails which is another great workout. Finally, there are wider touring skis that have metal edges which allow you to break trail on a freshly fallen snow landscape like a golf course. Many ski touring centers offer rentals and if not, most outfitters like L.L. Bean. Public Lands, and REI have equipment for sale or rent. With the recent big snow in the East, I see many people out on the golf courses and on the groomed trails these days trying to make the most of the winter weather.

Tracked Trails.

Years ago, I had touring skis and would ski at night on the golf course near my home with a light on my head. A fun workout on clear, cold nights. Oftentimes in those days, I would also visit my friend Eric in Vermont and as a diversion from alpine skiing at Killington, we would take cross country equipment out of his garage and head to the quarry near his home in Bethel, Vermont. It was there that we skied up and down gravel and sand piles showing off and usually crashing and burning many times until we either had destroyed his equipment or were so stiff and sore and snow covered that we left and headed home for a cold beer. Fun times in those days in Bethel.

I often joke with my friends who cross country ski. I call them communist skiers. They laugh because they know that I associate cross country ski racers with the Eastern Bloc. Most of the success in recent years has been with skiers from the Baltic countries or Russia as well as the usual suspects from the Scandinavian countries. But look out for the Americans. We are coming on strong and the term communist skier jokingly will be a term of the past for me.

As much as I like alpine skiing, I do miss the days when I used to cross country ski. I may take it up again although Janet and I like to snowshoe when we are not skiing. We take advantage of the snow when it comes. If you are looking for a good day in the woods, there is nothing like a sunny winter day with cross country equipment in hand. Try it and perhaps look up your local Nordic ski center or consult with L.L.Bean, Public Lands, or REI and enjoy the winter. Thanks for reading, watch the upcoming Olympics on NBC and Peacock, and think snow.

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Hidden Valley End of Year Market Update

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

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Seven Springs End of Year Market Update

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

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

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

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MORE EXCITING NEWS!

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

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

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

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

Please request Abe or Josh

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HV Nov Market Update

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

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7S November Market Update

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

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HV Market Update OCT 2021

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

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7S Market Update OCT 2021

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

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7S Market Update September 2021

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

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HV Market Update Sept 2021

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

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Haunted Houses

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

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TREES

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

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7S Aug 2021 Market Update

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

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HV August Market Update

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

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7 Fixes to Avoid MAJOR Foundation Problems

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

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Fall Bike Riding YEAHHH McCloskey

Bring on the Fall

by patmccloskey

Fall Decor

I love the fall. So happy that the steamy, hot, humid weather has ended and the days are sunny, the nights cooler and the leaves are starting to change. Janet does a great job celebrating the season with decorating the house and we both feel the change coming. Love it. Hauling out the fleece, watching college football games, going to the farm markets teeming with pumpkins, cider, apples and people who are celebrating like we are. Did I say I love the fall?

As I age, I also celebrate little things that I may not have paid much attention to in a younger day. Just appreciating what is around us. Little things like a cold beer after a mountain bike ride with my friends. The other night,( in a place which I dare not mention because the local residents would string me up if I gave away information on their beloved trail system,) we all sat around after the ride with our fleece, our camp chairs and various beverages relaxing in the cool temperatures. My friend Sandy McKee told us his daughter lives in Vermont and usually brings a couple of cases of Heady Topper beer from the Alchemist Brewery when she visits mom and dad. Sandy hauled a couple of these out at the ride, and I have to tell you, I was excited. It is not too often we get to sample Heady Topper here in Pa. A very popular beer in New England which almost never makes it out of there because of its popularity. To have a couple of cases make their way here is a real treat and Sandy just made the cool, evening post ride amazing! It’s hard to put into words the feeling you get when you drink in that first sip of a great beer after a ride. But sitting down in your camp chair, drinking in that first sip, looking at the changing leaves and talking about the ride with friends is really special. The post ride is almost as good as the ride itself.

A real treat – Heady Topper
Sandy McKee in the foreground. Made our evening ride more special.

I know I talk a lot about mountain biking in this blog but really, it is a great way to exercise and a wonderful way to take in the trails and scenery in wooded settings all around the country. This time of year in Pennsylvania, the weather is pretty cool and dry, and is actually our best weather in these parts. In my opinion, nothing better than taking it in on the seat of a bike. What makes it even more special is that I got a new bike recently which is light, fast, and enjoyable to ride. I have been riding a monster truck recently (a 29er plus) and although it is great on really rough terrain like we have in the mountains around here and in West Virginia, it is tough to haul that weight around as I grow older. The new light steed brings me back a little. A real gift as I start the fall riding season.

The Transition Spur

So taking that second sip of the Heady Topper, I looked around at my group and was thankful that I had good friends to share the experience of riding and reveling in the post ride. Bob K always brings snacks, and as we all sit around munching and sipping away, time stops for a moment or two if I allow myself to take it all in. I think sometimes that the fall also ushers in the final quarter of a year and as another one slips by, I think how important it is to grab every moment to enjoy what life has to offer. Simple things like trails, leaves, apple cider, and being with friends who value the same things. And of course – Heady Topper. Thanks Sandy. Thanks for reading.

Fall in the Laurels.
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Fall Foliage

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

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PA Digital Hunting License

This year in PA, for certain species hunters may now carry a digital hunting license! Check it out here!

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Laurel Highlands #8 for Fall foliage USA Today

MORE LIFESTYLES

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

Shirley McMarlin
   

4234974_web1_gtr-lo-FallColors001-102219

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

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

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

The 2021 Top 1o are:

1. White Mountains, N.H.

2. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

3. Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains

4. Gatlinburg, Tenn.

5. Ozark Mountains region, Ark.

6. Taos, N.M.

7. Door County, Wis.

8. Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania

9. Stowe, Vt.

10. Finger Lakes region, N.Y.

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

‘Magnificent blanket of color’

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

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

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

But where to go to see those sights?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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Seven Springs July Market Update

The sales numbers are still climbing! Check it out!

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7S June & 1st Half Market Update

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

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HV June & 1st Half Market Update

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

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REAL ESTATE TAXES

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

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

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

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

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The wild side of the outdoors.

New post on chroniclesofmccloskey

Well, It Is Their Turf

by patmccloskey

We are the interlopers.

Several years ago, I traveled to the west coast a lot for work. I always took my skis or mountain bike with me and enjoyed some of the beautiful outdoor recreation places that the west has to offer. Some of this wilderness has been compromised by building and commercial developments. It is progress, I know, but it often encroaches on land that has been the home to wildlife for centuries. Take this scenario in Laguna Beach, California where I did a lot of mountain bike riding back in the day. Beautiful trails in the Laguna Wilderness Park with majestic vistas of the Pacific Ocean around every corner. I was surprised when I saw this sign at the trailhead but it made sense. With all the beautiful homes popping up in and around Laguna with incredible views, it made sense that the development had squeezed some privacy away from the natives- that being mountain lions. A rare sight to be sure but nonetheless something that you had to watch for and if possible ride on trails with other riders and hikers.

Laguna Wilderness Trails
The American Black Bear

On another cycling trip to the Skyline Drive in Virginia, my friend Frank Habay and I rounded a corner on our road bikes and came to a screeching halt when we saw two black bears in the middle of the road. I looked at Frank, he looked at me, and the bears looked at us. I knew we would not out run or out ride them, but they rambled up over a wall and into the woods. After breathing a sigh of relief, we continued and the conversation between Frank and me was that they don’t bother humans anyhow. Easy to say after they left but at the moment, it was a little un-nerving.

My wife and my son were visiting friends in Tahoe and during one of our hikes out there with our friends, my wife became concerned about seeing a bear. They are in the neighborhoods and if you have birdseed in your backyard, they are coming for a visit. Our friends had many experiences with the visitors when their bird feeders were out. We did not see any on the hike and when we were safely in our car, Janet lamented that we had not even seen a bear. I told her and Jack not to speak too soon because there, right in front of us crossing Rt 50, was a big black bear heading to a residential neighborhood looking for his next meal. I commented to my son Jack that it looked like he just came out of Starbucks. Probably had a latte this morning on his way to the neighborhood. We laughed but the reality of the fact is that bears are becoming more used to people as a result of development. As Joni Mitchell used to say……….” they paved Paradise and put up a parking lot.” There are consequences.

I see a lot of wildlife in my local park and also in the mountains near us. My one friend likes to look for rattlesnakes in the mountains. I tend to look from a distance but the more people develop property and move towards the wilderness, the more they will see wildlife that has been displaced and looking for new homes.

Beautiful creatures just wanting to be left alone.
Hi there!

I guess the point of all of this is that you can’t stop progress but it is nice to see that there are still places in the world where life goes noninterrupted in the wilderness. Locally, it is nice to see entities like the Allegheny Land Trust and the Hollow Oak Land Trust reserving land space for us to enjoy as well as provide a habitat for animals who are looking to thrive in a natural space. Sean Brady, Executive Director for Hollow Oak, told us on a recent hike that the stream that runs through the property has 23 species of fish that were endangered by development. Recently, a country club closed it’s doors locally and the thought was that it would turn into another housing development. Kudos to the residents of the area and their local municipality to turn the space into a park with trails and a natural setting for the neighbors to enjoy. It also provides a home to animals who would have been displaced again in favor of development. Again, I get progress, but there has to be some consideration for the generations to come.

So, the next time you are out and about in the mountains, on the trails or waterways, value any time that you can see wildlife in their own habitat. Nothing to be feared but instead, look at the sight with wonder. Take the time to get to natural places and take in the silence, the fresh air, and the beauty of our natural world. I am happy when they don’t pave Paradise and put up a parking lot. Thanks for reading.

 

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AUDUBON URGES REMOVAL OF BIRD FEEDERS

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

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

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

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HV Market Update May 2021

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

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7S Market Update May 2021

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

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Birding By Boat This Sat

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

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TICK TIME

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

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

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End of Year Market Review

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

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

Open the links below for the reports.

 

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November Market Update

This is the most recent real estate market report. This includes resort sales for last month. Just look at the numbers, you will not believe them. We checked everything twice so this is the actual sales recorded at the courthouse.

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

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

These reports give you the inside information based on courthouse records as to what has sold at Hidden Valley and 7 Springs Resorts. If you are thinking of selling or buying you need to review these reports and contact us for more detailed 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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Night Sking


Keystone, Colorado

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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That Great Smell by Pat McClosky

The Mountain TV

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

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

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

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

The suspect Christmas wreath.

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

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

Laurel Mountain Outdoor Fireplace

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

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

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October 2020 Real Estate Market Report

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

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

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

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

 

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Anticipation Winter will be here soon by Pat McCloskey

Anticipation!

by patmccloskey

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

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

New Lake Tahoe Stocklis New Heads for my local pal

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

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

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

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

#head-skis, #stockli-skis

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

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A Walk in the Woods Pat McCloskey

I have to say that this time of year is my favorite among the seasons. The temps are changing and the leaves are turning colors- somewhat blazing this year. I love to hike at this time and my interest in that pursuit all started when I was a kid. I loved being in the woods. The first five human beings I knew outside my parents, were my five backyard neighbors- Richard, John, Ron, Glen and Cliffy. We lived in the woods – playing Army, catching crawfish and salamanders, and basically being there until my dad rang the dinner bell from our back patio. My parents didn’t worry about us much in those days. We were gone all day and would come running in for lunch, dinner and stay out as long as possible. We even drank from garden hoses and nothing ever happened to us. Imagine that? Slept out under the stars. We loved the woods and I still do today. This is a picture of Richard, John and me at Arapahoe Basin a couple of years ago. They both live in Colorado now. Even with the fact that we had not seen each other in a while, it seemed as if we left off right where we were the last time we were together. Isn’t that the way it usually is with good friends?

Fast forward from childhood, I hiked and back packed a lot in the fall right after college. The woods in the mountains seemed like a good place to reflect and try to figure out what the heck I was going to do with my life at the time.

I would either set up my tent or make arrangements to sleep in a ” lean to” shelter provided by the state. I would look up at the stars in the middle of the night while stoking the fire and try to figure out a path forward – like many of us at the time. Hiking was a relaxing way to reflect, take in the change of seasons, and breathe in fresh air. A walk in the woods was always therapeutic and still is today.

Moving on, to today’s world, hiking is a great activity for my wife and me to enjoy. As empty nesters, we love to get our gear together, strap on our boots and packs, and take that proverbial walk in the woods.
We either go to the Laurel Mountains east of here, or locally to one of our favorite routes in Sewickley. We often remark in our local hike that we could easily be anywhere with the scenic forest and well built trails .

It looks a lot like Vermont or New Hampshire with the rocky trails and hardwood forest, but it is only a 15 minute drive from our house. We don’t have the dramatic backdrops of the Green Mountains or the Whites of New Hampshire, but for a local hike, the scenery is pretty good here in Pa. A nice way for my wife and I to connect without any pressure of keeping up with anyone or keeping some sort of time schedule. Time moves slowly when you take a walk in the woods.

My folks never understood my need to be out in the wilderness, either locally or when I traveled near and far to basically camp, hike, climb, ski, and otherwise enjoy what is out there. Their idea of camping was sleeping at a Holiday Inn with the windows open. Me? I like that tent where I can see and smell the night. The stars, the planets, and the general feeling that the woods are embracing me. I feel like I belong there. That is why it irks me to no end when I see people deface rocks and overlooks with graffiti. All of us who love the outdoors need to protect what we all enjoy. Public lands, trails, National Parks, are all part of our heritage and if we want to leave ” a walk in the woods” for our kids and grandchildren, we always must pay attention to protecting our outdoor places of recreation.

A final suggestion, if you are looking for an activity this fall, maybe try hiking? There are so many places to go and aside from a rucksack filled with water and snacks, and some good sturdy hiking shoes or boots, the investment is minimal and the rewards are great. My love for the woods and the outdoors stems all the way back 55 years with my old buddies playing Army in the woods behind the Zankey’s house. For all we knew, we were in the Rocky Mountains or as far as our imagination led us at the time. Take that walk in the woods. It will restore you and give you needed perspective in our world today. Thanks for reading.

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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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April 2020 Real Estate Market Report

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

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

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

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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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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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The Yinzers Invade Bend

Yinzers invade Bend!!

There has been a lot written, posted, and videos made about Bend, Oregon and I won’t bore you with repetitive stories and accounts. However, suffice to say, when 19 people from Pittsburgh go to Bend and take in the gracious hospitality of native Pittsburgh people Julie and Jeff Chetlin and Barb and Tim Girone, things happen that affect one of the top 5 places to live in the country.

No visit would begin without the obligatory trek to one of Bend’s many brew pubs where the beer is fresh and cold and the food excellent. After pahnnding dahn an Elk Burger at Immersion Brewery http://www.imbrewing.com and drinking their most excellent IPAs, I began our adventure with our merry band of riders who sat around the tables and relaxed after a long day of travel to the West Coast. We were so happy to unite with Jeff and Julie who are our official tour leaders on the rides and the Girones who execute the lead with professionalism and the daily on-line “Trail Report” from Tim. Rising the next day we begin our climb up to the snow line surrounded by the most beautiful waterfalls you will ever see in one place.

Slogging through 6-8 inches of wet snow to get to the top around 6,000 feet, we began our descent down perhaps the longest trail I have ever descended. 13 miles to be exact. The gang was ripping down Mrazek Trail as the Chetlin video was rolling. However at the end of the trail, our fearless leader had a horrific high speed crash and broke 6 ribs in the process.

After the EMTs and the Bend Fire Department hauled Jeff out of there, we continued on and finished what was to be a 6 hour experience for the band from the burg. Settling in that night with a local IPA and tacos from the local food truck, we were treated to music in downtown Bend where the locals hang out and just chill around the tables and chairs set in the courtyard for the event. As you have heard, very laid back indeed. Puffys and trucker hats everywhere with dogs running amuck. As we all lamented the crash, and the loss of our riding leader, we made our way to the St. Charles Hospital to pay Jeff a visit. He has amazing resiliance and despite severe pain, he orchestrated our rides from the hospital bed. The next morning was another climb led by local hero, Matt,a schoolteacher who teaches culinary arts to middle school kids, who punished us with a rock strewn start on COD Trail up to the snow line again. The treat began as we descended the iconic Tiddly Winks Trail with major league features that were flawlessly crafted by the local trail crew. But perhaps the best day was the last when after an amazing breakfast at “Chow” http://www.bendinspoon.com we all took the COG Wild Shuttle http://www.cogwild.com to the top of Swampy and began a snow and ice lined trail system that led to a fast rip down a finish at the classic Bend trail- Phil’s. Another amazing downhill experience with the course profile on STRAVA all pointing negative ascent. We then began the inspection tour of Bend with a visit to what was described to us as the best brewpub in Bend. The Crux Fermentation Project as it is called is another outdoor respite that is relaxing along with some amazing food. http://www.cruxfermentation.com With a visit also to the Good Life Brewery, http://www.goodlifebrewing.com we were set to make our way to the hospital again to visit the fearless one, followed by the new Warren Miller movie “Timeless” at the Tower Theater in downtown Bend. Hoots and hollers from the Pittsburgh crew for sure as we are all skiers and boarders as well.

Ok enough, so what was the most impressive? Personally, what struck me were the neat things that you don’t see in many places like the fireplace and the bar setup in Sagebrush Cycles http://www.sagebrushcycles.com where you can try on ski boots while you drink a fresh IPA and ogle the eye candy mtb frames and clothing. Pine Mountain Sports also set us up with most excellent rental rides of Santa Cruz Hightowers and Tallboys. http://www.pinemountainsports.com They were most accomodating in their set ups with us, taking their time to set the sag based on our weight and riding ability and just in general wanted to make sure that we had the best ride for 3 days in their hometown. Did you know that they don’t have downspouts in Bend? They use a chain and the water runs down the chain into cisterns to be captured. Only in Bend. I digress. Oh one more, I was in the men’s room at one of the breweries and saw this amazing sink with no bowl. Just a flat slightly inclined sink deck where all the water ran away from you into the drain somewhere else? Only in Bend. Little things like that that you don’t see. I digress. Little things amuse little minds.

All in all, the band of ‘burgers thoroughly enjoyed the “vibe” of Bend as it is described. But the most impressive thing to me was the friendliness of the people of Bend. They are all smiling and asking you about YOUR day, where YOU are going and offering tips along the way. The relaxed mood of the restaurants, brew pubs, and shops all make you feel somehow that you are in a homey atmosphere with no plastic or snooty residents. Flannel abounds and along with kids riding, hiking, climbing and skiing, it would seem to me to be a great place to raise kids. The one comment from the Oregonians that joined us on the rides, was that they were amazed that we all were such a tight knit group and that we rode so well. The operative word was fast. As the geezer of the group, I smiled at that one and once more, it is apparent that even though we were in the most friendly, laid back, wonderful town in America, the Pittsburghers have something special too by way of camaraderie and friendliness especially in the mountain bike community where we reside. So, Jim, Simon, Josh, Dave, Sandy, Pete, Syed, John, Haley, Steve, Julie and Jeff, Barb and Tim, and Todd the resident fun times  commuter to Bend via Seattle, and Stacey- the new immigrant to Bend via Pittsburgh, I salute you and cherish you as friends. We can go anywhere and make new friends all along the way. Thanks Julie and Jeff and Tim and Barb. We will see you soon along the trail.

Statistics per John Cassucio for the 3 day riding adventure:

70 miles
5560 elevation gain
8316 elevation loss
Average Speed 8.33 MPH

John, Haley and Simon- the family that rides together stays together.

Thanks for reading and if you would like to be a follower of the blog, simply enter your email address into the box at the left on the page or on the bottom of your smart phone posting.

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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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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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