There’s a story in ’em ‘er woods…or more like it, a whole lot of stories! Swallow Falls State Park is just outside of Deep Creek Lake, Maryland and stretches to about 257 acres along the scenic Youghiogheny River. Hiking trails will lead you to 2 large falls, Swallow Falls and Muddy Creek Falls, as well as several smaller whitewaters. Tall Hemlocks dominate the silent woods, which are estimated to be 300+ years old.
As a native to Garrett County, Maryland I’ve walked these paths on many occasions but I learn something new about the historical park each time I visit. On my most recent trip to Swallow Falls, I noticed a few things about the trees that adorn its forests.
Youghiogheny Grove is a 37-acre area of virgin Hemlock and White Pine and is the last stand of its kind in Maryland. Another grove of trees a little closer to the river is known as Towering Giants. Because of their age, the trees’ root systems are shallow and particularly vulnerable to storm damage. Some of the treetops and limbs have been stripped over the years, but to look up and see the sunlight glistening through them is a spectacle you’ll want to experience.
With just under a month left to ski at Wisp Ski Resort, the Cardboard Box Derby is on everyone’s radar this coming weekend. I have been in attendance the last two years and I have been in awe of the creative design and the speed of the entries. I have seen fire engines, ambulances, motorcycles, bi-planes, and even the Flintstones car straight out of Bedrock. The fun really starts when the contestants saddle up on their cardboard, duct tape, and string creations. This year, Long and Foster Manager Bob Carney and I are trying to build an aero-dynamic speed demon to dominate the speed category. Win or lose, everyone competing or spectating understands that we are doing this to raise money for the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club Blind Skiers Program.
There are three categories by which the entries will be judged: 1.) Design, 2.) Speed, 3.) Judges Choice. The fun starts at 1:00PM at the Bear Claw Tubing Park on Saturday March 20th. Bring your family and friends and come experience a fun afternoon watching cardboard creations wrapped with miles of duct tape taking center stage for this gratifying cause. If you are interested in participating you still have time.
Here are the rules:
1. Boxes may be constructed only of cardboard, tape and string.
2. Decorations, painting and flags are permitted and encouraged.
3. Push-off at Start by non-rider is permitted.
4. No limit on number of passengers or size of box.
5. Participants are asked to remove boxes/remnants at finish of race.
6. Each entry will run individually against the clock.
There is something thing to be said for the changing of the seasons and the anticipation and excitement of things to come. After a fulfilling winter of activities there is an eagerness for spring to arrive so we can hear the birds chirping on a warm sunny morning, or to once again witness the familiar smells of the flowers and grass after months of snow on the ground. Then as we transition toward summer and the lake comes alive with activities and my mind becomes fixated on simple pleasures like summer tomatoes, Maryland blue crabs, or fresh silver queen corn. Each season has some familiar thing that pleasures one of your senses and the anticipation makes it all the more satisfying.
The last five days here in Deep Creek Lake we have seen crisp sunny blue skies and a slight rise in temperatures signaling the approach of brilliant springtime. As the snow levels subside and the streets and back wood paths begin to thaw, you can feel the energy level pulsing throughout the community. How exhilarating after a cold snowy winter it is to go for a jog, or take you dog for a walk or in warm sunshine. I have always believed that if you love and appreciate something in life you must let it go sometimes to see if it returns to you another day. My love for wintertime has always returned year-after-year. And I spend the rest of the time enjoying all the other seasons and the thrill of what they have to offer.
Deep Creek Lake Ski Season Update. What an amazing weekend we’ve just experienced at Deep Creek Lake! The skies were blue and the slopes were nothing but corduroy. We couldn’t have asked for better conditions. If you think you’ve had your fill of winter, the last 4 days of sunshine will make you appreciate the exhilaration of spring skiing.
A record snowfall of 262+ inches will easily carry us well into April (and probably even June!), but the one month alarm has just sounded. Wisp Resort will remain open through Easter weekend allowing us 4 more weekends of fun on the slopes. The fresh powder we’ve had has been a dream, but there’s also something to be said for skiing without all those layers. Then again, who’s to say we won’t see one more snowstorm! 🙂
News Release…Record Snow Fall at Deep Creek Lake May Result in Unprecedented Spring Melt
Deep Creek Hydroelectric Station to Lower Lake Levels; Lake Users Encouraged to Take Extra Safety Precautions
March 3, 2010, Oakland, MD – Sooner or later the record snow fall at Deep Creek Lake must melt and that could cause a record spring runoff. To a limited extent, Deep Creek Lake levels can be controlled by the Deep Creek Hydroelectric Station which operates under a Water Appropriation and Use permit from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). Under the permit conditions, the Station, which is owned by Brookfield Renewable Power, uses water to generate hydropower, but keeps Lake levels within a defined “rule band” with upper and lower limits. This year’s unprecedented snow fall will likely result in an unprecedented snow melt, particularly if temperatures warm quickly.
To avoid serious and potentially damaging high water conditions at the dam and on the Lake, the Maryland Department of the Environment has approved Brookfield’s request to draw the Lake level down two feet below its permitted March lower limit. The draw down, which began on March 1, will take place gradually, with a maximum of 0.5 feet reduction per day. David Barnhart, General Manager for Brookfield’s Mid-America Operations said, “Together with MDE, we are doing what we can to anticipate and mitigate the impacts of the spring thaw. As this winter proves, you never know what Mother Nature will throw you and an early, sustained thaw may result in higher than usual water levels.”
The lowered water levels beneath the ice cover, combined with warming temperatures, pose unpredictable risks to recreational users of Deep Creek Lake. Carolyn Mathews, Manager of the Deep Creek Lake Recreation Area advises, “People should remember that there are always hazards to recreating on naturally-formed ice. Lowering the Lake to make additional storage space for the anticipated above normal spring runoff may destabilize the Lake’s ice and we urge everyone to take special care to stay safe.”
The MDE, Brookfield, and the Department of Natural Resources continue to monitor the Lake levels and weather conditions to determine whether additional actions for safety of recreational users may be required. Lake levels can be found at www.deepcreekhydro.com.
(Source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Brookfield Renewable Power Inc., Maryland Department of the Environment)
Have an appetite for Sushi? If you do, then make plans to be at DC’s Restaurant at Wisp Resort on any Wednesday for Sushi Night and get ready for a mouth watering seafood treat. You’d never think of putting together a first class Sushi dinner with Maryland’s most successful ski resort, but it has quickly become a seafood match made with a winter wonderland heaven.
Try my favorite, the Tiger Eyes Roll with calamari, spicy tuna, carrot, and cucumber to start off with. I like to add sesame seeds and tobiko with seaweed wrapped around the outside. This marriage of ingredients makes for the best flavors to have ever touched my taste buds. I always order my sushi with seaweed on the outside and DC’s doesn’t mind a special request from their patrons. The menu is extensive with many superb rolls like the Godzilla Roll, the Salmon Roll, the Spicy Tuna Roll and many more of my favorites. Start off with an Asian Salad with ginger dressing, or enjoy Edamames and Seaweed Salad. Whatever you choose will be a winner, guaranteed.
DC’s has three seasoned sushi chefs that have made Sushi Night the go-to place to enjoy a culinary art form that was referenced in Japanese history as early as 718. Order from the bar, or go inside DC’s and enjoy a calming atmosphere and a cozy table down by a warm fireplace. Manager Vicki Buckel has worked for years overseeing and training her accommodating staff to make sure every detail of your dining experience is a memorable one. Make sure the next Wednesday you are at Deep Creek Lake you get over to DC’s to enjoy a good atmosphere, meet some new friends, and enjoy some great food.
Real estate market looking up at Deep Creek Lake. YES, this statment is proving to be true! There have been 17 residential sales thus far in 2010, with sales prices ranging anywhere from $80,000-825,000. On top of that, there are 32 additional residential properties that are under contract or pending sale with asking prices of $42,900-2,250,000. This is potentially 49 sales for the 1st quarter of 2010. Nothing to shrug off considering the low consumer confidence we’ve seen over the last 18 months.
For comparison, there were 18 home sales during the same time last year ( 1/1/09-3/1/09), 32 sales in 2008, 49 sales in 2007 and 67 sales in 2006. Our average list price to sales price ratio is still 91%, which is considerably good when looking at the nation’s averages. (Source for # of units sold: Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, MRIS)