Springtime Rain-Thunderstorms-Deep Creek Lake. This morning at 5:30am I was awoke by the comforting sound of thunder rumbling through the valleys and across Deep Creek Lake. It has been a long time since I have heard the soothing rain outside my window, which signals that spring time is moving closer. The snow shovels are idle, the Christmas trees are put aside to make a fishing structure for the summer, and flower pots are ready to be cleaned up and planted. The lake still has a thick layer of ice and the ski slopes have a good base to play on, but Mother Nature’s setting up a beautiful spring with adequate amounts of rains to boost the vegetation here in a couple of months. There are stubborn, small pockets of snow around the county that still are undecided about the end of the winter season but the rain at the moment is slowly etching them down to size. Rain has different effects on different people. I love a nice peaceful rain to bring that relaxing calm that seems to smooth out my day. Temperatures are forecasted to drop back below freezing during the week and who knows, it could snow for the next couple months. However it works out, today is a great day because it started with the gentle rumblings of a springtime rain and a thunderstorm here in Deep Creek Lake. If you focus on the little things in life that bring you joy and comfort, you are destined to live a long and happy life. Deep Creek Lake’s early spring has my attention at the moment.
Deep Creek Dunk Costumes-Deep Creek Dunk-2011. This year’s Deep Creek Dunk costumes really exceeded anyone’s imagination, a total participation by everyone and once again raising big numbers for The Special Olympics. My understanding is that the total amount of money raised is around $160,000 + for this wonderful charity. There were at least a thousand or so people outside the Honi Honi bar in full support of this growing event. This year the costumes were over the top and the amount of dunkers in costumes certainly increased. A few great ones that come to mind: Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, ZZ Top, Hank Williams, Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, Brett Michaels, Eton John, Prince, 7 Michael Jacksons, Captain America, Finding Nemo characters, Dreadlocks, speedos, spacemen, ice cube people, masked wrestlers, feathered masked woman, a cat woman, Indians, Hugh Heffner and his ladies, drag queens, The Village People, doctors, nurses, just to name a few! It was standing room only to see the judging of the costume contest. The “Legends of Rock” took top honors in the contest and were a heck of a lot of fun. I don’t think I have witnessed so many smiles and people having fun in a really long time. It was a great charity and family event and I have this strange itch brewing to maybe partake in the actual dunk next year.
Diving Deep Creek Lake in the Winter. Deep Creek Lake has it all, as I have mentioned in numerous blogs in the past. And, as I have said before, you can’t make this stuff up! Today I was coming home from an appointment on State Park Road and I happened to notice a group of people on the ice outside the Discovery Center near the Deep Creek Lake State Park. I am a fairly curious guy so I drove over to check it out and found out that there were a group of people diving in the Lake. You may find that a little odd considering the 18 or so inches of ice on the lake at the moment. I was invited out on the ice to get a closer look at the action and was led to triangular hole that was previously cut out and that had scuba gear all around it. Ten or so locals and out-of-towners were preparing to get suited up and do a dark and ominous dive under the ice. It may seem dark and spooky but the fact of the matter is that these divers were beaming with excitement. Two divers attached to one rope dive as another person would keep tension on the rope and feed it to them as they plummeted 40’ deep in the deepest part of the channel. All of this is being supervised by a master diver instructor. I have surfed in ocean temperatures a hair warmer than the lake, but could not imagine the sensations that these divers experience in freezing waters, clouded visibility, and under a layer of ice and snow. Once submerged in the depths of ice water, the only directional lifeline to the small exit-hole in the ice is a rope clasped to their scuba harness about 150’ in length. Talk about living on the edge! I definitely have all intentions of trying the sport of diving sometime in the future but I think I will leave the extreme diving to the experts.
Spring Warm Up-Swallow Falls-Deep Creek Lake. Last week, Deep Creek Lake and the rest of the East Coast saw a huge spike in temperatures which put an end to the activities on our frozen lake. The spring thaw at Swallow Falls State Park can be a very spectacular thing to witness after such a warm up. For the moment, the ice fishermen have cleaned up their gear and are reflecting on the wonderful moments that were had during this stellar winter season on the ice. The snowmobiles are all cleaned up and are being stored in their trailers or garages. This year’s week long surge in temperatures really accelerated the major spring thaw that by Friday 2/19/11 had the rivers and streams flexing with power that is hard to comprehend. My husband and I were at Swallow Falls State Park witnessing this quantum power when believe it or not a kayaker came barreling through the falls at mach speed. Unfortunately, we did not get a photo of this exciting experience as it happened so fast. The spring thaw is a really a fun event to witness when you are here at DCL. Don’t fret if you missed the start of it last week. The water has already cleaned up, and there are some spectacular sites to be witnessed over the next couple of months as we ease into spring. Take a moment to witness the relaxing sites and sounds of the water and streams here at Deep Creek Lake.
Winter Fest will be held again this year in Oakland, Maryland on February 18-20 and will kick off Friday with the annual Progressive Dinner. Diners will be treated to sleigh rides skipping from one restaurant to another ending up at the Oakland Historical Museum. Temperatures are forecasted to be in the mid 50’s until Saturday where they will drop in the 30’s and begin to feel like winter again.
During the weekend, Bill Sandusky form Frozen Assets Ice Carving Company will returning to wow you with his amazing carving skills. Kids will be treated to a personalized block of ice with their names carved in it. Ice sculptures will be lit at night and be on display the entire week until they melt.
Are you a scratch bowler? Try your hand at bowling frozen cantaloupes down an ice ally knocking down traditional bowling pins. Now that’s something you don’t do everyday! Horse-drawn sleigh rides will be available to the public throughout the event. The Oakland Trail will be open during the day and well-lit at nigh for cross country skiers and snowshoe’ers. Don’t forget to drop into Marvin’s to vote on the Prince and Princess “Snowflake Toddler”. Get your creative juices flowing and bring your props to enter the snowman making contest. Prizes will be awarded to the master snowman artist. As you enjoy the lighted snow sculptures dispersed around town don’t forget to gather around the huge bonfire and cook up a few smores.
The highlight for me will be the snowmobile races on Saturday at The Armory. Bring your hotrod and saddle up on the race track to see if you have what it takes to get the checkered flag. Winter Fest is destined to be another spectacular event around the Deep Creek Lake area for your family and friends so don’t miss it!
Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Just a hair west of the Eastern Continental Divide on a large Plateau called Tablelands, and just a bit East of Morgantown, West Virginia home of the Mountaineers, you will find the up and coming resort town of Deep Creek Lake. Maryland. The mighty Youghiogheny River carves through the panhandle of Maryland’s Garrett County mountains as it flows north through Pennsylvania and finally merges with the famous three rivers in the steel town of Pittsburgh then funnels to the Mississippi River and eventually drains into The Gulf of Mexico. Deep Creek Lake was a very popular get away for the rich and well-to-do folks who were trying to escape the brutal humid heat that dominated the East Coast at the turn of the century. Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone and Thomas Edison often camped at Maryland’s highest waterfall, Muddy Creek falls which is only minutes from the northern end of the lake. Deep Creek Lake was in fact created when the DCL Dam was constructed in 1928, which gave this tranquil mountain environment another valuable asset and catapulted the area into becoming Maryland’s diamond in the rough. The lake slowly evolved to support lake recreational activities such as boating, sailing, fishing, swimming, and waterskiing and whose main stream popularity gained momentum through the decades to become the centerpiece for tourism in the state of Maryland. In 1955, Mr. Ace Heise turned the cow pastures of Marsh Mountain into a make shift ski area that slowly evolved into one of the premier ski resorts on the east coast, Wisp Resort. The power trio of Wisp Resort, Deep Creek Lake, and the Youghiogheny River stand as the nucleus to the county thriving abundantly with recreational activities year round. Activities include; hiking, river and lake fishing, camping, snowshoeing, boating, sailing, wakeboarding, slalom skiing, ATV riding, snowmobiling, kayaking, snow skiing, snowboarding, zip lining, dune buggy trails, ice skating, a roller coaster, and jet skiing to name a few. With the popularity of the lake came more and more events to entertain locals and tourist alike. Events like: The Autumn Glory Festival & Parade, The Deep Creek Dunk, The Cardboard Box Derby, Deep Creek Lake Art and Wine Festival, K-9 Tunes and Brews, Winter Fest, Aquapooloza and many more throughout the season. Take a little time before your next visit to DCL and dig up some facts and history in the archives of the internet so your appreciation for this special town can be fully understood.
I have been seduced by the mountain life and loving it!!! Bucket list…Snowmobile drag racing…CHECK! I can’t reiterate how much I enjoy life here in Deep Creek Lake after the work bell rings! I am a self-professed surfing and beach junkie and wondered if I could ever be disconnected from the ocean life that has always been my roots and co-exist with the mountain lifestyle. The answer easily screams YES!!
Yesterday I participated in snowmobile drag races, an event that was put on by The Snowdrifters Club. Temperatures ranged from cold to freezing with stiff 20-25 mph West winds bringing horizontal snow and walloping wind chills. Sign up’s started at 8’ish and went on until 10am. The event kicked in with the classic old snowmobiles leading the charge. Next came everyone’s favorite class which was the Kitty Kat class. Little youngsters were getting their feet wet in a sport that surely will be engrained in their hearts forever. The smiles of these wonderful children and the cheers from the supportive spectators really kicked this ice cold event off with warm feelings by all. The rest of the day rotated classes ranging from 400 cc’s to 1100 cc’s and were separated by classes – Stock, Super Sock, and Pro Mod. The rush of sitting at the starting line awaiting the stage light to go green can only be experienced; words do not describe these types of emotions. As the light goes green and you hammer the throttle, you explode off the starting line like a rocket ship and the peripheral vision blurs as your focus becomes the finish line. Sure, these sleds hit speeds of 100- 120mph on the lake but you only have 500’ to reach your top speed when drag racing. Factors influencing speed are where you take off and the snow conditions beneath your sled, how you distribute your weight on the sled, the line you choose, visibility, and most importantly how quickly you get into the throttle as the light turns green. Unbelievably exciting event!!
We have one more drag race coming up next weekend for those of you that missed it this year. Check out Deep Creek Home this week for more details.
Cardboard Box Derby Design-Deep Creek Lake. March 19, 2011. That means you only have 37 days to come up with a design, get the necessary cardboard, purchase a couple dozen rolls of duct tape, and try to put together a team of people who will be willing to sip a few beers and help build a cardboard rocket ship for this year’s cardboard box derby. Last year, Long and Foster manager Bob Carney, and myself (Bob Holcomb) from The Spiker Team put together our first entry in this event which was a two man Bob Sled, AKA “The Bobs’ Sled”. Long and Foster agent Doug McClive had the cardboard connection from an anonymous source, and fellow agent Mark Utterback came through with cases of duct tape to get the build started. What better way to get down a track of packed snow than on a Bobsled? So, from there the construction journey began on some old saw horses with many different kinds of cardboard products. It didn’t take too many 3- hour build sessions to get our design laid out and put together.
BLOG STOP!Seriously folks, it is not that hard to build a cardboard box entry. The whole experience from putting it together until you cross the finish line is exciting and rewarding. BLOG RE-START!
Did I mention this is to raise money for the blind skiers program??? I bet I can find more reasons for you to participate then you can invent excuses not too. You have 37 days. Get together with your family, friends, coworkers, or make some new friends and put your best effort in building a cardboard box masterpiece and pilot the vessel to victory. If you finish first or last, consider it a victory in life for supporting a great cause and having a heck of a lot of fun being a part of the process.
Let’s get ready to RUMBLE! Leave the boxing gloves at home this weekend, fuel up your snowmobile and head on down to the big drag races this Saturday February 12th, 2011. This weekend the crowd will be at Harvey’s Farm, 2482 Sandflat Road watching the bold and brave flex their ego’s and horsepower at this classic Garrett County event. I am bursting with excitement because this is my first sled drag race other than racing my husband Bob for bragging rights on the lake. I’m still on the fence whether I will suit up and represent the ladies in this all day event. Watching my new husband race may be about all the excitement I can stand in one day, personally. I can’t wait to watch the thunder in all the different classes which go from Stock, Super Stock, and Pro Modified. Word is that the big dogs are bringing in their super hot rods that will be thrilling to watch as they can reach some rally insane speeds. Bring your family, and tell your friends about this supercharged winter event.
Garrett County Special Olympics Dunk. This year’s winter season is far from over and in my mind we have a few more annual events left that help define what a special place we have here in Deep Creek Lake. It’s early February and we have snow flurries coming down at the moment. Tuesdays are always a great time on the slopes considering that the traffic has thinned out from the weekend. As we look ahead at the must-see events calendar, we have in our crosshairs the Deep Creek Dunk. This event takes place at DCL’s party hub, The Honi Honi Bar, and you can be sure that it will be standing room only, as always. People make their way by car, truck, snowmobiles, snowshoes, cross country skis, and I’ve even seen a lady pulling her children on a sled across the frozen lake. The event sponsors come in weeks ahead of time with chainsaws and other implements of destruction to cut out a huge area along the shoreline through the 1-2 foot lake ice to set the stage for the insanity. Dunk (not drunk as you may suspect!) participants get people to sponsor them ($50 per sponsor) and they literally bare all and jump into icy Deep Creek Lake to raise money for Maryland’s Special Olympics. Well, not bare all, but last year I did see a guy in Speedos with swim fins and a snorkel mask on, as painful as that may sound. That’s where this gets even more interesting…Aside from the body bearers, some people come dressed up in all kinds of unique, wacky, fun costumes which add even more enjoyment for spectators. Make the decision now; are you a dunker or a watcher? No matter what you do, don’t miss this exciting and fun event that revolves around raising money for a first class charity organization.