Today, I reflect on a wonderful winter that I’ve had here at Deep Creek Lake and all the wonderful adventures that came my way. I finally put down my old-school 10-year old parallel skis and stepped into a set of modern shape skis and had a go on perfect powder at Wisp Resort. I can’t believe that I went this long without experiencing the amazing engineering and control that this has brought to my skiing. As always, Devils Drop is my go-to slope when I want to carve through the trees and experience that “out west” feeling that Wisp can give you in certain areas of the mountain.
I have also had a lot of “first time” experiences this winter which has me buzzing more than my norm with excitement over other winter activities. Since I was a very young girl, I have always loved ice skating and thankfully I had the opportunity to put the skates on again at Wisp’s Ice Rink this winter. I felt exhilarated gliding across the ice with a bonfire roaring along the outside of the ice rink and dozens of people sharing the experience.
Make no mistake about it; my absolute new favorite sport is snowmobiling! For years I have heard from my local friends how they routinely drive their “sleds” across the lake; the safety net in my mind always spoke to me when I would hear this wondering “if these folks were a little short of common sense?!” The old question, “Why would you jump out of a perfectly good plane?” comes to mind as I contemplate driving over frozen Deep Creek Lake waters. I mean, there are plenty of trails around the county on perfectly solid ground that would serve as a safer outlet for me and this sport. The fact is that the lake is impeccably safe after it gets 6+ inches of ice buildup and it’s strong as solid ground when it gets 15+ inches, as it was when I when crossed it for the first time. I’ll never forget the rush of just casting aside my fears and hitting the throttle wide open launching straight across the center of the lake. The change in perspective in viewing the lake in the winter from the middle looking inward while racing at 100mph is something you have to experience to understand. It’s cool because you can cover 60-70 miles around the lake in a very small amount of time and the sights you see are some that many life-long residents have never and will never see. I urge you to put it on your list of things to experience here in Garrett County.
I feel fortunate every morning I wake up and relish every experience that is available throughout all the wonderful seasons we are blessed with here.
Deep Creek Lake Garrett County History “Trail To Kendall”
Garrett County’s history is immense and vast. If you look hard enough you can find little nooks and crannies from the past that are very interesting to explore and visit. Sometimes no matter how hard you look all you will be left with are just memories of another time in American history. This weekend, I stumbled upon a hike along the Youghiogheny River, upriver from Friendsville, that leads to the once thriving old lumber town known as Kendall. My wife, Betsy, and I took our French Mastiff down the trail that starts on the Eastern Side of the Yough right under the I-68 highway bridge, the bridge that spans the river, and headed two miles to this mysterious extinct town.
Facts. In 1889, the Confluence and Oakland Railroad was extended upriver from Friendsville along the Youghiogheny River to start a new milling operation in Garrett County. Immediately, houses, a church, and a school were erected to become home to the many workers brought in by the sawmill operation. The first company to build a sawmill was Yough Manor Lumber Company and the town birthed its first name of Yough Manor. Next came in A. Knapp Company, which setup a stave mill in 1891. The town’s name was then changed to Krug after Henry Krug who was an A. Knapp Company official. Then during the early 20th century the town took its 3rd and final name of Kendall after the Kendall Lumber Company that operated there for a fair amount of time until the timber business diminished in the 1920’s. The McCullough Coal Mine Company was the last company to operate in the town. The Confluence and Oakland Railroad was removed in the 1940’s and the buildings and houses that were remaining completely disappeared. They say that all that remains now are a few house foundations and piles of saw dust. We would soon find out…
During our hike along the river, we had the beautiful spring thaw flowing down the river to our right and had numerous runoff branch streams screaming off the mountain to our left. Our dog, Mali, pounced down the bank of the river throughout our entire hike trying to catch some mysterious critters that we never did see surface! Her nose was buried in the dirt trying to locate a scent that may give her a clue as to where the mystery rodents were hiding. We walked for about 1-1/2 hours, and to be honest with you, never saw any remnants of the old town of Kendall, like old foundations or piles of sawdust. We did see a man-made “wall” of some sort along the way but really the star of the hike was… well…the hike! We kept an eagle eye out for the town of Kendall but had an excellent time exploring a unique and special area that even my 12th generation Garrett County wife, Betsy, had never experienced before. If you are looking for a nice place to relax far away from the crowds, where you can walk through the footprints of our past down a rail line to significant Garrett County history then put the Trail to Kendall on your lists of things to experience.
Side fact. Did you know that Wisp Resorts ski in/ ski out community Kendall Camp was named after this mysterious old town?
Cardboard Box Derby Long And Foster Deep Creek Lake
This year’s Cardboard Box Derby was a big hit again this year with smiles to be had by all the spectators and competitors. Excellent food, like Long & Foster’s own Doug McClive’s world famous “Dougy Dog’s”, barbecue, and cold beverages are in supply and scrumptious. Wisp Resort’s Tubing Park is transformed into a snow race track for vehicles made of cardboard and duct tape in this very popular annual event. There was an amazingly huge pirate ship, a mega pontoon boat, a giant space shuttle, a detailed fire truck, and back by popular demand…Long and Foster’s speed demon hotrod, “The Bobs Sled”. This super slick sled has taken second place for two years in a row with its sleek design and engineering by LNF’s manager, Bob Carney, and Sales Associate, Bob Holcomb, who put enough duct tape on this puppy to last decades! Even though it potentially has many more years of racing, we have decided to retire her after this year’s fast drag run. We are going to build a bigger and better sled for next year!
Long and Foster has a lot of agents who are active in the Lion’s Club who volunteer their time to help raise money for the Blind Skiers program by working concessions for the event. We also have a strong showing from our office to cheer on all the wonderful contestants that come in hopes for a victory in design and speed. Take my advice and start putting together your design on paper now and get construction underway as soon as possible so you can experience a super duper fun time here in Deep Creek Lake!
Real Estate Market Update-Deep Creek Lake MD-Spring 2011. Springtime is upon us here in Deep Creek Lake and the vital signs of our real estate market are at a steady and encouraging pulse. “Traditionally”, springtime and summertime hail as our busiest times for home buying and we “normally” see a lot of second home buyers shopping for their dream home here at the lake. Well, words like “traditionally” and “normally” are fine for folks in the real estate profession who count on the climate in the business to remain the same. As we all know, we are on the upswing of a grand recession and only current facts and knowledge should guide us in our decision making process.
This week, me and my wife, Betsy Spiker Holcomb, took the 4 + hour drive to the town of Richmond, Virginia to learn from legendary Real Estate guru Brian Buffini about the latest and most current information regarding all aspects of real estate. We were not alone as we shared the conference center with 1,500 other agents trying to learn as much about the current market as possible to pass on this valuable knowledge to their clients. The Spiker Team has always committed a substantial amount of time and money traveling around the East Coast to stay educated on the current real estate conditions from land/lots sales, secondary home sales, resort sales opportunities, updates in lending practices, facts about loans and interest rates that may help you in deciding the best time to buy, myths and facts about short sales and foreclosures, and so forth.
Email Betsy Spiker Holcomb for a current fact sheet that we have prepared pertaining to relevant real estate information that will surely be of value to you if you are considering to purchase or sell real estate.
Deep Creek Lake-Garrett County History. Long before Deep Creek Lake came into existence it had plenty of history pre-dating the area as we know it now. Native American artifacts uncover that many tribes like the Cherokee, Delaware (Lanape), and Shawnee have extensive history here in Western Maryland. The Mingo Tribe were indigenous people to the area who annually returned to mountaintops to hunt, fish, plant crops, and trade. There is evidence left from floods through the Potomac River Valley that indicate that some villages have been in existence for over 2000 years.
The first known permanent resident /settler of the Garrett County area was John Friend Sr., who came from the Colony of Virginia with his brother Andrew and son Gabriel in 1762. Eventually they ended up at an Indian village along the Youghiogheny River, which now bears the family name, Friendsville.
In 1872, they divided Allegheny County and formed Garrett County, which was the last County to be formed in Maryland. The county was named after railroad executive, industrialist, and financier John Work Garrett who served as president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad from 1858-1884. An interesting fact to note is that the Maryland-Pennsylvania line was surveyed and marked by astronomer Charles Mason and surveyor Jeremiah Dixon. This famous dividing point became known as the Mason Dixon Line, which symbolized the cultural boundary between the Northern and Southern United States, Garrett County representing the South.
In 1806, President Thomas Jefferson signed a bill from the United States Congress setting aside money for building the National Railroad. This was to be the first federally constructed highway in the nation stretching from Cumberland, Maryland to Wheeling, West Virginia. As Americans, we all are very fortunate to live in the greatest country in the world that possesses abundant history and keeps us grounded on where we have been and where we are going in life.
Hiking Deep Creek Lake-Garrett County. Hiking Deep Creek Lake can be a very refreshing experience as we transition into spring here in the next couple of weeks. Garrett County is made up of 420,950 land acres in which 383,065 is assessed as agricultural lands. State parks, forests, and wildlife management areas assist in the preservation of approximately 20% of the total acreage, which is close to a staggering 85,000 acres of recreation area. You can understand why hiking may be an activity that may pique the interest of people wanting to get off the everyday path of life and to be teleported back in time when this great land of ours was undeveloped and abundant in natural beauty. It takes minimal research to find some amazing trails to get away to and enjoy the finest scenery in this part of the country. You can hike along many pristine rivers, perhaps stopping to wet a fly and catch a few native trout for supper. Maybe you just want to take in the stunning views and share them with your friends and family while you keep your heart pumping with a healthy happiness throughout your veins. Pack your trail boots on your next visit to the lake and set foot on the vast labyrinths of hiking trails dissecting our unique county here in Western Maryland.