February Moon


Even when Mother Nature seems to be not quite herself, she delights.

Several of us who keep track of such things, can’t ever remember a Winter such as we’ve been experiencing. Given the temperatures and the copious amounts of rain, it’s truly unbelievable how good the crew at Elk have been keeping the ski conditions.

A few of us recently travelled north, and corresponded with kindred spirits there only to find that the best skiing on the east coast right now may very well be at Elk.

As we look forward to whatever the rest of this Winter offers us, the sky has been entertaining. The moon setting over Elk and the snowmaking lights earlier this week was nearly surreal.

And, just to keep us looking up, a bald eagle soared over Elk before gliding off to parts unknown.


Cloud Stuff


Earlier this week, wind chill values of less than 30 degrees below zero, followed a couple days later by air temperatures near 50 degrees, followed by temperatures in the teens, caused clouds to drag themselves across the top of Elk Mountain.

These clouds left some of the stuff of which they are made clinging to twigs and branches.

The crew at Elk have kept the snow conditions at Elk outstanding despite these caprices of Mother Nature.



Clifford Township Historical Society “GENERAL STORE” OPEN FOR BUSINESS


CLIFFORD TOWNSHIP PA — Come one – Come all! The grand opening of the new General Store in the Clifford Museum of Local History has been scheduled for Sunday February 21st, 1:00pm-4:00pm.

As part of the Clifford Township Historical Society’s (CTHS) continually evolving efforts to preserve and display local history, the General Store is the group’s latest project to come to fruition. “We’re really so excited about this,” said Sandy Wilmot, President of the Clifford Township Historical Society. “The Museum of Local History has kept growing since it first opened in 2012, and the General Store has been a planned part of this all along. For years, we’ve been collecting all kinds of memorabilia and local historical artifacts to display in the store, and to have this project finished is great.”

Located in the Community Center on Cemetery Street, Clifford, the Museum of Local History comprises an ever-growing assemblage of all things related to the history and the people of the local area. The General Store has been designed and built within the museum itself.

“Our store was designed to be just like some of the old general stores that were once found throughout the Clifford area,” said Wilmot. “It’s comprised of two separate walk-in rooms and includes memorabilia as well as items for sale.

In the main room, CTHS has displayed numerous artifacts, many of which have been donated from friends throughout the community. “There’s a pot-bellied stove, a big old barrel where folks can play checkers, and on loan to us from the Kenny Bennett family of Harford is the original McCaskey cash register from Bennett’s Store,” said Wilmot. “The shelves are stocked with jams, jellies, and apple butter that society members make from local area fruits and sell to benefit our many projects. We’re also selling CTHS calendars, CDs and books about the area’s history, note cards and Christmas ornaments, mugs and more.”

The room off the store’s main area is a replica of an old doctor’s office. As Wilmot noted, “Around the turn of the century, the doctor was also the town barber. This room houses an antique tilting barber’s chair that’s on loan to us from Sarah Keating. We’ve also collected numerous old medical books, vintage jars and bandage tins, and many somewhat unusual items that you wouldn’t necessarily find in a doctor’s office of today — so many things have changed through the years. Being able to share some of these items from long ago is not only educational, but it’s a wonderful way for many of our donors to be able to pass along some of their own heritage.”

While the General Store has been designed to be as authentic as possible, perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of the store is its construction. The cedar boards that side the exterior walls were collected from the former Paradise Valley Dance Hall owned by Harvey White. “The hall is now being remodeled by Mike and Dave Prestys,” Wilmot added, “and they were more than happy to donate enough siding for our project. CTHS volunteer, contractor Jerry Lewandowski, carefully removed the siding and installed on the exterior of our General Store. It really looks great and adds so much authenticity.”

The CTHS continually benefits from local area residents and its dedicated volunteers who share their time, countless talents and skills, as well as their own ancestral memorabilia to help further the group’s works and enhance the community’s education of area history. Anyone who has any historical items that they would like to donate to or lend to the museum is invited to contact them at 570-679-2723 or www.cliffordtownshiphistoricalsociety.org. The museum is open monthly on the third Sunday from 1:00pm-4:00pm.

Written by Union Dale freelance feature writer Karen Bernhardt Toolan for the Clifford Township Historical Society, with thanks to the Susquehanna County Room Tax Grant Fund through the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau.


CTHS volunteers Shirley Granger, Sandy Wilmot, and Marianne Pribula take a break while putting the finishing touches on the new General Store in the Museum of Local History, located in Clifford’s Community Center. The new exhibit will open to the public on Sunday February 21st, from 1:00pm-4:00pm.



Generally speaking, It’s been an unseasonably warm winter, with unusually little snowfall. Even so, the crew at Elk’s hard work has kept the conditions better than you’d imagine. As other eastern resorts from the Mid-Atlantic up into New England have closed due to lack of snow, skiing at Elk this season has been excellent.

A few inches of dry dusty snow accumulated in the neighborhood this week, whitening the scenery, making it look and feel more like a proper winter.

Still a couple inches short of dog snow, more is forecasted for tonite. My canine roommate and I remain hopeful enough will fall for a ski outing on the trails we’ve been tending and hiking in boots since last autumn.

The first run down the Slalom trail on Elk the morning after the snowfall just as dawn broke, floating down through these few inches of snow,  made me forget.

Made me forget to think about turning. I observed as the skis, my self, the snow, and gravity, seemingly operating outside my consciousness, conspired and flowed down the mountain, etching the karma of their collaboration onto the surface of the snow.

The next run, and the next, and the next made me forget that it is cold out. Made me forget that the winter has been warm. Made me forget to take a bathroom break. Made me forget the  weight loaded into my thighs by countless turns. Made me forget that I’m more than middle-aged.

The ground hog forecasted that spring is right around the corner. He’s been wrong before.

Even though late winter may get better than imagined, right now is the best this winter has offered: good wintry weather, music all over The Hill Friday and Saturday, lodging and dining specials for romantical Valentine’s Day Sunday, and President’s Day on Monday.

Yup, it might get even better, but seems most prudent to get out on The Hill this holiday weekend, and enjoy!