Category Archives: Around The Hill

Bernie’s Boots


Bernie’s gilded boots,
worn no more, last step taken.
Now, back door sentinels.

This last pair of many,
first donned, same as the rest,
smooth and anonymous.

All worn, worn out,
through darkness and day,
cold and hot, wet and dry,

Calloused feet,
more comfortable unshod,
wore and smoothed leather lining.

Toiled steps
creased, soaked, scarred, and scuffed,
skin, hide and sole.

Observers now, and evidence of,
a vital, irresistible habit of industry,
gapped only by well deserved sleep.

Responsibilities fulfilled shine these boots.
No longer partners in toil,
now, adornment to life well spent.

Fiddle Lake Creek


View of Fiddle Lake Creek near the Rail-Trail trailhead next door to Cable’s Store in Union Dale.

Though there always remains more work, volunteers from the NEPA Rail-Trail chapter did a great job of tidying up the trail as part of their contribution to the The Great Pennsylvania Cleanup 2004.

The group’s efforts make scenes such as this one more accessible and enjoyable for locals and visitors alike.

PARA Championships


The 2004 PA Alpine Racing Association Championships, a competition for the best young ski racers in Pennsylvania, were held at Elk Mountain this year.

The women’s events were dominated by The Girls From Elk, culminating on the last race on Sunday with Emma Hobson first, Elizabeth Karam second, Nicole Klenk in third with Courtney McGregor and Amy Coyne rounding out the first seed finishers.

Ms. Klenk’s third place on Sunday complemented her win on Friday’s race.

Ms. Karam’s season long quest for the PA Governer’s Cup proved successful as her last run of the last race on Sunday garnered her the points necessary to be named champion.

Though some were bruised and battered from a demanding season of fierce competition, the Elk Racing Men’s Squad led by Taylor Harrison, Kenny Connors, Andrew Conrad, Mark Faubel, Albert Torres, and Shawn Matthews managed to occupy at least a third of the top seed places in most of the race series.

Look for more racing info on the Elk Mountain Ski Club website

East Branch Valley


Left to right, Round Hill, Elk Hill North Knob, Elk Hill South Knob.

East Branch Valley

As they have for hundreds of years,
visitors and homecomers alike,
journey East Branch Valley
toward the heart of Elk Mtn Area.

To some,
a passage as they rusticate;
a harbinger of repose.

To those who dwell
in deep folds of shaded valleys,
along crests of worn ridges,
the soft familiar hills of home.

Clifford Main Street


Evidence of The Clifford Township Community Alliance’s (CTCA) efforts to “just make things a bit better” can be seen all along Main Street. The Clifford flags are meant to make visitors feel more welcome, and residents feel more pride.

The groups’ activities are not just for show. The township cleanup program they organized this spring helped Clifford Township residents dispose of old autos, tires, refrigerators, and other hard to get rid of items in an economical and environmentally friendly way.

Read more about the group, how you can help, and learn interesting facts about Clifford by downloading the October Newsletter.

To download the Newsletter, Choose Community from the drop down menu above, or click here.

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Send them a link to They are sure to enjoy news from home!

Autumn Stand


At dusk, I picked all the pears that I could reach.
Last night, the first hard frost.
Today, the air is crisp, the sky cool blue, paled by wispy clouds.

Yesterday, white, blue, and steel grey swirled,
animating the sky, hurrying, destination uncertain.

From across the valley, lumpy snow squalled from the mix,
sifting through cloud gaps like a sheer curtain
eased through an open kitchen window
by a bland summer breeze.

And I remember Eli telling me that an old timer told him:
“In these parts, you have to have as much as you need done for winter by mid-October
…after then, anything can happen “