Thursday February 7

Yesterday was very rainy and warm.  Today’s weather will be cloudy, with a high near 56 and a low around 32. Change of rain mainly after 1pm and tonight between 1am and 5am. Winds could gust as high as 32 mph.

There are no Salmon in or around Deep Creek Lake, except maybe on the dinner table, but I really like the NOAA Fish News newsletter, which has lots of interesting stories on fisheries, habitat and restoration management, topics that definitely resonate with our readers. Fish News is celebrating the International Year of the Salmon in 2019 and they discuss that and a number other interesting topics in their latest issue, which you can find here.

Speaking of newsletters, this one by the Deep Creek Watershed Association covers topics a little closer to home.  Here it is.

The lake has been a source of a lot of fun over the last week or so since it has been frozen; Eric Williams grabbed this snap for us:

Deep Creek Lake, MD by Eric Williams

The Maryland Office of Tourism Development is planning to transform the Sideling Hill Rest Area (on I68) into a one-of-a-kind gateway attraction that promotes Maryland’s mountains, valleys and waterways, from the mountains near Frederick all the way west into Garrett County, with exhibits, programming and on-site transactional opportunities. They held a workshop on the topic on January 17th at Frostburg State University and are asking for further comments from the public.  Here’s a link to the notes from the workshop.  Public comment is open until April 15th.

You may have heard about the “Instagram Effect” relative to certain global tourist destinations. Basically, so many individuals go to a destination and utilize Instagram and other social media platforms to share their great experiences that the place becomes overrun with tourists seeking the same great experience.  While the Deep Creek Lake area provides many natural and even man-made experiences, I don’t think we have been affected in a negative way by social media.  Still, an interesting phenomenon I thought I would share.

Don’t know much about it, but I just heard Frostburg has declared this coming Saturday, February 9th, as “Sweetheart Saturday.” Downtown businesses will be offering discounts and promotions all day! I checked out a Facebook link for it and it was dated, so visit “at your own risk.” 🙂

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources puts out a brief news video every month.  It is called Access DNR and the February edition just came out.

February is Black History Month and Garrett College has two interesting speakers scheduled: Tristian Williams is speaking on February 21st at 3:00 pm in the auditorium.  The topic, “Is This America,” looks at the “history of race” in the US through the performer Childish Gambino.  Stephen Scott will be speaking on February 28th, also at 3:00 pm.  The topic is “Racism in Daily Conversation.”

At Potomac State University (which is about 45 minutes from the lake), The HBO documentary “King in the Wilderness” will be screened free to the campus and to the community on Monday, February 25th at 7:00 pm in their Davis Conference Center. This documentary, released last year, explores the rarely discussed last three years of Dr. King’s life, exploring his perspective on nonviolence and how it drew him into conflict with the Black Power movement, as well as his anti-Vietnam War stance. The trailer can be viewed on YouTube

Wednesday February 6

Yesterday started off misty, but turned into a nice day by the afternoon, and it is still unseasonably warm temperature-wise. If you want to see how beautiful the recent snowfall made the area, check out the video below.

Today’s weather will be rain, mainly after 10am; a high near 51 and a low around 48.

Here’s a great video from NBC4 Washington from a commercial shoot with the Chamber last week:

Sarah and I are pleased to announce that Deep Creek Times will be a sponsor of the upcoming Garrett Lakes Arts Festival (GLAF) fundraiser, “A Night on Broadway” The event will be held at the Garrett College Special Events Center on Saturday, March 30th from 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Dinner will be catered by Savage River Lodge, with show tunes provided by the very talented Sean & Debi Beachy and Friends.  A silent auction will include a painting by Bob Yonke. Here’s the link for more information and ordering.

Dot Sisler asked us to post this invitation for her fundraiser in Grantsville on February 23rd in support of The American Cancer Society/Relay for Life. Here goes and happy to help Dot!

For a great cause…

The Garrett County Health Department has scheduled its next blood drive for Friday, February 15th, from 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm in the first floor conference room. To schedule an appointment, please download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App on your smart phone, call Venessa at 301.334.7730 or 301.895.3111, or visit Walk-ins are also welcome.

The Property Owners’ Association of Deep Creek Lake needs YOUR help.  Senator George Edwards and Delegate Wendell Beitzel have introduced bills in the new legislative session to increase State’s Lakes Protection and Restoration Fund (SLPRF) funding to $3M/year and remove the “sunset” clause of three years. This is very important for the lake on a number of levels and our legislators need letters of support from YOU to help the cause. Here’s the link for more information and they even provide a sample letter. Thanks!

Tuesday February 5

Yesterday was a beautiful day on the mountain.  The temperature reached 60 degrees and it was sunny all day. Today’s weather will be cloudy with a chance of showers before 2pm. High near 49 and a low around 40.

Garrett County Public Schools Special Education Department just announced the 2019 Cool Schools Dunk on February 22nd at Uno’s. You can now “Do the Dunk” with your school! Take a daring dip into Deep Creek Lake with teachers and students. All funds raised support Garrett County Schools and the Unified Sports programs. Students must raise a minimum of $50 to participate.  Just. Do. The. Dunk.

Did you know that Maryland ranks as the third toughest state to obtain a drivers license? Click here to find out why Maryland is so tough and which states are number one and two. Hint: in one of the top two states, you must be over 90 years old just to take the test and then you must be accompanied by a parent! Only kidding, but you can check out the article for the facts. Note that Joe Widmyer, owner of local Widmyer Driving School, is featured in the piece.

Hospice of Garrett Co. will be conducting upcoming projects that will require the use of magazines, so If you happen to have any that could be donated for a wonderful cause please let them know. They can be dropped off at their office at 203 South 2nd Street, Oakland or given to their staff or volunteers!

Oakland’s GOBA just issued a “final call” for ice sculpture sponsors for Winter Fest 2019! If you would like to reserve a sculpture please contact Michelle Ross ASAP. GOBA would like to have two additional live sculptures that are carved that day for the public. And, Michelle says photos of those are most likely to show up in the newspaper! You can contact Michelle at Oakland City Hall or at 301.334.2691.

Calling all entrepreneurs or want-to-be entrepreneurs!  Jodi McClintock, at Garrett College, still has some openings for aspiring entrepreneurs in the upcoming Power of Possibilities Business Plan Competition. This is a great program that can help almost anyone take their new business from the idea stage to reality in a few short months. Really! I believe the first session starts on February 26th.  Contact Jodi at 301.387.3142 or for more information on this program.

And, speaking of Jodi, she is also offering a four-session workshop called Stepping-up to Supervisor.  This course is designed to help new or aspiring supervisors learn to coach for performance, overcome difficult personalities, motivate a team and hone communication skills.  It is taught by local coach Jeannette Fitzwater and Gary Durr. Get your boss to pay for it! 🙂  Call Jodi at 301.387.3142 for more insight.

Monday February 4

Yesterday was a fabulous day around the lake. It reached 50 degrees and was sunny, so some of the snow melted. I saw lots of skiers and tubers enjoying the slopes at Wisp and so many people enjoying the frozen lake along with the warmer temperatures.

Today’s weather will be sunny, with a high near 59 and a low around 47. South wind around 6 mph. Showers likely, mainly after 1am – new precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Looks like we received a total of 9.5″ of snow so far in February.

Congratulations to HART for Animals! HART has been awarded a 2019 grant by the Maryland Department of Agriculture as part of their Spay and Neuter Program designed to reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs euthanized in shelters across the state. This is the fifth year in which HART has been awarded the grant, which to-date has provided 2,123 no-cost spay/neuter surgeries to low-income Maryland residents. To learn more about income requirements and to schedule an appointment for your pet, please call 301.387.7729.

Speaking of HART For Animals, I bet you didn’t know that February is National Pet Dental Health Month and that HART is offering free dental screenings for pets and 15% off of your fee for dental health appointments within sixty days of your pet’s screening.  That is great!  One question: how do they train dogs and cats to floss?  Just asking.

We just received the latest “Watershed Wisdom Update” newsletter from the board of Friends of Deep Creek Lake non-profit. It covers everything from the recent emergence of our northern friend Punxsutawney Phil (I think he has a cabin at the lake), to a new opening for the Chair of the DCL Policy and Review Board, to an Annapolis legislative update and more.

Well, that last “blip” on FoDCL got me thinking about that famous fur ball Punxsutawney Phil and his weather forecasts.  I just did a little research to see how his forecasting record compares to professionals (like the ones we use to populate our weather page). What do you think?  Click here to find out how the pros compare to the fur ball.  Hint: Science rules, fur ball Phil drools! (probably literally). Sorry Phil. 

Don’t forget to check out this month’s Cover Story, written by the folks at Deep Creek Watershed Foundation.  They are an emerging and important force in protecting our watershed here at the lake. The old saying “it takes a village” (or maybe a support ecosystem of engaged, caring people and organizations) certainly applies to our lake and the surrounding area.

There has been a court “settlement” in the “locally infamous” dispute between local builder Gregory Mortimer and 84 Lumber.  The suit and counter-suit related back to the 2008 agreement for construction services concerning some town homes in the Timberlake and Cedar Creek developments around the lake. I hope this provides closure for all involved, including any homeowners that were affected.  Click here for the story link.

Here’s a pic of the winter lake from 20,000 feet – courtesy of Mark Richards — do you see the slopes?

Deep Creek Lake, MD from Mark Richards at 30,000 Feet

Friday February 1, Saturday February 2, Sunday February 3

Well, the temperature at the lake certainly has been frosty, as it has been for much of the US. The temperature outside my home in Swanton was -8 degrees yesterday morning, warming to +7 in the afternoon, before dropping again to +5 as I write these Daily Notes early Thursday evening.

Today’s weather will be snow, mainly before 5pm. High near 22 and falling to 18 by 8pm. South wind 5 to 7 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 5 to 9 inches possible + less than a half inch possible overnight. Saturday will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 38 and a low around 34. Sunday is partly sunny, with a high near 48 and a low around 35.

For some local, home-grown, indoor and low-/no-cost activities, why not consider the sports action at Southern High School on Friday.  Their Bowling team takes on Allegany at 3:30 pm and their Boys Basketball team takes on Tucker County at 6:00 pm. Northern Boys Basketball is playing but they are away.  Good luck to all the local teams.

It’s cold out, so let’s think SPRING!  Orders are still being taken for the spring 2019 planting season for shrubs and trees from the John S. Ayton State Tree Nursery managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. They have 50 species available, with a minimum order of 25 seedlings. Here’s some additional information on the program and ordering.

I know a lot of locals, second homeowners and visitors are looking forward to some great skiing at Wisp this weekend. When you’re done skiing Friday, or if you just want to stop by for some great brew, you can join their Friday Night Tap Takeover tonight (and every Friday night in January and February) from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Friday evening’s takeover is by Wyndridge Brewing Company and I believe there will be some craft draft specials.  Enjoy.

On Saturday, there is a One Day Childbirth Class from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm at the Garrett County Health Department. This program helps prepare expectant mothers and their coaches for labor and delivery, and provides information on the care of infants. Please call 301.334.7720 to sign up for classes. Classes will be held at the Garrett County Health Department.

Need to get your Life Guard recertification?  There’s a class at the Garrett College CARC Saturday starting at 9:00 am. You can register over the phone at 301.387.3786 or online. Got questions? Ask the CARC’s Aquatics Coordinator at or 301.387.3788.

There’s an Apres Ski party  and German Day Bavarian BBQ at the Wisp’s Alpine Bar on Saturday from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, with fun, traditional music, and drink specials.  Then, the party continues afterward with the BBQ at Mountainside Brewing Company.  Check out this link to get all the details of this unique event.


MoonShadow has three acts on stage this weekend: Greg Short & Paul Berger on Friday, Meadow Run on Saturday and Ally Norris on Sunday. Rob Zuzin is appearing at Black Bear Tavern on Saturday from 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm. I know I have said this before but we are truly fortunate to have the number and variety of entertainment that we have available to us at the lake year-round.

Congratulations to Karen Lantz for winning the January “Where Am I?” contest — go ahead, make your best guess for this month’s location…

Don’t forget that the Discovery Center at Deep Creek Lake State Park is open on weekends during the winter.  They always have nice, educational displays and programs available that are interesting for all. They also have some cool items for sale to raise funds for the care and feeding of their critters. Check their flyer out below and support this great place if you can. Also, LIKE their new Facebook page: Deep Creek Lake State Park & Discovery Center Volunteers

Discovery Center

Have a warm and safe weekend folks!