Notes from all over –

First Trax

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Notes today include:
– Goodbye to Joe
– Fall Color Update
– Festivals and more
– So read all of today’s notes.

Joe Stevens’ is leaving Snowshoe Mountain – Joe Stevens, the popular Director of Communications at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia is calling it quits. We spoke with Joe yesterday and he announced, "After 15 exciting years in Snowshoe Mountain’s Communications Department, I have decided to make a career change. After much time and thought we have decided to relocate to Charleston, WV (three hours from my favorite resort)."

Joe and his wife Angie have a 19-month old son, Christian, and they want to spend more time with him and feel it will be better for him if he was closer to an urban area.

Stevens’ will be a partner in a new company called "The Media Center", which will specialize in handling public relations for clients across the country. Joe has been in marketing in one form or another for most of his adult life, working in television, with Nascar, and within the ski industry. No doubt he will do well with his new endeavor.

His last day at Snowshoe will be Friday, October 21st. There’s no word yet on who his replacement will be…but they’ve got some huge shoes to fill.

SkiSoutheast is working with Joe on some collaboration for the upcoming season that we’ll announce shortly.

Good luck Joe on your new endeavors!

What Fall Colors???!!! – We’re getting a LOT of emails from interested parties about how much Autumn color we have. Several television stations have contacted us about the live camera shots on and the answer to date is that Autumn is late! We are showing some nice shots now that the sun is shining again and the cameras up top at Sugar and Beech are showing the best color.

For those coming for the approaching weekend, you’ll see a lot of color, but not up to normal standards. Peal colors are probably still a week or more away, which is great for tourism around here. Fall usually lasts about two weeks, but we’ve had some of the Sugar Maples turning for a couple of weeks, and yet a lot of the ranges are still full of green leaves.

We really haven’t had the cold temps needed to ignite the colors. Overnight lows have been in the upper 40s and near 50 so we really are behind regarding peak leaf color. Some Sugar Maples are brilliant; some have already lost their leaves. All in all though, we have a lot of green left and what HAS turned is more the yellow and golds. With as much green as we have left, it may be another week or so before any real color comes in. We are at about 30-50% of peak right now. Fall colors could last another one, two or three weeks at this rate which is great news to the tourism folks here in the mountains of North Carolina.

Festival goers will be impressed because there’s plenty of color to go around and there’s a lot of the secondary roads that are paved with fallen leaves, which always makes for "Kodak moments".

Speaking of Festivals – The World Famous Woolly Worm Festival will be going on this weekend, October 15 & 16, in downtown Banner Elk in Avery County, North Carolina.

This year’s festival marks the 28th running of the worms. This world famous festival draws thousands of visitors to the mountains of North Carolina during the peak fall leaf season. Join in the fun and excitement of racing your own worm for a chance of winning the $1,000 First Place award on Saturday and the $500 First Place winning worm prize on Sunday. The ultimate goal of winning the big races on Saturday is that the winning worm is used to predict the winter season weather for the mountain region. For more information on the Woolly Worm activities visit:

The 27th annual Valle Country Fair is Saturday, October 15, 2005, on the grounds of the Valle Crucis Conference Center in Valle Crucis, NC.

The Apple Butter Gang started cooking down apples, sugar and spices to produce over 200 gallons of apple butter TODAY. On Fair day they start the fires at 3 a.m. and have the apple butter ready to start dipping into jars around 11:30. They will fill over 1,000 jars with the thick, sweet condiment before the Fair is over.

Entertainment at the fair includes performances by local cloggers and square dancers. Crafts demonstrations are part of the entertainment at the Valle Country Fair. Spinner Cathy Cole was one of a group of volunteers from the Hickory Ridge Homestead living history museum in Boone who have demonstrated old-time life skills of the region in the past.

A busy tent community is set up in the center of a huge hayfield at the Valle Country Fair where 135 crafts people display their wares. In addition to crafts, guests can enjoy homemade Brunswick Stew, fresh pressed apple cider and hot-out-of-the-kettle apple butter. Visit their site for more information at:

Meteorologist Brad Panovich says that the weather this weekend will be "Chamber of Commerce-like" with temps in the mid 60s and lows near 40 degrees.

Until Next Time…

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