Our Autumn Leaves + the Down-Home Friendliness of Our People = A Winning Combination
Maybe it’s just me, but are the leaves here in Pocahontas County a bit slower then usual in exchanging their green for yellows and reds this fall? Since we all know that leaf peepers travel here from their concrete and asphalt city neighborhoods to see our colorful forests this time of year, we just had to playfully ask our tourism guru, Cara Rose, about this.
What’s going on with the leaves this year? Are they changing colors or just staying the same? (laughter)
“I tell people all the time, Tim, beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” said Rose. “From year-to-year, every year is beautiful especially to the visitor who might come next week or two weeks from now. Unless you are here everyday and see the changes of the color, it’s a little bit tricky to actually measure how spectacular the fall foliage is. I believe the fall foliage is spectacular every year. Yes, we all notice that some years it could be much brighter. I fully believe this year is going to be a spectacular fall.”
“We are off to a later start then normal. Normally the last week of September, the first week of October would be considered to be the peak fall foliage season in our county. It looks like it’s probably going to be the first half of October for fall foliage peak here. The leaves in the higher elevations are starting to change color. So, for the listeners who travel across Cheat or Kinnison or Elk mountains, they will notice that they are starting to see those hints of color, but we are nowhere near peak season yet.”
“So, I have been telling visitors who are coming, that they definitely will see some fall color over the course of the next week or so, but really, my guess is even through the middle to the third week of October we should see some beautiful colors. Because our elevation varies so much in the county, it will be much later in elevations such as in Marlinton or Hillsboro. So, looking forward to a successful fall season for sure.”
Since our hills will soon be flooded with visitors enjoying the beautiful colors of the season, Cara went on to tell us what she learned about the importance of hospitality when she met with and talked with visitors at the recent World Cup Mountain Bike Race at Snowshoe.
“I also wanted to share with the listeners just how important hospitality is to our visitors. As I spent the week at snowshoe, I did take quite a bit of time to walk around and talk to venders who were in attendance. Venders from the entire country were there. A large portion of those were from California and places from afar. And, they all mentioned just how hospitable our community was to them. They were overwhelmed by how gracious and how friendly people were, that people would just say ‘hello’ to them out of the blue. And these are people who live in cities and don’t really know their neighbors even though they might have lived there for ten years.”
“So, I just wanted out listeners to know just how valuable hospitality really is. It’s really the pinnacle to our long-term success in tourism.”
Speaking of the World Cup Mountain Biking races at snowshoe, be sure to listen for the second part of our interview with Cara Rose, in which she tells us about the positive impact that event had for the county.