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  • Under wide purple skies and a rising moon, we set off from the Dan Ingalls Overlook on Warm Springs Mountain.
  • The ridge trail was a well-lit avenue. Up on the rocks, though, the moon still hovered so low that our trail dwindled to tracks.
  • The next morning, a winter storm threatened to cut short the last day (our first) of the Highland Maple Festival.
  • We parked among maple trees bleeding sap into silver pails and set off down a steep trail to the sugar camp.
  • We wanted to catch traditional syrup cooking in progress — to smell the wood smoke, feel the heat from glowing coals and inhale the aroma of boiling sap.
  • Proprietor Ronnie Moyers explained the syrup-making process, from collecting sap to hours spent boiling and stirring “the water.”
  • Snow was sticking to the golden grass of Fair Lawn Farm as we pulled up outside a cabin leaking smoke.
  • Tim Duff explained how disastrous it would be to burn a batch. You'd ruin a pan that’s cooked syrup for well over a century, and a uniquely vile stench would pervade the valley.
  • “Events like the maple festival provide economic means for people to keep their land as large working farms and woodlands.”
  • “I advise you to stock up on syrup for the road,” my attorney said.
  • Monday dawned with fear and loathing: It was the day we had to tear ourselves from this Christmas card scenery. Read story
Roaming the Allegheny Highlands
Passport to Nature

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