Monday, January 30, 2017


2:45pm UPDATE:  Just got back home, had to turn around at Moskos/blue roof where I met salting crew.  From Rich red roof down to the bend it was solid ice, with one car off down over the side (all the info I have).  They said give it a good hour and it shouldn't be a problem any longer.  That was around 2:15pm.  I'd imagine that by 3:30pm it should be far better to navigate.

In any snow, especially light ones, the first few cars down or up may well make it...once the tracks get packed down, it can flash to solid ice in an instant.  

Look for refreeze tonight, but afternoon highs Tuesday are supposed to warm up a good bit and greatly help to get roads out of trouble spots.

Feel free to add any reports you have in the comments section.


Sunday, January 29, 2017


It's not a big system by any means, but for newcomers on the mountain, even a smidgen of snow/ice on the roads will send cars into ditches.  ACA is under a Winter Weather Advisory from noon today until noon Monday, for a broad range of 1-3" of snow.  I see 1-2" for Apple Creek, but the favored (for now) GFS has us 2-3" as of the latest run.  Point being, starting later this afternoon, banding snow showers from the NW will begin to lay down a little snow at a time as we head to a low near 20 Monday morning.  What falls will stick and stay, and will make roads a tricky mess on the mountain.  

Unlike the last event, we don't have arctic temperatures hanging around as temps will rebound fairly quickly.  I will post any new information in a new blog post as needed.

For now, adding in some photos I've taken recently, some from home at the end of Staymon as well as my goal to capture portraits of some of the flyway ducks that are at Lake Junaluska right now.  Click on any pic to enlarge.

Lesser Scaup drake @ Lake Junaluska

Dawn at end of Staymon 1-17
Redhead drake
Neat clouds after early AM rain 1-1
Ring-bill (Ring-neck) drake
Canvasback drake

American Coot (actually a rail, not a duck; very common with ducks)


Wednesday, January 25, 2017


(The following is from president Owen Fulghum and the board...the HOA Annual Meeting report from last August that was accidentally omitted from the dues billing in December.)

2016 Apple Creek HOA
Annual Meeting Minutes

At 9:45am, August 13, a quorum of 64 votes was reached. The meeting was called to order by President Owen Fulghum. He agreed to preside, and appointed Doyle Love as Parliamentarian. Bob Child served as Secretary for the meeting for Fay Grant. It was validated that a timely notice of the meeting had been sent out.

The minutes from the 2015 Annual Meeting were read. There were no additions or corrections. A motion was made to and seconded to accept the minutes as presented. The minutes passed.

President's Report: Owen Fulghum reported on the condition of neighborhood's common interests. There had been contact with the HOA lawyer re: bylaws and covenants – some are vague and virtually unenforceable. The issue of right-of-way is in good shape. Owen is waiting for written report on several topics, and results will be sent to HOA members. (January 2017 update – our requests for written legal counsel/advice on these concerns have not yet been fulfilled)

Treasurer's Report: Tom Batchelor presented the Expense and Revenue Report (see attachment). He mentioned that there was over $2,000 in delinquent dues that were currently in legal process for recovery. Court dates for those cases were slated for the end of August into September. He thanked the board members for all of their help. (January 2017 update – most of the delinquent fees have been recovered through legal process)

Roads Committee: Keith Patton presented for Jeff Hintzman on the road work done in ACA. 4 (four) culverts were replaced during the year, as well as $17,000 in paving sections which would be completed before winter. He stressed the need for residents to plan around the work and not drive around the paving crews/areas, and appreciated everyone's assistance in advance.

Nominating Committee: Keith Patton presented the 5 nominees for the new board. A motion was made that the board be kept at 5 members, and the motion was carried. The five HOA members nominated were Tom Batchelor, Owen Fulghum, Fay Grant, Jeff Hintzman, and David Stiles. Chairman Owen Fulghum asked if there were any nominations from the floor; being that none were made, a motion was made to accept the nominations by acclamation. It was seconded and passed.

Unfinished Business: There was none presented.

New Business: Minutes and budget are to be sent with the annual assessments. Bear issues were discussed; they are common at times in ACA, and residents are urged to be prudent in making sure bears have no access to any food sources and garbage. Bob Child offered to work with Chris Martin on updating the address “tree” map. Thanks offered to the board for their work; to Irene and Judy for their hard work at the entrance; and to Keith Patton for his extensive help with Apple Creek roads and related issues.

At 10:28am, a motion was made to adjourn, and was seconded and passed.

Monday, January 9, 2017


This morning, it was a VERY tricky go below the Rich red roof house as I mentioned earlier, where for almost 100 yards it was extremely icy with no dry pavement to put your wheels on.

However, as I drove up after 4pm, it looks like almost all tricky areas have patches of dry pavement you can run a pair of wheels and make it down and up.  The double hairpins are still a mess, but passable.  Again, I can't speak for roads above Staymon Rd. on Apple Creek as I've not driven them and noone has reported anything that I'm aware of.  

It got well above 32 in town, and most main roads improved...but those shady areas on side roads are a  stinkin' mess, hence another school closure Tuesday.  But even ol' upper Mauney Cove Road improved nicely today....imagine that!


Sunday, January 8, 2017


0 degrees was my low at the end of Staymon this morning, and I topped out at 14 just now (3pm). 

Finally headed down into town around 1pm.  Apple Creek Road is more snow and ice covered the higher you go, as expected.  Areas that got some sun had some dry pavement spots, but the shaded areas are a slippery mess.  Coming up is far easier than going down...once you lose traction going down and you start to slide, you may be in for a nasty surprise.

Let me preface any of this in that I would not attempt in any way in 2WD cars.  I used AWD this trip, but had 4High and 4Low if I had needed it.

So I can speak only of Staymon Rd. and below on Apple Creek Road, not above.  The double hairpins are quite icy, but if you enter them slowly you should be okay.  From the lower hairpin past the Damon's on the right, down to the next bend to the left, THAT is a deceiving slippery slope.  But by far the part I was very apprehensive about was starting at the Rich house (red roof, just below the blue roof)....THAT stretch down past the curve to the right down to Chris Martin's on the right was exceedingly icy with really minimal dry pavement to put a wheel.  I tried crawling on the edge in the snow, and even then I was sliding and turning the car a bit.  If you look sharply, you can find islands of dry pavement to put your wheels and even stop a moment if you need to.

Side roads around town look like upper Mauney Cove. Passable, but many covered portions.  While I waited at a red light in Hazelwood, here comes a small car at a 45 degree angle trying to stop and sliding right into the intersection.  Luckily, no one was hit.

So if you have to travel, going down is far riskier than coming up, in my experience.  I really had nothing more than a couple of minor slips going up.  With single digit lows likely again overnight, refreeze will be a major issue tonight and in the morning, with black ice widespread.


Saturday, January 7, 2017


I will use this same page to update on plowing information as I receive it.  So make sure to hit the refresh button just to be sure you have the latest.

PLOWING UPDATE:  Passed down from Jeff Hintzman...ACA will be plowed sometime after lunchtime, including side roads.  Apple Creek Road will be salted as well, but it will have limited time to work before overnight temps will be far too cold for it to work.  Expect roads to still be rather dangerous for quite some time.

6AM snow at the end of Staymon Rd.

The heavy side won out, 6.5" as I type and still falling (but not for too much longer).  The huge issue is how doggone cold it's going to be and stay, so even though we'll get plowed and salted, there will be long periods of time where the salt will be useless as it will be too cold to work.  Please understand that.

Sitting at 11 degrees at 8:30 this morning.  Single digit lows Sunday and Monday mornings.  Won't see 32 degrees until Tuesday afternoon.  Roads will be SLOW to improve.


Thursday, January 5, 2017


(tweaked @6am Friday...changes in red)

The Winter Storm Warning for ACA is in effect from 7pm Friday through 1pm Saturday when the bigger push of snow finally arrives. The National Weather Service puts us in a 4-6" snow, with typical model variations.

FYI, a new experimental product from the National Weather Service says Waynesville will "most likely" get 5", with the low side of 0" and high side of 9". This is its first big test run.

Snow flurries/showers could fall during Friday here, before the warning officially begins.  The main roads here have already been brined.

My confidence has been 100% for 3" and 90% for 4" so I'll stick at around 4" for us in particular.  There will be heavier snow in the NC Piedmont/Foothills, possibly SC Piedmont, with by far the heaviest snows in eastern NC.  By all means, this is not a big snow storm, but it will definitely mess up our travel, whatever falls.  

The cold coming in behind this for Saturday through the early part of the week will be bitter, with single digit lows possible Sunday and Monday mornings. Some of us may not see 32 degrees until Tuesday afternoon. Whatever falls sticks and stays.  There is no rain or sleet to talk about in ACA.

I'll update with a new post when changes/conditions warrant.