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Mother Nature smiles on Ski Bowl sale, Harvest Festival

NORTH CREEK Picking through the racks of skis on display at Ski Bowl Park on Sunday, Dan Simmons conceded that it was a little hard to get in the mood. With temperatures in the upper 60s and sun spreading from horizon to horizon, the Camden, New Jersey man said he couldnt envision himself skiing anytime soon. Still, he soldiered on, searching for that bargain that would add the crowning touch to his leaf-peeping weekend. Simmons wasnt alone as unseasonably mild temperatures and ample sunshine drew crowds from throughout the region and beyond to the Third Annual North Creek Ski Bowl Park Sale. Up the hill at Gore Mountain Ski Resort, a party atmosphere reined at the annual Gore Harvest Festival. Throughout the weekend, the Northwoods Gondola churned, ferrying hundreds to the top of the mountain. You can see forever! squealed one excited youngster. Almost. Cloudless skies offered what seemed like a 100-mile view as a tapestry of fall colors unfolded in all directions. At the base of the hill, Penelope the Clown entertained and kids romped in their choice of bounce houses. But many opted for a more natural approach, romping through bales of hay set up for their pleasure. Vendors offered an array of arts and crafts ranging from jewelry and photographs to honey products. On the patio, families soaked up the sun while listening to Dreaded Wheat offer up acoustic rock that was as mellow as the mood spreading across the lawn outside the lodge. The ski sale and Harvest Festival worked in tandem to lure thousands to the North Creek area on a weekend when Mother Nature seemed intent on stealing the show.

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