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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

BEAR NECESSITIES, Pt. 2: NATURE CALLS

American Standard Trail, located near Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, is one of the most famous mountain biking trails in Pennsylvania.  Mountain bikers from all over the world make the pilgrimage to ride this rocky, twisty, 18+ mile single track just to see (and more than likely take a selfie with) the American Standard urinal that somehow managed to find it's way eight miles deep into forests of eastern Pennsylvania!

American Standard Trail.  Dave R, Glenn M, Mike N, Mark L, Bill G, & Kevin H -- 2008

Needless to say...it's not everyday that  you find a "bathroom" in the middle of the woods...and it's the reason why I've come to appreciate trailheads that have public facilities.  Spending as much time as I do in the woods, I fully understand that the restrooms in state forests, state parks, & county parks can be sketchy at best.  My first memory of experiencing a DCNR (that's Pennsylvania Department of  Conservation & Natural Resources) bathroom was as a small child growing up in Bedford, Pennyslvania.  In the summertime my mom and dad would take my brother and I to Shawnee State Park.  We would spend long, hot days there swimming in the lake and playing in the sand.  At a very young age, I learned quickly, if at all possible, to avoid the cinder block bathroom up on the hill which emanated a smell that seemed unnatural.

That old cinder block bathroom at Shawnee Lake is on the left.  This pic was taken in 1973.  My mom (pregnant with me) is on the left.  I assume the little girl in the middle is my cousin, Kristen.  My Aunt Deb is on the right.

More than 30 years later I would come across that smell again.  This time at Pine Grove Furnace State Park.  We joked (half seriously) that you could SEE the smell surrounding the green "bathroom" located adjacent to the remains of the old iron furnace.  Whether the green hue was real or imagined...there was no denying that smell was real.  Adding to the charm, we entered the facility armed with our own paper, a flashlight, and a can of hornet spray to fend off dive bombing bees and wasps as we completed our business.  That structure is no longer there...replaced by a modern facility...which is much cleaner but somehow lacks the same character as it's predecessor.  

The facilities (old and new) at Pine Grove Furnace State Park.

Just down the road from Pine Grove Furnace State Park, located in the heart of Michaux State Forest, you will find the Big Flat parking lot.  The facilities there leave a little to be desired.  I have no idea why they even bother to label them male & female.  Does it really matter? -- August 12, 2016

Up until two years ago there were no public facilities at Swatara State Park.  To hit the trails, Tim and I would usually just park along side the highway and hope that nature didn't come calling.  Now, at the TROUT RUN TRAILHEAD, you will find a new restroom.  I have two comments...1. Thank you, DCNR.  2. The baby changing station is darn close to the hole. -- March 5, 2016

The facilities at the York County Parks range from this super huge restroom at Rocky Ridge to this outhouse tucked away underneath a wooden shelter at the Lakes.

Nothing but an old school outhouse at Mark's cabin near State College, PA.  It also came equipped with a ladle shower! -- August 2007

Wherever we go I just expect the worst...and frankly, I'm not sure if anything could ever be worse than that old green building at Pine Grove Furnace.  Ranging from old to new, filthy to "it's not so bad", cramped to "Hey! I can move around in here"...we've experienced it all.  Yes, every once in a while we find ourselves at a trailhead without a bathroom.  In that case, the old male saying "The world is our urinal" holds true.  And remember....if nature calls and more than a urinal is needed...the second tree to the left and out of sight usually works out just fine.*


Just be discrete...like a bear in the woods.

Life is a journey...not a destination.


David A. Raymond -- November 30, 2016
*In all seriousness...if you need to do your business in the woods be sure LEAVE NO TRACE and follow the guidelines set up by the Center For Outdoor Ethics on how to properly dispose of your...uh...poop.

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Suitable for some serious  GROUP THERAPY...you'll need to travel all the way to Jerome, Arizona to find this set of outdoor thrones -- January 21, 2014

Sunday, November 27, 2016

BEAR NECESSITIES, Pt. 1: FINDING SUSTENANCE

"Here eat this..."  With that, I devoured the mashed up marshmallow and peanut butter sandwich that Mark had pulled out of his Camelbak.  It was, to the best of my recollection, the only time that I have ever truly "bonked."  Halfway up a seemingly endless fire road on a mountain near State College, Pennsylvania I got off of my bike and laid down.  No mas!  I had nothing left and I needed something to eat...now.  In those early years of what would become our "big rides" I really didn't have much of an idea of how to properly eat before a ride and what to pack for the ride.  Hence...there I was lying wasted on a dusty fire road eating my friend's peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich!

Like bears in the woods, we all have different ways of finding sustenance on the trail.  Pictured from top left to right (top row first): Glenn Medice, Tim Sindlinger, Mark Lentz, Kristian Hains, Dave Raymond, Mike Nardelli, Bill Graves, Matt Linnane, & Kevin Hardy.  

Over the years I perfected my morning pre-ride meals...trying everything from pancakes to strawberry Pop Tarts.  I've landed on scrambled eggs and a bowl of Cheerios with an apple, a banana, and black coffee.  For the actual ride, I've learned (after trying Power Bars, Cliff Bars, and so many other things) that simply packing plenty of almonds, beef jerky, and water will sustain me for a long time...even while hiking for hours in the 115 degree Arizona heat!  Each one of us is unique in what we pack for a ride...Timmy wouldn't be Timmy without his gummy snacks...Kevin always had his sandwiches...Bill introduced me to Nature Valley bars...Kristian carries bacon jerky ...and thankfully, on that one day, Mark had a peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich stashed away in his pack.


Mikey and Kevin feasting on beef jerky and Nature Valley bars while taking a break on American Standard Trail -- 2008


Kristian and Glenn pausing to eat while riding the Allegrippis Trails near Raystown Lake -- August 2, 2016


Kevin eating his brown bag lunch at the base of Telephone Trail in Rothrock State Forest -- 2008


Bacon Jerky...Kristian's snack of choice.  Michaux State Forest -- October 30, 2016


Matt and Glenn filling up in Michaux State Forest -- July 26, 2016

Like bears in the woods, we've searched and found sustenance, too.  I've reluctantly filled my water bottles with garden hose water from random cabins we've stumbled across...praying that I wouldn't be accused of trespassing or stealing..and that I wouldn't get horribly sick!  On hot mid-summer days there's nothing like taking a break in a ride to go scavenging for the wild blueberries that can be found near the trails in the mountains of central Pennsylvania.  


Mikey and Mark eating wild blue berries in Raymond B. Winter State Park -- July 13, 2011

Sustenance; however, is always more than plentiful on our camping trips or time spent at Mark's cabin in State College.  At best, we come away from those trips "calorie neutral!"  If Mark is along with us he takes charge of preparing food for the entire group.  From venison steak in West Virginia to bratwurst in North Carolina...it's outdoor cooking at it's finest!  Enough to fully satisfy a hungry group of friends after a long day of mountain biking.  And, sometimes...like bears venturing out of the woods and into backyards of housing developments searching for food...we stumble across amazing places to eat in the local communities near our campgrounds...finding plenty of sustenance all around us.  


Bill, Mikey, Dave, & Glenn waiting for Mark to finish preparing dinner on our first camping/mountain biking trip together. This dinner was most remembered for the tame deer residing in the campgrounds watching us eat venison for dinner! Blackwater Falls, West Virginia -- June 2007


Mark preparing dinner in Raymond B Winter State Park -- July 13, 2011


Mark and Dave enjoying dinner and a camp fire at Mark's cabin near State College, Pennsylvania -- June 28, 2014


Finally a skillet worthy of Mark's skills! -- April 19, 2014


Bill and I stumbled upon an all-you-can-eat buckwheat dinner in Ohiopyle, Pennyslvania.  Just what we needed after a day of mountain biking the Sugarloaf Trails in Ohiopyle State Park -- April 2009

Sometimes food is the reward for the ride!  All of Butch Ulrich's adventure races had plenty of catered eats at the end of each event.  I happily ate up the post-race food after the 2010 French Creek Fling in French Creek State Park -- October 10, 2010

For me, all trails DO lead to ice cream...but sustenance can be found in a lot of places and forms along the way.  Yep...even in the form of a smashed up peanut butter & marshmallow sandwich.  Yum.

Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- November 27, 2016
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For trail maps, directions to trail heads, favorite ice cream shops, & all of our ride pics...be sure to check out the ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM website.
Glenn found the ice cream! -- August 2, 2016

Sunday, November 20, 2016

THOSE FIRST TRAILS

As the saying goes..."We all have to start somewhere..." and for me, it was with a 1995 GT Timberline mountain bike that I purchased with my first couple paychecks from my new teaching job at Northeastern Middle School.  I had no idea what kind of bike I wanted....and  I had no idea what I was looking for.  I walked into Gung Ho Bikes (located at that time on White Street near West York) and met Jay Zech.  I told him that I wanted "middle of the road."  I wasn't even sure I would like this mountain biking thing.  That first bike cost me a little less than $500 dollars in 1995 (which was $300 more than my first car...a 1979 Fiat Strada.)  It had no front suspension (although I would upgrade to a RockShox front fork after massive crash in 1996 that mangled the my bike!), it had platform pedals (although I would eventually upgrade to toe clips), and I insisted on bar ends...the bigger and longer the better.  I had absolutely no clue. My bike was blue with some black splashed on it and it had orange writing.  Jay even threw in a free water bottle and a Bell helmet (blue to match the bike.)  After a quick test ride around the shop (in which I pretended that I knew what I was testing it out for), checking all the boxes on the papers (that I didn't read), and plopping down the cash...I walked out the proud owner of my first mountain bike!

My first bike selfie...with my brand new 1995 GT Timberline!  Anybody recognize "Forbidden Four" at Rocky Ridge? -- 1995

I didn't know what the hell I was doing back then...and, by writing this now...I'm going out on a limb and really making myself pretty damn vulnerable.  I know my riding buds (once they see this) will NEVER let me live these pics down.   But...you've got to start somewhere.  At the time, I knew of only two places on the planet Earth that you could mountain bike....Rocky Ridge County Park and Lake Redman...so, from 1995 until I began riding with Mark Lentz (who opened my eyes to a whole new world of trails) in 2006, that was pretty much the extent of my mountain biking world.  I didn't even know how to dress for the occassion.  Back then, I was still stuck in the whole early 90's grunge era...so I went with that.  Multiple layers of t-shirts, cut off flannels, cargo shorts (or even jeans), work boots, and...bandanas (yes, plural.  One for my head and one for my neck).  I was ready to ride.

Rocky Ridge County Park.  Even back then they set up the Christmas Lights in October!  --  October 23, 1995

Where the hell is my helmet?!  The Lakes -- May 31, 1996

By 1998, I had upgraded to a RockShox front fork, toe clips, and massive bar ends! My clothing style seems to have just gotten worse, though.  Rocky Ridge -- November 11, 1998

I found myself, on those first rides, pretty much alone.  It wasn't until about 2000, when I met Tim Sindlinger, that I had a steady riding partner.  And even once we began riding together, our riding was contained to Rocky Ridge, the Lakes, and occasionally...the Rail Trail.  I think what blows me away the most is...considering how much I now document and photograph everything...I have zero pics of Tim and I riding together prior to 2006!  The few pics I have from those early years were taken on an old Fugi 35mm camera which was a gift from my parents.  It was just small enough to fit into the saddle bag underneath my seat (or in the aforementioned cargo shorts.)  


The Lake Redman sign, seen from I-83, remains pretty much unchanged in the past 20 years -- May 22, 1996 

I didn't always ride alone prior to meeting Tim.  A friend of mine, Dennis Rastatter, moved to York with me in 1995.  He also was hired to teach at NMS.  Dennis brought a mountain bike with him and, maybe...looking back on it now...that may have been the catalyst for my purchase.  He and I would go out and ride every so often.   But...by the beginning of 1997...Dennis and I were both in relationships and no longer roommates (he had taken a different teaching position.)  Dennis moved to Colorado in 1998. 


Dennis Rastatter at Rocky Ridge -- October 23, 1995 

Dennis Rastatter at the Lakes.  Again...where are our helmets? -- May 31, 1996 

My brother, Jake, and I had the opportunity to ride at the Lakes together, twice, while he lived in the area.  He was attending York College in 1996 and had a bike.  Of the few pics I have from back then...I do have two from the rides we went on at Lake Redman.  That's pretty cool.   

Jacob Raymond at the Lakes -- March 30, 1996

Riding with Jake at the Lakes -- May 5, 1996

Sometime prior to 1998, I met a great guy named Rick Brubaker.  He was subbing in my building and; coincidentally, was living just three houses down the street  from me.  He too, owned a mountain bike.  Rick became the closest thing to a steady riding partner I would have before meeting Tim.  He was an all around great guy, the two of us had a lot in common, we had great conversations, and we just plain old had fun together.  Rick worked part time at the local Dick's Sporting Goods store as a bike tech.  Early on, he helped me fix quite a number of mechanicals.  He even helped me replace the cantilever brakes on that 1995 GT with the new V-brakes.  I was moving up in the world! Rick and I are still friends (but mostly through Facebook.)  He still lives in the area with his wife, Tanya, and their family.  Only one pic of us riding together survives.  I really hope he gets to read this.  

David Raymond & Richard Brubaker -- November 11, 1998 

There is a big gap (as far as mountain biking goes) in my old scrap books between the years of 1998 and 2006.  Even though I know I went riding many times with Tim...I can't find a single mountain biking pic from that eight year span.  I guess mountain biking wasn't, during those years, quite the passion that it would eventually become for me.  But...you got to start somewhere...and I got my start in 1995 when I walked into Gung Ho and walked out with that first bike...when I rode with that first group of guys...and when I rode those first trails.  I've been pedaling ever since.

Life is a journey...not a destination.


David A. Raymond -- November 20, 2016
Be sure to check out the ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM website for trail maps, directions to trail heads, and all of my ride pics!

No laughing allowed!  This was the first time I ever hired the SQUIRRELS WITH CAMERAS to try to take an action pic.  This area of the Lakes is now a housing development...but in 1995, it was a fun place for mountain biking newbies...who had no clue...to try to get some "air."  All reflectors onboard! -- 1995

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

THE HIKE-A-BIKE

Sometimes the ride gets tough...and often virtually impossible.  Mark often says that it's not a ride unless there's at least one "hike-a-bike."  Yeah...that part of the trail that just can't be ridden (well...at least by me!)  That part of the trail that requires you to get out of the saddle and push.  Over the years, as my skill level has improved, the trails have to be more steep and more difficult to coax me off of my bike...but, sometimes it just can't be avoided.  

On our annual Columbus Day "exploration ride," Mark and I rode some pretty awesome stuff.  We also hiked quite a few hills...like the one behind me! -- October 10, 2016

Often, the hike-a-bike isn't caused by some obnoxious hill...but instead, it's the result of the unexpected obstacles thrown into our path.  It could be debris from a storm, a rock garden that just CANNOT be navigated, or mud pits that sink your bike "bottom bracket deep."  It's obstacles like these which, after looking unsuccessfully for some sort of SIGNS OF MAINTENANCE around them, cause us to throw our bikes over our shoulders and do our best to hike through.


A storm the night before caused this mess in Patapsco Valley State Park.  As Tim and Mikey found out...the only way around this mess was to hike through it! -- July 3, 2012

While riding at Mount Penn, Mark and I found no way around this mess.  Grab your bike and start your hike! -- July 2, 2014 

Yeah...Bill Graves and Chris Keller had only one option, "hike-a-bike," in this section of Butch's 2010 Wildlands Adventure Race at Blue Marsh Lake.  Hey!  We finished as the 1st place Male Team.  Nice job, guys! -- September 26, 2010

Ironically, sometimes...not often..but sometimes, you may actually CHOOSE the "hike-a-bike" over another trail.  Maybe it's a ride when you're body is saying "No Más" or possibly it's a ride in which your watch is telling you that you need to get home.  It's those times that the "hike-a bike" actually is your best option and becomes the shortest distance between you and the ice cream at the end of the ride!  


"No Más!" says Mark in Michaux State Forest -- April 19, 2014

"Hike-a-Bike" by choice.  After a fantastic ride in Michaux, Mike Alicea and I were ready for the ice cream at Mountain Creek Campground -- June 14, 2014

On this particularly hot day in Michaux State Forest, and what was for me the best mountain bike ride of 2013, Mark and I decided to take a trail we'd never been on.  We pass that trail often now...and just keep going!  It's not a ride without a "hike-a-bike!" -- August 21, 2013

We did enjoy our rest on top of that hill...until I realized I was sitting on  a colony of red ants!  See...even the toughest "hike-a-bikes" end with a great story! -- August 21, 2013


If you haven't figured out by now...mountain biking is, for me, a metaphor for life.  Often, in life, like on the trails...unexpected sh*t is thrown in front of you with no way around it...except to go through it.  Or, maybe, life might seem like you're pushing your way up a hill that seemingly has no end.  Life's journey, like the contour of the trails I ride, will, at some point, force you to take a deep breath and slow down.  Which is really difficult  for me.  I've written here often that I'm at my worst when I'm inactive...and, as I'm now only two weeks into a long recovery from back surgery, I'm feeling pretty damn inactive.  Right now, for me, life's become one long hike-a-bike.  With an amazing wife (and my great boss) correctly claiming that I have "one serious case of ADD"...I'm very aware that inactivity isn't the best thing for my brain.  Oh...I've got plenty to occupy my mind....like writing this blog, a little advance lesson planning for my classes, and plenty of nerdy books to read...but physically, for someone who loves the ride, I've been forced to get out of the saddle for a while. The thing to remember is...no matter how long or difficult the "hike-a-bike" is...as long as you keep moving (one foot in front of the other) it's only one small part of the ride. And, when it's over, the "hike-a-bike" provides important lessons learned ("I'll never go that way again!"), a sense of accomplishment, a fun story to tell (usually in hindsight), and...at the top of the hill...a pretty damn good view.

Life is a journey...not a destination.


David A. Raymond -- November 16, 2016

Be sure to check out ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM website for trail maps, directions to trail heads, our favorite ice cream shops, and ALL of our ride pics!

The first time Mark took me to my favorite view in Michaux State Forest, the only way he knew to get there included a pretty significant "hike-a-bike."  But, it was worth it.  Once at the top, the view was spectacular! -- June 13, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE COLOR

By April of 2007 my 2006 Stumpjumper was only a few months old...and there was absolutely nothing wrong  with it.  Yet, there I was test riding a demo bike from Gung Ho that the shop was willing to sell to me.  A fluorescent green 2006 full suspension Specialized Epic.  I had no need for it...that 2006 Stumpjumper still ranks as one of my favorite bikes...but, for some reason, I found myself in my back yard, showing the bike to my buddy, Glenn.  To this day, I still remember his words, "It's all about the color, Davy!" Shortly thereafter, the bike was hanging in my garage permanently (well, as you're about to find out, not quite so permanently.)  

Dave Raymond & Glenn Medice in Rothrock State Forest.  Notice my green Epic and Glenn's red Santa Cruz.  He's smiling in the pic...but believe me, he had some buyer's remorse! (well, did he?  He used Mikey's credit card!) -- 2007


Yeah...I raced that green Epic hard!  This pic was taken at the Marysville Team Relay -- April 2008

Now, I can't leave out the fact that Glenn's the guy who, when we took our first big trip together, went to West Virginia with a blue Cannondale Rush ( I think) and came home with a red Santa Cruz!  This wasn't an even swap...Glenn downgraded...and he used Mikey's credit card to make up the difference!  And to the best of my recollection...he bought an inferior bike that had some serious shifting issues simply because it was red!  It's all about the color...isn't that right, Glenn? 

 I owned, rode, and raced the heck out of that green Epic for just about two years before I replaced it with a brand new 2009 carbon fiber, full-suspension Epic.  Besides the fact that the bike was fast...I had found a color scheme that I loved...red and black.  My 2012 Roubaix road bike is red and black...my 2011 Stumpjumper (yeah...I didn't have the Epic long) had a really cool red, black, and silver color scheme, my helmet was red, my gloves were red, my Camelbak is red, (as long as it was clean) I would sport a red and black Gung Ho cycling jersey, and hell....even the tattoo on my right arm is red & black!

Bringing home my 2009 full suspension, carbon fiber Specialized Epic. It had a white seat.  Who the hell puts a white seat on a mountain bike? -- April 2009


When my 2012 Specialized Roubaix came into the shop, Jay Zech told me I could come in and build it myself.  Pretty cool! -- February 2012


Proudly displaying my brand new 2011 Stumpjumper while on a trip to Raymond B. Winter State Park -- July 11, 2011

This past Spring, after 5 years of riding my 2011 Stumpjumper, I broke with tradition and bought my bright orange 2016 carbon fiber Stumpjumper.  I'll admit...I had doubts at first.  It wasn't red, my helmet wouldn't match, my gloves didn't match, and being a person with some serious ADD it was hard to break from tradition and routine.   But the more I looked at it, the more I loved it.  It's all about the color...and instead of trying to match the orange on the bike I embraced a green "White Squirrel" t-shirt that I purchased in Brevard, North Carolina and bought a much needed new helmet...fluorescent green!  Bright orange and bright green...now I proudly display my latest color scheme. 


My first ride ever on my new 2016 Stumpjumper.  Pedaling Swatara State Park with Mark -- March 5, 2016


Sporting my new orange bike and green helmet in Michaux State Forest on my final mountain bike ride prior to my back surgery last week -- October 30, 2016

Often, the SQUIRRELS WITH CAMERAS who so diligently help me document our rides take a few shots that really stand out to me....again, because of the color.  A few of the pics took advantage of some pretty cool filters built into my smart phone, some pics are of our bikes, some are of us riding, and some are just of us just hanging out...but all are unique because they capture the beauty and color all around us.  Here are a few examples.


I took this "dead of winter" pic while on a ride in Michaux with my next door neighbor, Mike.  My 2011 Stumpjumper is leaning against a boulder in Michaux State Forest & is highlighted by some of the green moss and mountain laurel that still grows, even in the winter, near mountain creek -- January 2, 2016


I love this Spring time pic of Tim and I riding at the Lakes.  There are no leaves on the trees yet, but the pink and purple blossoms are clearly visible and are the highlight of the photo -- April 28, 2013


Mark and I found found this flaming red foliage on the trees while on a Columbus Day exploration ride in Michaux State Forest -- October 12, 2015

Dave Raymond and Mike Alicea riding at Rocky Ridge.  At the time my Galaxy S3 had this super cool "red" filter on the camera.  I used it a lot just because I liked the effect -- September 18, 2014


I think the koolest part of this pic of Kristian and I taking a a break from riding in Patapsco Valley State Park is the reflection in the Patapsco River -- October 15, 2016


This pic of Tim and I was taken at the Lakes.  I love how the sun pokes through the grey clouds and highlights the leaves on the left behind us -- October 17, 2015


Probably the coolest Autumn mountain biking pic in my collection.  I love this pic of Tim and I riding through the red foliage at Rocky Ridge County Park.  The autumn colors really stand out in this pic -- October 18, 2014


I have no clue what filter I used for this picture of Tim riding down the power lines at Rocky Ridge...but it's pretty darn cool! -- October 18, 2014


Some random squirrel caught this pic of me riding at the Lakes.  With all the leaves off of the trees, my red helmet really stands out against the rest of the picture -- November 18, 2012


I love blues and greens...and this pic of me riding at the Lakes has both.  Pretty awesome! -- June 1, 2014


Mark snagged this pic of me taking a break while riding the mountain trails near State College, PA.  I must  have left the "red only' filter on (the only color you see is red on my helmet)...the result is a really kool pic! -- June 28, 2014

Tim captured this pic of me coming up a hill at the Lakes.  The colors all around me are beautiful -- October 24, 2015

It's all about the color...but I'll go on the record here and admit that my most impressive and beautiful pics are purely accidental.  I could never reproduce them.  It's this accidental color, in my opinion, that highlights the beauty of the nature I get to experience while riding and shows exactly why I, and my friends, love mountain biking.  Whether it's a pic of the Lakes here in York County, a view of the Susquehanna River, a sunflower field a few miles from my house, a desert cactus 3,000 miles away in Arizona, or an autumn view of Michaux State Forest from our favorite vista...I have to say, Glenn...you were correct, my friend.  It IS all about the color.


My wife says this is the most beautiful picture I've ever taken.  Up until last week it was the pic on the top of my blog.  I took this pick while riding at the Lakes with Tim -- October 17, 2015


This, in my opinion, is just a really awesome picture.  I took it while on a road ride near Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania -- September 2, 2016


These red flowers really stick out against the overcast sky and the Susquehanna River while on a road ride near Wrightsville, Pennsylvania -- August 10, 2015


Laurel Lake in Michaux State Forest -- October 30, 2016

I took this pic of a cactus while hiking South Mountain near Phoenix, Arizona -- June 10, 2016

The Fall colors were all around Tim and I as we rode the trails around Lake Redman -- October 24, 2015


The vista at Michaux State Forest.  My favorite spot.  I was completely stoked to be able to go there with Mark & Kristian once more before my back surgery last week.  The foliage in Michaux State Forest was at it's peak.  Beautiful! -- October 30, 2016


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- November 11, 2016
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Yep...when there aren't any squirrels to be found my new green helmet makes a perfect camera stand! -- October 30, 2016