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Monday, April 2, 2018

HOMECOMING

In 1758, George Washington, commanding the rear guard of British general John Forbes's army en route to capture Fort Duquesne, slept in a field just ten miles west of Bedford, Pennsylvania.  Today, those very fields make up Shawnee State Park.  Named for the Shawnee tribe who, in the 18th century, were forced from the Potomac to Ohio Country, Shawnee State Park (opened in 1951) was a mainstay of my childhood.  When we were kids, my parents, on hot summer days, would drive my brother and me to Shawnee in our old 1975 Pontiac where we would spend countless hours swimming, playing in the sand, picnicking, and hiking (what seemed, to an eight year old, and endless trail) around the lake.

Shawnee Lake as seen from Field Trail on the Northwest side of the lake. -- March 30, 2018

This past weekend was a "homecoming," of sorts, for me.   Please don't get me wrong...I come home to visit often...but I can count on one hand the number of times I've been to Shawnee State Park since I graduated high school. Twice to be precise.  On the Fourth of July weekend, in 2014, Robin, Alex, Dad, Mary Jane, and I took a hike along the lake and, in 2015, I took a ride on my road bike through the park.

Hiking around Shawnee Lake.  Dave, Mary Jane, Alex, Robin, and David Raymond. -- July 5, 2014

Road ride through Shawnee State Park. -- July 10, 2015

This past Fall, I entered one of my mountain biking pics in a photo contest sponsored by the good folks at PA Parks and Forests Foundation.  To my excitement (and surprise,) my pic was one of the winners.  I was equally surprised when I found out that the winning photos would be on display this month at Shawnee State Park.  What a super cool coincidence...and how fortunate I was to be able to make the trip to my hometown to be present (along with my wife, Robin, my father, Mary Jane, Jane, and Galen) for the ribbon cutting ceremony opening the PA Parks and Forests photo contest gallery on display at Shawnee's Environmental Education Center.  I was so proud to share this honor with my wife, family, and members of the local community!


Participating in the Ribbon Cutting at Shawnee State Park. -- March 29, 2018

David and Robin Raymond in the Education Center at Shawnee State Park located in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. -- March 29, 2018

Seated:  Galen & Jane Black.
Standing: Robin, David, Mary Jane, & Dave Raymond
Shawnee State Park Education Center -- March 29, 2018
Robin and I planned on staying in Bedford for a couple of days and I knew that I would have a little bit of time to ride on Friday morning..so I brought my bike along, too.  In all honesty, I planned on heading back to the trails near the Bedford Springs.  I mountain biked that area for the first time back in January...but the snow and ice and single digit temperatures limited where, and how long, I could explore.  Those plans changed as I mingled around the Education Center on Thursday night and all of the memories of Shawnee State Park began to fill into my head.  I was inspired to come back to Shawnee the next morning for my first ever mountain bike ride in the very same State Park I knew so well as a child.

This sign for FIELD TRAIL is easily seen from the road as you turn off of Route 30 and into Shawnee State Park.  Field trail was the beginning (and ending) point of my ride. -- March 30, 2018

From the outset, I knew that this would be a mud-fest.  With that in mind, (and, even though I spent a lot of time at Shawnee as a kid) I was about to head out for a solo ride on "new to me" trails and I thought it prudent to map my ride ahead of time from a trail map I acquired from a Park Ranger the previous evening.  Mary Jane seemed to be impressed with my pre-ride preparation as I spread the map out on the coffee table in the living room.  I assured her that, no matter how much I may joke around, maps are a GOOD thing!  As for my plan...I decided to park the Cruz on a small pull off located where Field Trail intersects with the paved road in State Park.  The route I chose, in theory, would loop around the eastern section of the lake...and, if I was correct, would eventually end at the exactly where I began.


Field Trail...the first and last trail of my ride.  I knew that things were going to be slow and sloppy as I started off on the north side of the park.  The trail ran parallel to Route 30 and crossed over smaller streams that feed into Shawnee Lake. -- March 30, 2018

My plan had me riding Field Trail until it intersected at the far end of the park with Felton Trail. -- March 30, 2018

The route I had mapped out had me turning off of Felton Trail (which would have eventually looped me back to Field Trail).  Pigeon Hills Trail was a super cool ride that gained a lot of elevation as it made it's way along the ridge above the lake.   Probably the coolest part of Pigeon Hills Trail was when it made a sharp right down towards the dam.  That section of trail was part of the original Forbes Road cut by the British army in 1758!  --  March 30, 2018

Descending off of Pigeon Hills Trail I ended up at the dam on the southern end of the lake.  From there I pedaled Lake Shore Trail and began making my way back Field Trail and, eventually, looping back to my starting point. -- March 30, 2018

Pausing on Lake Shore Trail near the dam on the south end of Shawnee Lake. -- March 30, 2018

No doubt about it...this ride was a complete mud-fest...a sloppy, wet, mucky, amazingly fun, mud-fest.  Through it all,  I was able to rediscover a beautiful State Park in which I had spend so much time years ago...in a way that I never had before.  Robin says that Bedford is the only place she ever sees me relax.  I don't know how true that is...but I do love going home to visit.  Not just for the good memories that come rushing back to me...but also because of the new memories that are constantly being created there with the people, and places, I love.



The entrance to Shawnee State Park located on The Lincoln Highway (Route 30) just outside of Schellsburg, Pennsylvania.  The abandoned building on the other side of the street was once the Frosty Bear Ice Cream Drive-In and Gas Station.  It was a favorite place to stop after a summer day at Shawnee State Park. -- March 30, 2018


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- April 2, 2018


Summer of 1977!  My dad (holding my brother, Jake) packing the car to take the two of us and our older cousins (Bobby, Andy, and Kristen) to Shawnee State Park for the day.

Here is the GARMIN map and data from my solo mud-fest at Shawnee State Park...along with the maps and data from my 2014 hike and 2015 road ride.  Happy riding!










Interested in biking or hiking some of the trails featured in this post?  Check out the TRAIL MAPS and TRAIL HEADS tabs on the ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM website.   

All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit the good folks at YOURTRUENATURE.COM and PA PARKS and FORESTS FOUNDATION.

"WRITE SOMETHING WORTH READING OR DO SOMETHING WORTH WRITING..." Ben Franklin

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

ADVICE FROM A BICYCLE

The earliest picture I have of me on a bicycle was taken when I was one year old.  It's of my father holding me steady on a ten speed bike.  I think it's safe to say that neither my mom, nor my dad, would have ever thought I would one day grow up to be an adult who would derive so much joy and inspiration from riding a bike.

As always...thank you to YOUR TRUE NATURE for the super cool bookmarks and magnets.  Your gifts and work continue to inspire me.

Hanging on the refrigerator in my kitchen is a magnet that the good people at Your True Nature sent me a few months ago.  It reads:  ADVICE FROM A BICYCLE.  Just one of a few gifts that they sent me after reading my post, OBSERVATIONS FROM OHIOPYLE.  The folks at YOUR TRUE NATURE also inspired me to write ADVICE FROM A SQUIRREL and, one of my favorite posts, ADVICE FROM A MOUNTAIN.  Decades of bike riding have taught me a lot of lessons. Some of those lessons were taught to me (thank you, Mark)...and some I had to figure out on my own.  Interestingly, many of them can be summed up in the seven phrases printed on the magnet hanging in my kitchen. Again, many thanks to YOUR TRUE NATURE for inspiring me with these your pieces of advice from a bicycle.  I hope you don't mind...but I added one more (and in my opinion...the best) piece of advice to the end of the list.  Enjoy!


STAY ON TRACK

To me, the key to biking...and to life...is staying on track.  Figure out what you want to do, where you want to go, who you want to be...and go there.  The trails won't always be marked, paths will often diverge, and sometimes you'll have to make your own way.  Just keep your eyes on the trail ahead of you.

Just like mountain biking, in life there are often plenty of signs to help keep you on track.  Taken while mountain biking near the Bedford Springs Hotel -- January 13,  2018

Those signs can be easily missed if you aren't paying attention....sort of like the sign that diverted Baughman Trail (in Ohiopyle State Park) off to the right and away from the mud and muck that I ended up riding in.  --  June 15,  2017

No matter how hard you try to stay on track...ultimately, you'll come to a fork in the road.  Thankfully, All Trails Go Somewhere!  Mark Lentz in Michaux State Forest. -- July 21, 2017

To Glenn's chagrin...staying on track sometimes means inventing a new way forward....like enduring a cold stream crossing and an unauthorized trek through a construction site.  Glenn Medice riding at the Lakes. -- May 2, 2017


LEAN INTO LIFE'S CURVES

Trails, like life, don't always lead you where you want to go...but they always go somewhere...and that somewhere is often really beautiful!

I love this trail in Michaux State Forest.  It winds and curves through a freshly logged area of the mountain. -- October 30, 2016

This curve descends down a particularly beautiful area in Michaux State Forest that...for some reason...I've always called Bear Knob.  I think I saw the name on an old ATV map. --  August 1, 2017

STAY BALANCED

My boss calls it, "Keeping Your Triangle Balanced."  Family, Work, Leisure.  We all can be guilty of focusing too much on one of those three things and neglecting the others.  Life, like riding a bicycle, is a balancing act.  Leaning too far in any one direction will knock you too the ground.

Making my way down Trail 7 at Rocky Ridge County Park.  In my opinion, one of the most fun and probably the most difficult trail in the park.  There is a rock garden about 2/3 of the way down the trail that I've never been able to make it through.  Way to go, Mikey Nardelli!  You're the only person I've ever seen ride it! -- November 3, 2017

This stupid log in Swatara State Park throws me off all the time.  The single log is damp enough for me to constantly slip off of it and the two perpendicular logs are annoyingly spaced just right to stop my momentum.  Tim, for some reason, has no issue with it.  Tim Sindlinger and Matt Linnane. -- June 6, 2017

The best rock at Rocky Ridge County Park!  Staying balanced on it is much easier than you would first expect. -- September 15, 2017

Matt Linnane dodging downed trees and staying balanced as he rides above Mountain Creek in Michaux State Forest. -- August 15, 2017


KNOW WHEN TO PUT THE BRAKES ON

There are times in life, just as on a bike, that we need to put the brakes on and slow down.  Maybe we need to get our bearings...maybe we need to watch out for danger...or maybe we just need to stop and take in the moment.  It's okay to put the brakes on every once in a while.  Don't worry about your STRAVA.

Kristian and I putting the brakes on to admire the beauty of the Patapsco River in Patapsco Valley State Park, MD. -- October 15, 2016

Yeah...I'm that guy.  If the sign says "Walk Your Bike Across The Bridge" that's what I do.  Patapsco Valley State Park. -- July 1, 2016

This is one of Glenn's favorite pictures.  Glenn, Matt, and I took a break  on a well placed bench in Michaux State Forest. -- July 25, 2017


Yes....I will put the brakes on for snakes.  I hate snakes.  Thanks, Mark, for pointing it out.  Michaux State Forest. -- October 30, 2016

I will definitely put the brakes on for a black bear! Michaux State Forest. -- July 31, 2017

COAST WHEN YOU NEED TO

Someone once mentioned to me how surprised they were when they realized that I didn't just mountain bike "downhill."  Life is full of uphill climbs.  Actually, you'll spend exponentially more time and energy climbing up than you will riding down.  When you do get to ride down...go ahead and coast.
You deserve it.

Mark Lentz and  I coasting down a super slick single track that winds underneath the power lines in Michaux State Forest. -- October 10, 2016



Glenn Medice and I coasting down a trail in Michaux State Forest. -- August 15, 2017

Mark and Kristian coasting and chatting on a fire road in Michaux State Forest. -- October 30, 2016

DON'T LET THE TOUGH SPOTS DERAIL YOU

Inevitably, things get tough.  Be the person who looks for solutions...not the person who just sees problems.  S**t happens...don't let it derail you.  There's always a way around, through, or over anything in your way.

Tim navigates this tree build-up in Michaux State Forest with greatest of easy. -- June 28, 2016



This tough spot at on the Parkway Trails in Harrisburg, PA didn't derail Chris and I...it just made us backtrack a little bit. -- March 3,  2018

Love, love, love this picture of Glenn navigating Grave Ridge in Michaux State Forest. -- July 25, 2017

GET IN GEAR

The saying goes..."We all have gears we don't use."  Use them.  They'll help you get out of the valleys.

I took this amazing pic of Mark as he started his climb up Trail 8 at Rocky Ridge County Park.  Climbs like this are the reason bikes have so many gears. -- January 26, 2018

RIDING IS ALWAYS MORE FUN WITH FRIENDS

My contribution to the list.  I don't think I would enjoy mountain biking even a fraction of the amount that I do if it wasn't for the friends that I share these experiences with.  Just over the past two years, I've had the honor of spending time (doing the things I love) with these people.  They are ALL so special to me and mean the world to me.  Thank you, all!

Mark Lentz and Dave Raymond on an epic ride in Tuscarora State Forest. -- July 6, 2017

Dave Raymond and Chris Keller on one of our many afternoon rides at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- July 13, 2017

Back row:  Tim Sindlinger, Glenn Medice, and Matt Linnane.  We took this pic at the end of Grave Ridge Trail in Michaux State Forest. -- August 15, 2017

Mike Alicea, Brent Shirk, and Dave Raymond on the Park Way Trails in Harrisburg, PA. -- December 28, 2017

Riding Patapsco Valley State Park with Kristian Hains. -- October 15, 2016

Dave Raymond and Mike Alessandroni riding near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. -- August 3, 2016

Taking an Easter Sunday ride with my son, Alex.  -- April 16, 2017

Riding with my very best friend of all...Robin!  -- April 9, 2017

Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- March 21, 2018


I was one year old when this picture of my father and I was taken outside of my parent's apartment in Fishertown, Pennsylvania. -- 1974

Here are the GARMIN maps and data from a few of the rides featured in this post.   Happy riding!










Interested in biking or hiking some of the trails featured in this post?  Check out the TRAIL MAPS and TRAIL HEADS tabs on the ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM website.   

All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit YOURTRUENATURE.COM!

"WRITE SOMETHING WORTH READING OR DO SOMETHING WORTH WRITING..." Ben Franklin

Thursday, March 8, 2018

ALL TRAILS GO SOMEWHERE

Me:  "Where does this trail go?"
Mark:  "It goes somewhere."
"All trails go somewhere."  It's a lesson Mark taught me over a decade ago.  He's right, too.  By definition, a trail wouldn't be a trail if it didn't go somewhere.

David Raymond and Mark Lentz exploring Michaux State Forest.  --  June 1, 2013

The funny thing is...most of the time the "somewhere" that we end up finding isn't anywhere close to where we thought we would be.  Yeah...every so often, we find ourselves running into POSTED signs and having to back track...but very rarely are we ever disappointed in the "point B" at the end of the trail and often we end up discovering new and amazing places to ride.   It's one of the things I love about riding with Mark.  Just the other week, we caught sight of a trail at Rocky Ridge County Park that we never noticed before.  Mark's comment was, "We'll have to go back and explore that!"  I hope it's soon, too.  And when we do ride it, even if the trail doesn't lead us exactly where we anticipate it will...the trail will go somewhere...and that will be just as cool.

Mark and I exploring  "new to us" parts of Michaux State Forest.  The trail we chose on this day led down an amazing hillside littered with gigantic bolders.  Super cool! -- October 10, 2016

Life is a journey...not a destination.


David A. Raymond -- March 8, 2018
BTW....Today is Mark's birthday.  Happy birthday, bud.  I hope this year brings you some pretty amazing rides.


I LOVE this picture of Glenn.  Taken in 2007 while we were mountain biking near Black Water Falls, West Virginia.  As far as Glenn was concerned...this trail wasn't going "somewhere"...it was going into a swamp...and Glenn wasn't happy.  Glenn, however, gets full credit for planting the seed in my head for what would eventually become this blog.  About 10 years ago...while the two of us were riding up a hill in Michaux on a hot summer day...I made the comment that I could already taste the post-ride ice cream at Mountain Creek.  He reply to me..."With you, Davy...all trails lead to ice cream."  Thanks for the inspiration, bud.

Here are the GARMIN maps and data from the rides featured in this post...






Interested in biking or hiking some of the trails featured in this post?  Check out the TRAIL MAPS and TRAIL HEADS tabs on the ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM website.   

All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit HIGHPEAKSHIKING.COM and

"WRITE SOMETHING WORTH READING OR DO SOMETHING WORTH WRITING..." Ben Franklin

Thursday, March 1, 2018

SURROUNDED BY BEAUTY

 We all have our "thing."  That one thing you love to do and helps form your identity.  Personally, my "thing" is mountain biking....but it's not my only "thing."  There are so many interests and likes that make up who I am.  People who know me well are fuly aware that I'm a complete nerd when it comes to history and visiting historical sites.  I love to read (non-fiction).  I love to hike, camp, and just spend time outdoors.  Coincidentally, there are some passions I've outgrown...collecting comic books and (people who knew me prior to 10 years ago will find this unbelievable) watching football are two that come to mind.  Just as I've outgrown some things...I've also discovered a new "things" that bring me enjoyement.  Often, it's completely unexpected...like what I found out about myself when Robin and I went on our honeymoon to Montreal in 2013.


Robin and I at the top of the Montreal Tower observatory in Olympic Park.  Right below us, and to my left, is the Montreal Botanical Gardens.  -- July 28, 2013

The Montreal Tower observatory viewed from the Montreal Botanical Gardens. -- July 28, 2013.

Being a history and sports nut....the only things I knew about Montreal prior to our honeymoon is the role it played in 18th and 19th century North American conflicts, it was the site of the 1976 Summer Olympic games, and the home of the now defunct Montreal Expos.  On the third day of our honeymoon, we had plans to visit Olympic Park (which I was very excited about and Robin tolerated....she's amazing).  On the way there she mentioned to me that the Montreal Botanical Gardens was nearby and that she hoped to go there after we visited the Olympic facilities.  I will openly admit that I pretended not to hear her.  I had no clue what a "Botanical Garden" was...but I was pretty sure it had to do with flowers...and it wasn't something I ever envisioned myself visiting.

The first display I came across at the Montreal Botanical Gardens was from Madagascar.  I was hooked! -- July 28, 2013

Any doubts I had while walking to the Botanical Gardens after visiting Olympic Park were squashed completely as soon as we entered the gardens and were greated by beauty that was absolutely mind-blowing!  Robin and I just happened to visit while an exibit entitled Mosaiculture Internationales was on display...featuring more than fifty creations from 20 countries with the theme "Land of Hope."  The purpose of the exhibit was to raise awareness of the importance of preserving the beauty of life on Earth.  I took many pics that day as Robin and I traveled from county to county within the exhibit.  Here are a few of my favorites.


The exhibit "Mother Earth" from Canada was Robin's favorite. -- July 28, 2013

This exhibit was entitled "Nature in the City."  The phone I had at the time had a super cool filter on the camera that only captured blues. -- July 28, 2013

The United States was represented with the exhibit "Farmers.  The People Who Feed the World." -- July 28, 2013

A Canadian exhibit called "Meeting of the Four Nations." -- July 28, 2013

The exhibit "The Living City" used a ride share bicycle as part of the display. -- July 28, 2013

Another United States exhibit entitled "Fragile Frogs." -- July 28, 2013

"The Man Who Planted Trees" was another exhibit representing Canada. -- July 28, 2013
Representing Hiroshima, Japan..."A Dove For Peace." -- July 28, 2013

"A True Story" representing China. -- July 28, 2013


Visiting the Chinese Gardens in the Montreal Botanical Gardens. -- July 28, 2013

This quickly became a classic example of stepping out of a comfort zone and discovering something really, really cool.  I also had to acknowledge that I would never have stepped foot there if it wasn't for my amazing wife.  Ever since our honeymoon, one of the first things we look for when we travel to a new city is the local Botanical Garden.  Each time we visit one of these gardens she points out how much she loves being surrounded by beauty.   I never thought this would be something I'd love to do...but it is.  More specifically, I really enjoy visiting them with my wife.  It's become "our thing" to do.  Since my first visit to the Montreal Botanical Gardens in 2013, Robin and I have made them destinations on many of our trips...Surrounding ourselves in beauty everywhere we go.  Here are some of the pics I've taken on our visits to the different gardens.*
Enjoy!

DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN--PHOENIX, ARIZONA

On one of our visits to see my brother's family in Arizona, Robin and I went out of our way to visit the Desert Botanical Gardens.  I've lived my entire life in Pennsylvania and, to me, the desert landscape seems so surreal.

Robin and I at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, Arizona. -- February 17, 2015

Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix Arizona. -- February 17, 2015

My favorite pic from the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix Arizona. -- February 17, 2015


Say what you want...these are some really cool looking plants. -- February 17, 2015

Sizing myself up next to the Cacti in the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix Arizona. -- February 17, 2015

Yeah...I touched that.  Hurt like hell.  Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix Arizona. -- February 17, 2015

GARDEN OF THE GROVES--GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND

On our second wedding anniversary, Robin and I took a cruise to Grand Bahama Island.  For our excursion, we decided to check out the Garden Of The Groves Botanical Garden.

Robin and David Raymond.  Garden Of The Groves on Grand Bahama Island. -- July 22, 2015

Garden Of The Groves on Grand Bahama Island. -- July 22, 2015

Garden Of The Groves on Grand Bahama Island. -- July 22, 2015

Garden Of The Groves on Grand Bahama Island. -- July 22, 2015

Looking out for spiders at the Garden Of The Groves on Grand Bahama Island. -- July 22, 2015

Garden Of The Groves on Grand Bahama Island. -- July 22, 2015


UNITED STATES BOTANICAL GARDEN -- WASHINGTON, D.C.

For a birthday present, Robin took me to Washington, D.C. for the weekend.  I got to tour the U.S. Capitol, visit the National Archives, and spend time at the Jefferson Memorial.  In between all of the nerdiness, Robin and I made a stop at the United States Botanical Garden.

United States Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C. -- October 1, 2016

United States Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C. -- October 1, 2016

United States Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C. -- October 1, 2016


UNC CHARLOTTE BOTANICAL GARDEN -- CHARLOTTE, N.C.

Every year, Robin and I spend the week after Thanksgiving at our timeshare in West Palm Beach, Florida.  We make the trip from Pennsylvania to Florida in our car and stay the night in a different city on the way down.  This past November, we stayed in Charlotte, North Carolina.  After breakfast, and before we hit the road, Robin and I toured the Botanical Garden at the University of North Carolina Charlotte.  We got to experience the beautiful colors of the late-season fall folliage.

Robin and David Raymond.  UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens. -- November 26, 2017.

UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens. -- November 26, 2017.

UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens. -- November 26, 2017.

UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens. -- November 26, 2017.

UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens. -- November 26, 2017.



UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens. -- November 26, 2017.

UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens. -- November 26, 2017.

This plant is calld Flying Dragon Trifoliate Orange.  So cool looking!  UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens. -- November 26, 2017.

LONGWOOD GARDENS -- KENNETT SQUARE, PENNSYLVANIA

Happy birthday, Robin!  A few weeks ago, I surprised my wife with a weekend trip to Philadelphia which included at stop at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania to experience the Orchid Extravaganza!

Robin and David Raymond experiencing the Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. -- February 17, 2018

Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. -- February 17, 2018

Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. -- February 17, 2018

Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. -- February 17, 2018

Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. -- February 17, 2018




Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. -- February 17, 2018

Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. -- February 17, 2018

Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. -- February 17, 2018

Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. -- February 17, 2018

The clock and bell tower at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. -- February 17, 2018

Yes!  A treehouse!  Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. -- February 17, 2018




Bird watching from the treehouse at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. -- February 17, 2018


BARTRAM'S GARDENS -- PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

On Robin's birthday, we had a little time to kill before we went on a Ethnic Food Tour in South Philly.  I heard about a Botanical Garden right in Philadelphia called Bartram's Gardens.  We drove through a pretty sketchy neighborhood to get there...but I'm glad we made the stop.

Bartram's Garden in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. -- February 18, 2018

The oldest surviving Ginko tree in North America.  Bartram's Garden in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. -- February 18, 2018

Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson all enjoyed tea here at Bartram's Garden in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. -- February 18, 2018


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- March 1, 2018

*Botanical Gardens that Robin and I visit after I post this will be added to the bottom.  Be sure to come back  and check out other gardens that I know we will eventually get to!


Yes....I was pretty excited to see Olympic Park in Montreal.  Thanks, Robin, for tolerating it with me!  I love you! -- July 28, 2013

Here are the websites for the Botanical Gardens featured in this post...


 Check out the TRAIL MAPS and TRAIL HEADS tabs on the

All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit HIGHPEAKSHIKING.COM and

"WRITE SOMETHING WORTH READING OR DO SOMETHING WORTH WRITING..." Ben Franklin