Living in Manchester, Pennsylvania, any bike ride north will take you to, or near, the Susquehanna River. Today's ride did just that. The Susquehanna River flows south out of New York, through central Pennsylvania, and eventually into the Chesapeake Bay. It is the boundary between York and Lancaster Counties. York Haven, in northeastern York County, is located directly next to the river. The first time I ever saw York Haven was in 1995. Just after I was hired to teach at Northeastern Middle School I was taken on a tour of the school district by, then assistant superintendent, Dr. Fred Hainley.
|York Haven, Pennsylvania -- October 31, 2015|
I will admit that my first impressions of York Haven were not good. To a twenty-one year old, the town seemed run down. With only one main street running through the town...there definitely wasn't much going on. Today's ride took me down that street. My mind went back to 1995....driving through the town. I can still remember the conversation. Dr. Hainley explained to me, with pride, about the town's past. Founded in 1814, York Haven once was the home of the York Haven Paper Company. At the time it was built (1885), the York Haven Paper Company was the largest ground pulp paper mill in the United States. The mill closed it's doors in 1971 due to cost cutting measures. The next year the remnants of Hurricane Agnes severely damaged the empty mill. Shortly after, it was torn down. As a history teacher, I have much more appreciation of the town now than I did back then...and, riding my bike through it, I always imagine the possibilities for the community. Maybe someday the industry will come back.
|The Susquehanna River and Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant -- October 31, 2015|
|A view of Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant from Grandview Road -- October 31, 2015|
Riding out of York Haven a view of the Susquehanna River and Three Mile Island nuclear plant opens up. I can still remember the first time I saw the power plant. It was the same day I saw York Haven for the first time. When Dr. Hainley turned the corner and I saw the towers I practically jumped through the roof of his Dodge Caravan. I couldn't believe my eyes. Today, it is just part of my normal landscape. Most of the kids I teach in my history classes have never heard of the 1979 accident that nearly rendered the area uninhabitable. Time moves on.
|River Drive headed northwest out of York Haven -- October 31, 2015|
|A beautiful day to be out riding. Cragmoor Road west of York Haven --October 31, 2015|
On that August day in 1995, Dr. Hainley drove me and a few other new teachers around the remainder of Northeastern School District. Mostly a lot of back roads and farmland. I remember thinking, "Where am I?" "There's nothing to do here!" It's so funny how perception and perspective changes over time. Today I pedaled some of those very same roads back to my house. Today, there is some much to do here. So much for me to see. So much to appreciate. Today I know exactly where I am....I'm home.
Life is a journey...not a destination.
David A. Raymond -- October 31, 2015
Be sure to check out the new website for ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM to see all of our ride pics, trail maps, favorite ice cream stops, and a whole lot more!