Sunday, August 28, 2016


I'm at my worst when I'm inactive.  It's not just that I feel sluggish or out of shape...I feel about as close as I get to depressed.  I just don't do well when when either my mind or my body isn't stimulated.  My wife often says that I get more done in a day than anyone she knows.  I don't know how true that is...but I do belief that for me, at least, it's a survival technique.  It's one of the reasons I love mountain biking so much.  Nothing else can make both my body and my mind work so much at the same time.  It's impossible to daydream while mountain biking...and I sure as hell can't slouch off a whole heck of a lot.

Taking a break with Kristian on Gargamel's Trail near Mountain Creek in Michaux State Forest -- August 28, 2016

It's proven that exercise will increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain and helps with the production of endorphins.   That's a pretty fancy way of saying what I've always known...when I'm active, I'm happy.  It's one of the reasons I, long ago, fell in love with mountain biking...and, in particular...mountain biking in Michaux.

Kristian taking on an utlra-kool rock bridge which crosses a dry creek bed on Gargamel's Trail -- August 28, 2016

This afternoon, Kristain and I spend two hours pedaling through some of the best that Michaux has to offer.  Starting at Pine Grove Furnace, we headed straight for Tom's Run Trail and began making our way up the ridge.  At our highest point...1,300 feet above sea level...we were only halfway up the mountain.  That was today's plan...keep the ride as level as possible and maximize our fun on some of the best technical, rocky, and rooty areas that Michaux State Forest has to offer.

Navigating the rhododendron on Gargamel's Trail -- August 28, 2016

Our 13 mile ride in the 90 degree August heat included low hanging rhododendron, rock gardens, and stream crossings.  It included boulder riding, bone dry single track, log build-ups, a section of a dusty ATV trail, and a short hike-a-bike.  It included time to stop and enjoy the amazing beauty of Mountain Creek as it meandered past Gargamel's Trail.  It included a doe and a three fawns that crossed my path near Dynamite Shack and huge freakin' spider sunning itself near the water.  Kristian said it perfectly halfway through the ride..."I need this"...and honestly, so do I.

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- August 28, 2016

This big brown spider stood still long enough on this rock at the edge of Mountain Creek.  I love the reflection of the surrounding forest in the water -- August 28, 2016