Something incredible happened in Michaux State Forest during 2015 and 2016. It wasn't the amazing new trails that we found and explored...and it wasn't the revisiting of trails that we haven't ridden for many years. These two things alone would have made the last couple of years of mountain biking in Michaux some of the best. However, 2015 & 2016 stand out because they saw the return of so many friends (as well as one new friend) to our riding group...and we all know that mountain biking just isn't mountain biking without friends.
Swatara State Park. Together we laughed, talked, joked, and just rode. It's greatest feeling in the world to have everyone back in the loop. Over the past two years Mike Alicea, Chris Keller, Nate Hake, and Chip have also made their way over to Michaux. Never have I been so blessed with so many friends to ride with. Like I said...it's been incredible!
|Mark Lentz, Kristian Hains, & Dave Raymond in Michaux State Forest -- October 30, 2016|
|The return of Glenn Medice! The man has moves! -- June 28, 2016|
|Mikey Nardelli and Bill Grave in Michaux State Forest -- July 5, 2016|
|Mark Lentz, Dave Raymond, Tim Sindlinger, & Nate Hake -- August 16, 2016|
|Mark Lentz (and me in the back on the left) in Michaux State Forest -- October 30, 2016|
|Mark and Kristian chatting while riding some fire road in Michaux -- October 30, 2016|
|The original White Squirrel, Kristian Hains, in Michaux State Forest -- October 30, 2016|
|A cold first ride of the year in Michaux State Forest with Mike Alicea -- January 2, 2016|
|Chris Keller, Dave Raymond, Tim Sindlinger, & Chip at the end of Dynamite Shack trail -- August 23, 2016|
|Matt Linnane in Michaux State Forest -- August 4, 2015|
The last two years of riding in Michaux have been a mixture of both the old and the new. Tim and I spent time revisiting old favorites such as GRAVE RIDGE trail. On our first trip back to the Big Flat area of the forest in many years, Mark and I were greeted with what seemed to be newly created trails that descended towards the Chambersburg Reservoir. Combined with all the "new" trails that Mark and I "found" (more Mark than me) our rides have taken on a whole new life and energy that, I for one, have not experienced for quite some time. It's been so much fun.
|Tim Sindlinger & Dave Raymond after riding GRAVE RIDGE -- August 9, 2016|
|Tim Sindlinger taking on Grave Ridge -- August 9, 2016|
|Dave Raymond & Mark Lentz on our first Columbus Day exploration ride in Michaux State Forest -- October 12, 2015|
|Dave Raymond & Mark Lentz on our 2nd annual Columbus Day exploration ride in Michaux State Forest -- October 10, 2016|
|Mark Lentz showing me the view from our new favorite vista in Michaux State Forest -- June 13, 2016|
|Possibly my favorite place in the world -- July 26, 2016|
|This newly logged area of the forest has become one of my favorite sections to ride -- June 13, 2016|
|Dave Raymond in Michaux State Forest -- October 30, 2016|
What began back in 2006 as a Memorial Day ride with Mark and Tim has turned into something so much more to me. Long lasting friendships have been forged here in Michaux. Over the years, I've shared what I have learned about the forest and the trails there with my son and his friends. I proposed to my wife in Michaux, too. Both Robin and Alex love coming with me to hike and experience the beauty in the forest. I cannot think of a single bad memory or experience in Michaux. That, in and of itself, is amazing. After a decade of mountain biking in Michaux I can't help but think the forest, and my experiences there, mirror life. There's been a lot of peaks, some valleys, and a few rocky trails along the way...but the friends have been true and the ride has always been fun. Let's keep pedalin' on.
|Hiking Dead Woman's Hollow Trail with Robin -- May 12, 2013|
|Alex and David Raymond hiking Tumbling Run -- June 22, 2016|
Life is a journey...not a destination
David A. Raymond -- December 22, 2016
|A decade of mountain biking in Michaux State Forest then & now. From top to bottom: Dave Raymond, Mark Lentz, Glenn Medice, Kristian Hains, Tim Sindlinger, Mikey Nardelli, & Bill Graves|
GARMIN maps from a few of the rides featured: