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Sunday, August 27, 2017

ADVICE FROM A MOUNTAIN

My son was nine years old the first time I took him hiking.  Mark Lentz led us up Tumbling Run in Michaux State Forest.  I wasn't just hooked...Alex was too.  That hike has...over the years...become Alex's favorite.  Why wouldn't it be?  That particular trail has all you could ask for:  waterfalls, obstacles, rocks, and a spectacular view at the top!  Over the past ten years, Alex and I have hiked many other places...but Tumbling Run is still his favorite.  Usually, as we did last week, we combine a hike up Tumbling Run with a second amazing hike up to the top of Pole Steeple.  This, along with a picnic at one of the numerous state parks in the area, makes for an adventurous day.  For me, the best part of the day isn't the hikes or the food.  What I look forward to the most is sharing the day and the experiences with my son.

Thank you to YOUR TRUE NATURE for the super cool bookmarks and magnets.  Your gift and your inspiration helps inspire me.

David and Alex Raymond on Pole Steeple vista.  Laurel Lake can be seen in the background. -- August 17, 2017
A few months ago, I wrote about an trip that Alex and I had taken to Ohiopyle State Park.  The title and the format of what I had written was inspired by a t-shirt I saw at the visitor center in the park.  YOUR TRUE NATURE, the creator of t-shirt, was kind enough to send me a few of their magnets and bookmarks after reading my post.  Their inspirational words on a bookmark entitled "ADVICE FROM A MOUNTAIN" inspired me to write this post for my son.  So, Alex, here is some ADVICE FROM A MOUNTAIN.  Enjoy!


THERE IS BEAUTY AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE

Beauty can come in so many different forms and is all around us.  You don't have to take a hike to appreciate the beauty of nature...but it doesn't hurt!

A winter view of Michaux State Forest from the top of Pole Steeple. -- December 31, 2016

The view that Alex and I (along with Robin, Mia, and Blythe) had as the sun began to set on the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon. -- January 20, 2014

The view from the top of Tumbing Run in Michaux State Forest. -- June 22, 2016

Alex on Pole Steeple vista. -- December 31, 2016



GET TO THE POINT

Most of the hikes you and I have taken had peaks with amazing views.  We had to "get to the point" in order to reach those spots.  In life it is important to get to the point if you want to reach any goal that you set for yourself.

Alex (age 11) climbing the rocks on top of Tumbling Run. -- October 17, 2010
Alex hiking the trails on South Mountain near Phoenix, Arizona. -- January 24, 2014

Alex exploring at Rocks State Park. -- May 18, 2014

Taking a breather on top of Tumbling Run. -- June 22, 2016

Ending the year on a high note...on top of Pole Steeple. -- December 31, 2016

REACH FOR NEW HEIGHTS


No matter what you do in life...don't ever be afraid to set your sights on new heights and goals.  It will challenge you, help to expand your horizon, and make you a well-rounded person.

Alex on his very first adventure climbing up Tumbling Run. -- March 8, 2009

The first steps towards Superstition Mountain in Lost Dutchman State Park. -- January 23, 2014

Hiking on South Mountain with the city of Phoenix, Arizona miles in the background. -- January 24, 2014

PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE

Don't be frustrated when things get in your way or when you feel somewhat lost.  These are learning experiences that will help you grow.  You'll learn that there is more than one way to the top.  Also, be aware of the people who are are on the trail with you.  Help them when they need it, carry them when you can, and allow yourself to be helped.  We are all stronger when we work together.

The trail along Tumbling Run. -- June 22, 2016

Tumbling Run in Michaux State Forest.  The trail was swallowed up by the swollen springs. -- June 22, 2016

Alex waiting for his dad in Lost Dutchman State Park. -- January 23, 2014

Alex keeping an eye on Emma as she makes one of the many creek crossings at Tumbling Run. -- June 22, 2016

THERE WILL BE PEAKS AND THERE WILL BE VALLEYS

Life is full of ups and downs.  Love the view from the top...but appreciate the strength gained from the climb out of the valley.

Hiking along the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon. -- January 20, 2014

Hiking in Superstition Wilderness. -- January 23, 2014

Hiking up the trail on South Mountain near Phoenix, Arizona. -- January 24, 2017

BE UPLIFTING

Mr. Lentz took time out of his busy life to share something beautiful with you.  Share what you know with others.

On his first hiking trip to Michaux, Alex was guided along the trail by Mark Lentz. -- March 8, 2009

Alex Raymond and Blaine Yinger checking out the view of the Susquehanna River from Chickies Rock. -- April 13, 2014

Alex (right) along with his friends, Robbie and Austin, on top  of Pole Steeple. -- August 5, 2015

Devin Seiger and Alex Raymond on Pole Steeple. -- August 17, 2017

Alex and Emma having fun on the rocks near the top of Tumbling Run. -- June 22, 2017

Alex getting a lift from step-mom, Robin, after a hike in Lost Dutchman State Park. -- January 23, 2014

RISE ABOVE IT ALL

Do all you can, everyday, to be the best you that you can possibly be.  That is all that anyone could ever possibly ask of you.  If you can do this...you will surely rise above it all.

David Raymond, Alex Raymond, and Devin Seiger on top of Tumbling Run.  -- August 17, 2017



Devin Seiger, Alex Raymond, and David Raymond on top of Pole Steeple. -- August 17, 2017



ENJOY THE VIEW!

No matter how busy you may think you are...or how hectic life is...be sure to take time and enjoy the things around you.  It is even more special if you can share the view with someone that you love.

David and Alex Raymond taking in the view of Michaux State Forest from the top of Tumbling Run. -- August 17, 2017

Thank you again, to YOUR TRUE NATURE, for the inspiration and the gifts.  
These eight sentences are great advice for anyone...but I thought them perfect as my wife and I sent Alex off to Point Park University in Pittsburgh this past week.  Tomorrow, Alex, you begin your first day of  college classes.  There will be many mountains to climb...some expected and some not.  Just be sure to make them even more enjoyable and memorable as the ones you've already conquered.  

Alex and David Raymond. -- June 22, 2017


Life is a journey...not a destination.




David A. Raymond -- August 27, 2017


Robin, David, and Alex Raymond.  Robin and I dropped Alex of at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this week.  We are so proud of him. -- August 26, 2017


Here's the GARMIN maps and data from the hikes featured in this post...










Interested in 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 HIGH PEAKS HIKING and YOUR TRUE NATURE!

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

Friday, August 18, 2017

SO MANY TRAILS

I can't remember the last time I spent an entire summer mountain biking in so many new places...on so many "new to me" trails...and on trails I hadn't been on in nearly a decade.  Over the past few months, I've done just that.  The biggest perk I get from my job (if you want to call it that...I get to teach history to kids) is time.  Time is the one resource that you can NEVER get back.  So, this summer...along with Mark, Glenn, Tim, Chris, and Matt...I've used my time mountain biking to explore, and re-explore, a variety of different places and trails.  I truly am blessed to have such great state and local parks and forests...populated with miles and miles of trails...just waiting to be ridden.  I'm equally blessed to have friends who share the same passion.  So (without any further rambling), here's some of the places that I, my friends, and my Stumpjumper have explored the past two and a half months.  Enjoy!

STONY VALLEY RAIL TRAIL


Mark told me that he would ride Stony Valley anyday of the week.  Even though it is "rail trail," it was one of the most visually stimulating rides of the summer.  While riding almost thirty miles on a rainy Monday, we explored the ruins of Cold Spring (a 19th century resort) and got to see Rausch Creek being diverted into limestone wells in order to purify the water.  

While riding the Stony Valley Rail Trail, Mark and I took a short detour to explore the ruins of  Cold Spring, a 19th century resort town, which is located in State Game Lands No. 221. -- June 5, 2017

The remains of Cold Spring Resort -- June 5, 2017

Rausch Creek being diverted into limestone wells to remove the acid in thewater caused by nearby abandoned coal mines. -- June 5, 2017



SWATARA STATE PARK


For our first Tuesday ride of the summer, Tim and I met Matt at Swatara State Park.  The ten miles we rode that day doesn't sound like a lot...but my legs always seem to know after I've ridden there!

Riding on loop D at Swatara State Park. -- June 6, 2017

Dave Raymond, Tim Sindlinger, Matt Linnane. -- June 6, 2017

OHIOPYLE STATE PARK


 I spent a week camping in Ohiopyle State Park with my son Alex this summer.  I had a blast riding the Sugarloaf trail system, Baughman Trail, and some super scenic sections of the Great Allegheny Passage.  Alex brought his GoPro and new drone along on the trip...so I managed to get some amazing footage.  The descent down Baughman Trail dropped approximately 800 feet in just under two miles!  

Taking a break at Baughman Overlook in Ohiopyle State Park. -- June 13, 2017

Riding Baughman Trail at Ohiopyle State Park. -- June 15, 2017



Crossing over the Youghiogheny River on the Great Allegheny Passage. -- June 15, 2017

Riding the Great Allegheny Passage in Ohiopyle State Park. -- June 13, 2017



About a mile from my campsite, I paused to take in the view of the Laurel Highlands around Ohiopyle State Park. -- June 15, 2017


THE LAKES


I only made two trips to the Lakes this summer.  The first, with Mikey, Glenn, and Mark, was a fun mid-day ride with the guys.  My second ride at the lakes was a stop on my way home from Baltimore to turn my pedals and squeeze in five quick miles.

Fun ride at the Lakes with Mikey, Glenn, and Mark. -- June 22, 2017

With just a short window to ride, I stopped for a quick five mile loop around Lake Williams. -- August 14, 2017


ROCKY RIDGE COUNTY PARK


My good friend Chris Keller started his own business this past year.  His new company is located just about a mile from my house.  Whenever his schedule allows, we head up to Rocky Ridge County Park and mountain bike a few miles.  

Ridin Fresh and Twisty at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- June 9, 2017

A super humid ride with Chris Keller at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- July 13, 2017


HARRISBURG GREEN BELT


Okay...this one surprised the heck out of me.  When Mark told me there were trails in Harrisburg, I didn't know what to expect.  I surely didn't think I'd be riding 15+ miles of singletrack located right in, and around, the city.  Urban mountain biking at its best!  Thanks, SAMBA!

Harrisburg Green Belt -- July 26, 2017

Riding the trails along the Green Belt in Harrisburg, PA. -- June 27, 2017

Mark Lentz, Dave Raymond, and Glenn Medice on the Harrisburg Green Belt. -- July 26, 2017


TUSCARORA STATE FOREST


What a day Mark and I had in Tuscarora State Forest!  We mountain biked 29 miles and climbed 4,000 feet through what seemed like a surreal tropical forest. 

Love this picture of Mark riding in Tuscarora State Forest. -- July 6, 2017

My Stumpjumper along a fire road in Tuscarora State Forest. -- July 6, 2017



What a day Mark and I had in Tuscarora State Forest. -- July 6, 2017


ALLEGRIPPIS TRAILS


Tim's maiden voyage to ride the Allegrippis Trails!  I did my best to piece together a fun loop for the three of us.  Personally, Hydro Loop was my favorite.  It's the one trail that gets you super close to the water of Raystown Lake...and, like water, the trail just flows.  Loved it!

Dave Raymond, Tim Sindlinger, and Glenn Medice on Hydro Loop. -- July 11, 2017

Riding the Allegrippis Trail System.  -- July 11, 2017


MICHAUX STATE FOREST


You'd think by now I would have the trails in Michaux State Forest memorized like the back of my hand...but not the case.  Along with Mark, this summer I rode more "new to me" trails in Michaux than I had since he and I first started riding there.  Ridgeline trail was amazing...but today the combination of Triple Pine and Astronomy Trails completely blew me a way.  

It wasn't all about "new" trails in Michaux this summer.  On our Tuesday rides, I did my best to revisit some of the trails that Glenn and I had ridden together almost ten years ago.  Three weeks ago, during our "Rockiest Tuesday of the Year," we ended on Bear Knob...which is super fun to ride.  I was stoked that everyone else seemed to enjoy it as much as I did.

My Stumpjumper on Ridgeline Trail in Michaux State Forest. -- July 31, 2017

Dave Raymond and Mark Lentz on Ridgeline Trail. -- July 31, 2017

The rockiest ride of the year.  Riding Bear Knob in Michaux State Forest. -- August 1, 2017

My bike on Bear Knob in Michaux State Forest. -- August 1, 2017


Last Tuesday ride of the summer.  Tim Sindlinger, Dave Raymond, Glenn Medice, Matt Linnane. -- August 15, 2017

Mark Lentz riding Campground Trail in Michaux State Forest. -- August 18, 2017

Mark Lentz and Dave Raymond.  Wrapping up the last of the summer. -- August 18, 2017

I can't remember the last time my mountain biking miles exceded my road cycling miles...but this summer that surely was the case.  As much as I like my road bike, mountain biking has always been my passion.  The past few months on my Stumpjumper with my friends have been nothing short of amazing. Summer may be over, but that doesn't mean the riding ends...there's so many trails that need to be ridden.

I ate so many post-ride (hike) ice-cream cones this summer...but my favorite, by far, was the Glen Dairy Bar in Watkins Glen, New York. -- July 20, 2017

Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- August 18, 2017


Yes...that is a black bear about 30 yards in front of Mark and I in Michaux State Forest! -- July 31, 2017

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













Interested in mountain biking some of these trails?  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!

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