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!


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 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


No matter how busy you may think you are...or how hectic life 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!