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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

CAPTURING THE EXTRAORDINARY

There is a folder on my computer titled PICTURES. Currently, it contains (as of this writing) 1,919 sub folders which house (again...as of this writing) a total of 41,307 photographs...the oldest of which are some old family photos that I'd inherited from my mother.  Heck...just in the sub folder named 2018 there are 6,049 pictures! I love pictures and the memories that they contain.  Cell phones and muliple gig memory cards have made capturing memories easier than it has ever been.  Every once in a while, I'll manage to take a picture that really resonates with me. Not that I think that any of my photos are worthy of winning any photo contest...but because, by blind luck, I managed to do justice to what I was actually seeing, and feeling, in that moment as I pulled out the cell phone to capture the beauty surrounding me.  So...out of the over 6,000 pictures I took this past year...I think I found the twenty best from the past twelve months. Only one of the pics features another human being...the other nineteen capture ordinary places and objects in, I think, extraordinary ways...making these, in my opinion, my 20 best photographs of 2018. Enjoy. 

This picture was taken near the Visitor Center and underneath the bridge (that makes up a section of the Great Allegheny Passage) that crosses over the Youghiogheny River in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania.  I had just finished an amazing ride down Baughman Trail and was celebrating with an ice cream cone.  I thought that my bike, all covered in mud, looked super cool (and very appropriate) leaning against the mural of a mountain biker.  -- June 21, 2018


This pic of, the now drained, Lake Williams was taken from the Water Street bridge which  crosses over Lake Williams in York County, Pennsylvania.  I was most impressed with the man made structures (which are below the normal water lever of the lake) that can be seen in the extreme left and right of this photograph.  -- October 26, 2018


Normally, the view from the TOP of Pole Steeple in Michaux State Forest provides the best pics...but I love this pic of the early morning summer sun shining through the forest on our way up to the  Pole Steele Vista. -- August 1, 2018


Chris Keller and I rode in Swatara State Park shortly after a major wind storm ripped through the area...making the landscape look almost surreal.  --  April 7, 2018


A number of people have told me that this is my best pic of the year.  I'm not sure if it is the best, but this picture of  Tom's Run in Michaux State Forest...with the morning mist rising off of it...is super cool. -- August 7, 2018


The view from Cucumber Falls in Ohiopyle State Park looks like this...a glistening sheet of water pouring off of the cliff above you.  -- June 30, 2018


The Hershey Medical Trail System was especially muddy on the day the Matt, Tim, Adam, and I chose to do our first (and hopefully annual) Ugly Sweater Ride.  I took this pic of my drive train after the ride.  I didn't expect it to be anything out of the ordinary...but it does a great job showing just how "peanut butter-like" the trails were on that particular day. -- December 2, 2018


While pedaling up Park Street in Manchester, Pennsylvania, I caught this glimpse of the the Autumn sun poking through the clouds hovering over the farm fields.  -- October 31, 2018


I find the desert captivating and incredibly beautiful.  I was fortunate enough to be able to take my brother's old Cannondale out for a ride while on my brief visit to Arizona this past summer.  Superstition Mountain can be seen in the background. -- June 10, 2018


In our little corner of the Earth, the Fall foliage is usually at it's peak during the first weekend of November.  This year didn't disappoint.  I took this pic of the forest...covered in yellows, oranges, and reds...while hiking at Rocky Ridge County Park  with Robin, Alex, and Emma. -- November 4, 2018


Ohiopyle State Park is known for it's waterfalls and the rapids of the Youghiogheny River...but after a torrential rainfall, the entire landscape  became a seemingly endless string of waterfalls.  I took this picture while hiking Beech Trail with Alex, Mike Graham, and Devin. -- June 20, 2018


The overcast skies couldn't dampen the colors of the fall foliage on either side of the Conewago Creek  near York Haven, Pennsylvania. -- October 28, 2018


One of my favorite pictures of 2018...I took this picture of a rhododendron plant in full bloom while riding on Gargamel's Trail in Michaux State Forest with Tim and Ben.  Mountain Creek is in the background. -- July 10, 2018


I honestly didn't think that the florescent orange color of my bike was also a color that naturally occurred in nature...but this large amount of orange fungi at Rocky Ridge County Park proved me to be incorrect. -- September 21, 2018


This is...in my opinion...the best picture I took in 2018.  The forest surrounding McCune Trail in Ohiopyle State Park was totally engulfed in a heavy fog after an evening of heavy rain. -- June 21, 2018


Rocky Ridge County Park is known well in York County for it's Christmas Magic light display...but this festive tree was found deeper into the woods near trail #5. -- December 8, 2018


On what was possibly the coldest ride of 2018, I took my mountain bike on the trails behind the Bedford Springs Hotel in the single digit temps.  This picture of the frozen landscape was taken near Davey Lewis' Cave. -- January 14, 2018


Ben Kelly and I took a ride on the Parkway Trail System in Harrisburg to celebrate the Winter Solstice.  My helmet and Stumpjumper seem to blend right in with the winter colors. -- December 21, 2018


December means short days in south central Pennsylvania.  I'm usually able to squeeze in an hours worth of riding after school before the the sun sets for the day.  I took this pic of the December sun setting just as I was wrapping up one of my afternoon rides. -- December 19, 2018


The only pic on  my top 20 list that another person in it...I took this picture of my niece, Jackie Raymond, on her first trip to Ohiopyle State Park.  I love her look of excitement and amazement as she experienced Cucumber Falls for the first time. -- June 30, 2018


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- December 26, 2018


As far as ice cream goes...the best surprise of the year was when I found out that the Bobcat Creamery had begun making their own homemade ice cream!  The black raspberry is amazing! -- December 8, 2018


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Here are the GARMIN maps and data from rides and hikes featured in this post.  #OptOutside






































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