Thursday, May 30, 2019


Spring is, believe it or not, is the most difficult time of the year for me to get out and mountain bike and hike.  A lot of factors...the inevitable rainy weather, muddy trail conditions (which end up closing the trails at the local county parks), and the end of the school year activities and field trips that all happen in April and May...are in play here and, especially last year, put a damper on the amount of time I'm able to enjoy the outdoors the way that I would like to.  I'm almost embarrassed to say that (for all the reasons previously listed) I didn't ride my mountain bike even once in May of 2018.  This Spring, thankfully, has proven to be much more "trail" friendly than last.

Yes...I took a pic of my bike surrounded by wildflowers (Dame's Rockets) at Lake Kain County Park. -- May 18, 2019

 My wife, Robin, and I have continued our commitment to at least one hike a week.  Rocky Ridge County Park is our default location to hike if we are pressed for time...but this Spring we've spent time hiking on the Gettysburg National Military Park, near the Bedford Springs Hotel, and at Nixon County Park.  Family is always welcome on our hikes...Alex has come on a number of them (most recently at Nixon Park)...but now we are able to include our nieces and nephew who, just recently, moved back to Pennsylvania from  Arizona.  Their energy is high and their imaginations are boundless...making our time together in the woods something extra special.  

Hiking at the Bedford Springs with my niece, Sophie. -- April 27, 2019

Hiking (and pretending to be Thor) at the Bedford Springs with my nephew, Isaac. -- April 27, 2019

Hiking at the Bedford Springs with Robin, Jackie, Sophie, and Isaac. -- April 27, 2019

Hiking the top of Big Round Top at the Gettysburg National Military Park with Robin. -- May 4, 2019

Exploring Union fortifications built by Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine at the top of Big Round Top at the Gettysburg National Military Park. -- May 4, 2019

Hiking and exploring the rock outcroppings at Nixon County Park with Alex and Robin. -- May 19, 2019

My mountain bike has made more than a few appearances over the past few months and so have some of my riding partners.  Just like for my hikes, Rocky Ridge makes a perfect place for me to ride after school if I'm limited on time (Tim and Chris have met me there for a few rides)...but I've also managed to ride some of my other "not so far away" destinations.  Back in April, Jay Zech and I made a trip to Harrisburg so I could introduce him to the super cool single track that makes up the Parkway Trail System.  Last week, Chris Keller and I explored the back side of William Kain County Park which includes the two drainage tunnels underneath Interstate 83.  I know I'm stating the obvious when I say that I love riding my mountain bike...and it was so refreshing to be able to get out the few times that I could and not have a repeat of last May.

One of the best perks of working at the bike shop is that I've acquired a whole  set of friends to ride with.  Jay and I have known each other for many's really cool  having him as a riding partner.  Dave Raymond and Jay Zech enjoying a Spring ride on the Parkway Trails in Harrisburg, PA -- April 19, 2019

Riding Trail #8 at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- May 3, 2019

Exploring a "not so often explored" section of trail at Rocky Ridge County Park with Tim & Adam. -- May 3, 2019

Saturday afternoon ride at Rocky Ridge County Park with Chris, Jay, and our young friend, Josh. -- May 11, 2019

About to enter the northern tunnel under Interstate 83 at William Kain County of the more unique rides in our neck of the woods. -- May 18, 2019

Chris Keller and I riding William Kain County Park. -- May 18, 2019
With the exception of the mass quantities of pollen that drive everybody around here crazy it has been a great Spring!  Everything is green, the wildflowers are in full bloom, and the temperatures are getting warmer and warmer.  The conditions alone aren't what has made this Spring so sensational,'s the family and friends that I've been able to enjoy it with.  Summer time is just around the corner and, if this Spring is any indication of what to expect, with it there are going to be plenty of trails to hike and bike along with plenty of family and friends to explore it with.  Here's to wishing for a safe, fun, and adventure filled summer everyone.  See you on the trails.

Hiking at Rocky Ridge and enjoying a wonderful dose of Vitamin N with my beautiful wife, Robin. -- April 20, 2019

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- May 30, 2019 

One of the numerous school activities that I'm obligated to during the month of May is our annual field trip to the Gettysburg National Military Park.  This year was extra special because it was the last I'll organize and plan with my mentor and friend Charlie Lenhart.  Charlie and I have been teaching together for the past 24 years.  At the end of this school year, Charlie will be retiring after 45 years of  teaching.  A retirement that is well deserved!  I will miss you everyday at school, my friend.  You can check out my tribute below.  --  David Raymond and Charlie Lenhart -- May 17, 2019

NMS 8th Grade Recognition Night -- May 23, 2019

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

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