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Thursday, December 26, 2019

CAPTURING THE BEAUTY OF 2019

My Aunt Debby once told me that my grandfather, George Morosky, loved to take pictures...and that he had a camera with him all of the time.  Grandpap passed away in 1984 when I was only 10 years old. I still have fond memories of him which include morning Hungry Jack pancakes, daily walks, and spitting watermelon seeds into the grass on hot summer evenings...but I don't remember the camera.  Yet, as I began combing through my family pics from the 70s and 80s looking for a good picture of Grandpap George and me I began to see it...Grandpap and his camera at Kennywood...Grandpap and his camera at Christmas Eve gathering...Grandpap with is camera hanging around his neck just about everywhere.


Grandpap George Morosky at Kennywood Park.  My cousin, Josh, is standing next to him and my brother, Jake, is in the foreground on the right. -- Summer 1982

I love pictures, too.  I have no idea if that love was somehow passed on to me by my grandfather...but I think it's super cool that I have one of the same interests that he did.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I love to document my experiences and adventures with pictures.  I'm sure, at some level, it probably annoys those I hike or bike with when I stop to take my photos.  Regardless...I pause to capture the beauty as often as I can.  In 2019 I found beauty just about everywhere that I went.  The twenty pictures that follow are my favorite of the past year.  No timers and no selfies...just me getting really lucky with my phone.  They are (except for the gratuitous pic of the root beer float) in the order in which I took them...taking me through the seasons and adventures of the past year.  Enjoy.


I took this pic while hiking up Pole Steele trail in Michaux State Forest.  I have no idea who put that rock there...but the heart shape is pretty cool...just like the January air.  -- January 27, 2019

I had the opportunity to take a day off of school in early March and take my bike over to Michaux State Forest.  It was the first time I ever rode there solo...so I did a super cool gravel ride and stayed on the fire roads.  I took this picture of the early Spring clouds rolling in over a recently logged area near Piney Mountain Ridge Road. -- March 22, 2019

Yeah....I got super lucky with this picture of the sun setting in Corolla, North Carolina.  --  June 13, 2019

Alex, Devin, Jackie, and I slogged our way down Jonathan Run Trail and then climbed down to Jonathan Run Falls in Ohiopyle State Park.  So beautiful.  --  June 20, 2019

On our way to a dinner date, Robin and I parked on the top level of the parking garage in York, Pennsylvania.  From the top level, I  took this picture of Central Market and Market Street in downtown York.  -- June 22, 2019

Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece...Fallingwater.  We visited this famous home on a rainy, dreary day...but that didn't prevent us from soaking in the beauty of the home.  What was especially awesome about this trip was that we visited the home on the very first day that it was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. --  July 7, 2019

An area of Michaux State Forest that I don't get to often...I took this pic of the Long Pine Run Reservoir on a ride with Tim and Matt.  --  July 9, 2019

In July, Robin and I toured a small section of Skyline drive and decided to get out and take a hike.  What we found...Black Rock Summit...was truly breathtaking.  -- July 20, 2019

Another picture from Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park.  -- July 20, 2019

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello is a beautiful building.  Our tour guide recommended taking a picture near the reflecting pond.  Good advice.  -- July 21, 2019

The illuminated fountains at Longwood Gardens with the sun setting in the background.  -- August 10, 2019

Not only did I witness my lowly Pittsburgh Pirates win in walk off fashion in the bottom of the 9th against the Cincinnati Reds...but I got to view PNC Park looking especially alive afterward.  -- September 27, 2019

As I was riding Rusty Chair Trail at Rocky Ridge County Park I HAD to stop and take this photo of the sun peering through the autumn foliage and illuminating the trail ahead of me.  -- November 8, 2019

The city of Baltimore, Maryland as seen at sunset from the Top of the World Observation Level. Robin and I took Jackie, Shalice, and Jennifer that that evening to experience the Festival of Lights.  The city didn't disappoint.  -- November 9, 2019

19 degrees and snow on the ground as the morning sun began to shine on our campsite in Ricketts Glen State Park  -- November 17, 2019

I took a lot of pics of the lush greens that make up the landscape of Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Florida...but this one pic, that I took in black and white, is one of my favorites.  -- December 3, 2019

Making our way up to the Hobe Mountain observation deck in Jonathan Dickinson State Park I paused to capture the setting sun.  I love the vibrant colors in this picture.  -- December 3, 2019

The mirror image of the clouds reflecting over the water that makes up MacArthur Beach State Park in Florida makes this picture one of a kind.  -- December 6, 2019

I've been to George Washington's Mount Vernon plantation almost 15 times.  I took this picture of the mansion at Christmas Illuminations.  This inspiring house seems even more so in this picture.  -- December 20, 2019

Yes...the title of the blog is ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM.  You can't go wrong with a root beer float at the Bobcat Creamery.  The pic isn't bad either. -- November 23, 2019


If Grandpap George Morosky was around today I think the two modern things that he would be most fascinated with would be seedless watermelon and digital cameras.  I wonder how many hundreds of rolls of film he went through in his lifetime.  Heck...as of this writing...I have taken exactly 7,934 pictures since January 1, 2019.  Assuming film would cost at least $3 a roll, with 24 pictures on each roll, and maybe $5 to get them developed...those almost 8,000 pictures would have cost me just about $2,650 this year.  Incredible.  My grandfather apparently loved documenting memories and capturing the beauty...and so do I.  That's a pretty cool thing.


That's a one year old me sitting on my Grandpap George's lap and next to my grandmother, Rose Morosky. -- Christmas 1974


Life is a journey...not a destination.




David A. Raymond -- December 26, 2019


Today's post is dedicated to my father, David M. Raymond.  Today is his 69th birthday...and a guy couldn't ask for a better father than my dad.  His wisdom, kindness, and patience cannot be matched.  I can only strive to live my life like him.  I love you, dad.  Happy birthday!  -- July 4, 2019


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















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