Thomas Jefferson described Meriwether Lewis (Jefferson's personal secretary and man chosen to lead the Corps of Discovery) as having undaunted courage and "firmness and perseverance of purpose which nothing but impossibilities could divert from it's direction..."  I tell kids that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were  ordinary people who did extraordinary things.  Their story is one of perseverance, determination, and courage.  For that reason, Lewis, Clark, and the Corps of Discovery has always been a favorite of my history students.  On a personal level, I enjoy the story of Lewis and Clark because it focuses on exploring, learning about, and enjoying the natural world around us.  There is a lot that we, over two hundred years later, can still learn from the Corps of Discovery.  Thanks, once again, to the good people at YOUR TRUE NATURE, those lessons can be learned through seven pieces of simple advice.  So here is my own personal take on the YOUR TRUE NATURES's ADVICE FROM LEWIS AND CLARK.  Enjoy!



Let's face it...Lewis and Clark knew less about their journey to the Pacific coast than Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins new about their trip to the moon.  At the very least, the crew of Apollo 11 had maps, pictures, and a whole ground crew to assist them.  Just about every single aspect of Lewis and Clark's journey was uncharted....heck, charting and mapping their route was one of the stated goals given to them by President Jefferson.  
I can't say that I've ever explored any type of uncharted territory.  The trails on which I ride or hike are already charted...that is, after all, how I found them.  However, searching out...or stumbling upon..."new to me" trails can be just as invigorating, exciting, and rewarding.

For sure, I'm not blazing anything new on the Appalachian Trail...but because of the Pandemic, I found myself hiking on the AT a lot this past year.  In the process, discovering "new to me" areas of Michaux State Forest that I never experienced while mountain biking.  -- March 19, 2020

Taking time to study the map and discover the already charted area that we wanted to hike.  Mike Graham, Dave Raymond, and Alex Raymond  -- March 14, 2020

I discovered the White Cliffs of Conoy in Marietta, Pennsylvania while riding my bike on the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail.  It is an ultra cool white rock feature overlooking the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  The cliffs are composed of byproduct from a nearby limestone quarry.  -- November 26, 2020

Bushwhacking, is not necessarily exploring uncharted territory...but there is a cool sense of adventure when hiking an area where the trail ceases to exist.  Mike Graham and Eric Gimbi in Michaux State Forest.  -- March 26, 2020

Exploring the remains of a swimming pool located in Camp Michaux in Michaux State Forest.  Mike Graham, Dave Raymond, and Alex Raymond -- March 26, 2020

On a day that we would normally be white water rafting our camping group decided to keep ourselves socially distanced from everyone else in Ohiopyle State Park.  The disappointment of not rafting soon dissipated as we explored a "new to us" area of the park around Cascade Falls.  Dave Raymond, Jackie Raymond, Alex Raymond, Devin Seiger, Chis Lowe, Mike Graham, and Shalice Gull.  -- June 16, 2020


Nothing beats the view from the top.  There are a few vistas that I frequently visit on my journeys.  They are some of the most peaceful and relaxing places that I know.  Vistas serve as the payoff and reward for the heart pounding hard work that it took to reach them.  Even though the journey you are on may seem long, or even difficult...pause at the vistas, discover new horizons, and take a moment to stand on top of the world...even if it is just for a little while. 

Enjoying the view from my favorite vista in Michaux State Forest.  Photo by Alex Raymond.  -- September 13, 2020

Taking in the breath taking view from the top of Evitts Summit.  I rode from my campground in Rocky Gap State Park, Maryland, up the mountain, past the Mason Dixon Line, and into Bedford County Pennsylvania.  The view was nothing short of amazing.  -- July 20, 2020

My wife, Robin, and I enjoying the view from Washington Monument State Park, Maryland.  -- July 22, 2020

A socially distant Mike Graham and Dave Raymond on Sunset Rocks in Michaux State Forest.  -- March 26, 2020

Enjoying the amazingly brilliant view of the Susquehanna River from Chickies Rock County Park.  -- July 2, 2020


Discover the source of the Missouri River.  Create detailed maps and charts.  Document new plant and wildlife species.  Observe the customs of the the native tribes.  Discover a passable route through the Rocky Mountains.  These were the five specific goals given to Lewis, Clark, and the Corps of Discovery by Thomas Jefferson.  Their mission was, for all intents and purposes, the first ever government funded "science project."  By the end of their years long journey, the Corps of Discovery had passed among dozens of native tribes (without whose help they would not have survived), created incredibly accurate maps of the area which they explored, and documents over two hundred new plant and animal species that were unknown to Americans at that time.  All of this opened up a new era to the American people.  Knowledge is power.  Stop along your journeys to gain as much knowledge as you can.

Visiting Washington's Headquarters and gaining a bit more knowledge of a young George Washington while on a bike ride in Cumberland, Maryland.  -- July 19, 2020

Exploring the interior of an old iron furnace along the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail. -- November 25, 2020

Pausing on my bike ride in York City to spend a little time with the Marquis de Lafayette.  -- November 3, 2020

Checking out Codorus Furnace in York County, Pennsylvania.  A great example of the 18th and 19th century local iron industry. -- October 22, 2020


The journey can be hard, full of unanticipated obstacles, and sometimes a little daunting.  Regardless, always continue, never give up...and, with as much determination as possible, forge ahead.

Forging ahead on Dead Woman's Hollow of the toughest fire roads in Michaux State Forest.  The road climbs a whopping 900 feet in a mile and a half!  I paused for both a before (bottom) and after (top) pic on Dead Woman's Hollow Road.   -- May 25, 2020

My wonderful niece, Jackie, overcoming obstacles and forging ahead on Jonathan Run Trail in Ohiopyle State Park.  -- June 17, 2020

Overcoming obstacles also means overcoming inevitable mechanicals while mountain biking.  Ten miles into my ride with Matt my rear derailleur ceased to exist.  It took a little while...but I turned my Stumpjumper (temporarily) into a single speed. It worked and I managed to pedal my way out of the forest...instead of walking and carrying my bike out.  -- August 18, 2020


Lewis and Clark worked as a team.  There is absolutely no documented evidence of the two men arguing or disagreeing on anything.  I'm sure that they did...but as any good team they worked together and ultimately completed their journey with more success than anyone could have dreamed of.  Life is hard enough...don't try navigate it on your own.  Work as a team.

Matt Linnane and I taking time to check our progress (and our maps) on an unfamiliar trail in Michaux State Forest.  -- August 18, 2020

Using some teamwork (and some well placed rope) to climb up and out of the Jonathan Run waterfall area in Ohiopyle State Park. Jackie Raymond, Alex Raymond, Mike Graham.  -- June 17, 2020

Some bike shop teamwork at the Marysville Relay Race.  Ben Kelly, Dave Raymond, and Jay Zech.  -- April 7, 2019

Recently, my son, Alex has helped Mike Graham, Eric Gimbi, and me create super nerdy videos for our history (and Mike's science) classes.  We call them LESSONS ON THE ROAD.   Some really fun and nerdy teamwork.  -- November 27, 2020

My ultimate teammate is my wife, Robin.  I love all of our adventures together!  Ricketts Glen State Park. -- October 17, 2020


 Lewis and Clark persevered against odds that seemed to be overwhelmingly stacked against them.  They were ordinary people who, when faced with a huge challenge, stepped up and went the distance.  Finish what you started...not just on the trail...but in life.  Seeing things through, from beginning to end, brings a sense of accomplishment, pride, and respect.  So...go ahead and go the distance.
On a dreary Sunday morning, I set out to complete my first ever Century Ride...100 miles.  -- September 27, 2020

Crossing the Mason/Dixon Line from Pennsylvania into Maryland on my century ride. -- September 27, 2020

My halfway point on my Century Ride.  -- September 27, 2020

I went the a little more!  -- September 27, 2020


I can't think of a single act of courage that I have achieved that even comes close to those people in our society who have served as first responders, doctors, nurses, grocery store clerks, teachers, and any other people who have, day after day, continued to selflessly continued to do their jobs despite of the dangers of the reality of living in a global pandemic.  Their bravery, courage,  and unselfish behavior should be an inspiration to us all.  Thank you.

Mask up, America.  I found this incredibly appropriate painted rock along the Capital Area Greenbelt in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  -- October 24, 2020

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- November 30, 2020

Lewis and Clark have become an incredibly nerdy and fun part of my school year.  Each Spring, Eric Gimbi, Mike Graham, and I (with the incredibly professional help of my son, Alex) put together our cooking show COOKING WITH LEWIS & CLARK for our students.  You can check us out and join in on the fun on YouTube.

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I would also appreciate it if you took time to look at my other projects on YouTube.  Join me, my son, and two of my colleagues at BOBBLEHEAD GEORGE for all of our nerdy history fun!  If you feel so inclined to…please subscribe!