Showing posts with label Bedford. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bedford. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


Last weekend, completely unexpectedly, I found myself putting my Roubaix on top of the car and driving 70 miles east to Valley Forge National Historical Park.  I've always wanted to take my bike there and ride through the park...and, with my Saturday completely wide open, I snagged the opportunity.  Granted...I wish my wife could have been with me...or, for that matter, any of my riding friends...but I was perfectly content to be there by myself.  Just me and my bike and a whole lot of nerdiness.  I've been to Valley Forge quite a few times...but never on my bike.  The thing that amazed me about my bike ride through the area used as a winter encampment by General George Washington and the Continental Army in 1777 and 1778 was how much of more of the park I was able to see by riding my bike as opposed to driving through.  I saw entrenchments, land formations, and smaller monuments and markers that I had never noticed.  So cool...and yes, very nerdy.  All in was a perfect Saturday...allowing me to combine my love for cycling and history.

Standing with a statue of Baron Von Stueben at Valley Forge National Historical Park -- September  7, 2019

Valley Forge National Historical Park -- September 7, 2019

My Roubaix leaning against one of the reconstructed soldiers cabins at Valley Forge National Historical Park. -- September 7, 2019

Standing proudly next to a monument, dedicated in memory of the Continental Army, placed at Valley Forge by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. -- September 7, 2019

I've always been fascinated by how much I can see and explore on my bicycle.  It is, hands down, the best way to see a National Park like getting in an out of cars or looking for parking spaces.  Sometimes these rides are my recent trip to Valley Forge and my many excursions to Gettysburg Military Park.  Sometimes they happen because I'm able to take my bike along on a road my awesome ride to Kitty Hawk this summer to visit the Wright Brothers Memorial.  But most of the times, they happen by chance because of the close proximity of so much incredibly nerdy stuff within biking distance of my driveway in York County, Pennsylvania.  I've completely channeled my inner nerd as I've pedaled through the Old Gates in Saint Augustine, I cruised down the streets in my home town of Bedford, I stopped to admire 17th century anchors on display in Jupiter, Florida...and visited random grave sites of lesser known signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Riding the Gettysburg National Military Park with my friend, Eric Sweitzer. (unknown photographer) -- Summer of 2005

Spending a completely nerdy day with my son, Alex (11 years old at the time) on our bikes at the Gettysburg National Military Park --  July 22, 2010

Riding past the reconstructed Fort Bedford in Bedford, Pennsylvania. -- July 6, 2016

Riding past the Bedford Springs Hotel...once the summer vacation spots for Presidents Polk and Buchanan. -- July 6, 2016

Standing next to the Espy House in Bedford, Pa.  This building was used by President George Washington as a headquarters during the Whiskey Rebellion. -- July 4, 2019

Stopping to check out the massive mural of George Washington located on Pitt Street in Bedford, Pa. -- September 20, 2014

On this particular morning, my bike ride took me past the grave of James Smith, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. -- September 7, 2015

The remains of Codorus Furnace.  Once owned by James Smith (signer of the Declaration of Independence) the furnace was used to make ammunition for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War  -- September 26, 2015

This monument marks the Battle of Hanover,which was fought on June 30, 1863 just prior to the Battle of Gettysburg, in Hanover, Pennsylvania  -- October 18, 2015

Checking out the Cape May Lighthouse in Cape May, New Jersey. -- April 11, 2015

I came across this statue while riding in York City.  It was erected in memory of the citizens of York who served in the Revolutionary War. -- March 31, 2019

Getting super nerdy at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in St. Augustine, Florida -- November 29, 2015

My bike parked at the Old City Gates in St. Augustine, Florida -- November 29, 2015

Examining an old Spanish anchor in Jupiter Lighthouse Park -- November 30, 2017

My bike sitting in front of the York Colonial Courthouse.  The structure is a reconstruction of the building that housed the Continental Congress while they were in exiled from Philadelphia in the Revolutionary War.  It was during this time that the Congress drafted the Articles of Confederation, our nation's first working Constitution. -- August 22, 2015

Happily posing with my bike at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. -- June 10, 2019

Julien Linne and Dave Raymond at the Wright Brothers National Memorial -- June 10, 2019

History isn't just found along the road side, nor is it strictly found in urban areas.  More often than you think, I stumble across nerdy historical places in the forests while mountain biking. Sure, I've yet to find a civil war cannon setting along the trail...but there are plenty of remains of 18th and 19th century iron furnaces all along the mountain sides.  Nestled in the mountains of Michaux State Forest you can explore the remains of Camp Michaux which was first used as a CCC Camp, then a secret German and Japanese prisoner of war interrogation camp, and then, in its final form, a church camp.  On my mountain  bike I've found historical survey markers, monuments to historical people and events, remnants of canals which are no longer in use, and even the remains of a long forgotten 19th century resort for the affluent and wealthy of the city of Harrisburg.

Exploring the ruins of Cold Spring Resort located in State Game Lands northeast of Harrisburg, PA  -- June 5, 2017

This marker along the trails in Patapsco Valley State Park indicates the spot where Captain John Smith left a Maltese Cross during his exploration of the Chesapeake between the years 1607 and 1609.  -- December 27, 2018

Showing Ben Kelly the remains of Camp Michaux in Michaux State Forest. -- July 10, 2018

Our mountain bikes resting on the remains of the fountain at Camp Michaux in Michaux State Forest. -- July 10, 2018

My bike leaning against the iron furnace (once owned by Pennsylvania abolitionist and congressman, Thaddeus Stevens) in Caledonia State Park. -- October 12, 2015

While mountain biking near State College, Pennsylvania I took a detour and explored Greenwood Furnace State Park. -- June 28, 2014

I know it is hard to see, but this under grow of trees is growing inside of the remains of the Pennsylvania Canal which once connected the cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Construction of the canal began in 1826.  The canal opened in 1840 and was in use until the year 1900.  This picture was taken while I was mountain biking in Swatara State Park.  -- April 7, 2018

Riding past the remains of the Landisburg Civilian Conservation Corps camp in Tuscarora State Forest.  The camp was in operation from 1933-1937 -- July 6, 2017

Sometimes it's really hard for me to believe how many places I've been able to explore while on my bike...I've ridden across battlefields, past cemeteries, down the streets of historical towns, around the remains of once great structures, and even to the front steps of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.  These rides have not only helped me meet my need for exercise, satisfied my cravings for as much Vitamin N as possible, and fed my my inner nerd...but, my hopefully help me share my love of history (and maybe even the outdoors) with the students in my history classes...our next generation.  All of this because of my nerdy bike rides.  Cool.

The statue of the Marquis de Lafayette located on Market Street in York, Pennsylvania.  He looks great with my biking gear. -- July 11, 2019

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- September 17, 2019

You never know who you will run into while on a bike ride.  I was so stoked to take this selfie with Dr. Franklin. -- July 11, 2019

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

All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit the good folks at 


Saturday, May 12, 2018


I have this nice little memory of my mother that is uniquely mine.  I don't have any pics of it...just the memory.  I really don't remember the year or exactly how old I was (but I can guess I was around seven or eight years old).  The memory is of my mom waking me up early in the morning so we could take a bike ride together.

My mom, Kathy Raymond.  This pic was taken in Ohiopyle State Park. -- November 1980
My mom, if my memory serves me correctly, rode a super cool 5-speed bike that she and my dad got at the JCPenney's in Altoona, PA.  No gears for first real bike was old school...a single speed with a sparkly blue paint job and a banana seat!  I have no clue how many times mom and I got up early to do this and why my brother and my dad weren't involved...but I know she and I did this more than once.  Here, however, is what I do remember...vividly.  I remember riding down South Juliana Street with the cool morning mist hitting my face. We both had a head lamp, the size of a grape fruit, attached to our handle bars so we could see in the predawn hours.  I can also remember pedaling early in the morning on the quiet streets of the normally busy town of Bedford.  I have no problem recalling the exhilaration of descending the hill past Fort Bedford and down to the river...and then climbing (or possibly pushing my bike) back up the "super steep to a kid" hill that becomes North Thomas Street.  Our ride then took us past the old Bedford County Jail and Saint Thomas Catholic School before making our way to Lafayette Street and back home...just as the sun was coming up.

Yep...that's me in 1980.
It's a neat memory that I think about often...especially today, the eve of Mother's Day and just a few days past the 15th anniversary of my mom's passing.  To this day...I'm not sure why she and I  went on those rides alone...but I know that we did and the memory is always with me.  I'm not sure if my mom knew it but, by going on those bike rides with me, she created a memory that is uniquely mine.  Thank you so much, mom.  I love you.

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- May 12, 2018

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there.  Today, my son, Alex, and I did some Mother's Day mulching for my amazing wife Robin (who I KNOW my mother would have loved)...capped off, of course, with a root beer float from the Bobcat Creamery. -- May 12, 2018

Interested in biking or hiking some of the trails that I feature in my posts?  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 the good folks at YOURTRUENATURE.COM and PA PARKS and FORESTS FOUNDATION.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Back in August, while visiting my family in my hometown of Bedford, Pennsylvania, I took a hike on the trails near the Bedford Springs Hotel...the same trails that I use to explore as a kid.  I made a promise to myself that I would revisit the trails around the historical resort with my mountain bike as soon as possible.  The opportunity came around this past weekend when I travelled solo to Bedford to visit my dad who recently underwent knee surgery.  

Pausing in front of an ice covered Davey Lewis' Cave. -- January 14, 2018

When I woke up in Bedford, PA on Saturday morning there was a fresh coat of snow on the ground and the air temperature hovered in the single digits.  Nevertheless, I pulled on the cold weather gear and headed out on my Stumpjumper for, what I estimated would be, an hour.  My ride Saturday would be a first for a number of was my first ride of the new year, it was the first time I ever mountain biked in Bedford, and (because there weren't many people out in cold air) my tracks would be the first in the fresh snow!  Leaving my father's house I had to ride only a mile on the paved streets to reach a trail head on the Bedford Heritage Trail...a walking and biking trail that connects downtown Bedford, PA with the Bedford Springs Hotel...which would provide the perfect conduit to the trails I wanted to explore near the Bedford Springs.

To get to the trails at the Springs I rode, for the first time, on the Bedford Heritage Trail which connects the Springs Hotel to historic downtown Bedford, PA. -- January 13, 2018

To get to Davey Lewis's Cave you have to cross this small stream (which flows off of the hillside and into Shobers Run).  The morning sun shining on the untouched ice and snow was absolutely beautiful. -- January 14, 2018

The first hill I climbed in 2018!  In the distance, off to the right, you can see another trail which winds back towards the trailhead near Shobers Run and the Bedford Springs. -- January 13, 2018

Kneeling near the limestone springs. -- January 13, 2018

I paused at an intersection to orientate myself and decide which direction I wanted to ride.  Typical of me...I chose to head up the snow covered trail visible in the picture.   A good climb is the best way to stay warm in the cold.  -- January 13, 2018

Taking in the morining sun and admiring the view of the numerious trails that are on either side of the valley.  -- January 14, 2018

 I rode both Saturday and Sunday.  The extreme cold limited my time and my willingness to explore too far away from the trailhead near the Hotel.  The only knowledge of the trails I had was from a handful of short hikes I had taken there over the years.  Saturday, I just retraced some of the trails I have previously hiked...only to deviate once.  The trail I took led me down the ridge and towards Springs Lake....not far from the Heritage Trail.  On Sunday, I set out to explore a trail I noticed while hiking back in August that apparently leads to a scenic overlook on top of th ridge...but the extremely icy conditions made the journey up the ridge impossible.  I'll get there next time for sure.  

Nearing the end of my ride on Saturday, the trail dumped me off near a frozen Springs Lake.  -- January 13, 2018

Three days later I can't seem to stop thinking about these two rides near the Bedford Springs.  Sure, there's the novelty of riding somewhere new and there's the coolness factor of riding trails that I explored when I was a kid...but I don't think either are the reason I keep revisiting the weekend in my head.  I think it was the beauty of the whole thing.  I'm not a fan of winter and I usually only like snow for 5 minutes...then plow comes down the street and turns it gray.  But what I experienced while mountain biking this past Saturday and Sunday was completely different.  Away from the main roads, and almost as soon as I headed into the woods, the winter sun melted through the trees and glistened off of the snow...all around me, icicles dangled off of rocks and caves...the air was crisp and clean...and for those two hours, on those two days, I experienced a landscaped seemingly untouched by anyone other than me and the local deer population.  The whole experience was really quite beautiful and, was super cool.

Riding back from the Springs, I decided to take an alternate route and pass through the alley behind the house that I grew up in.  The same alley that we would ride our bikes on as kids.  What an awesome surprise to run into  my childhood bud, Rob Clark.  Great to see you, man! -- January 13, 2018

After my super cold ride on Saturday, I drove to Pittsburgh to have dinner with my son, Alex.  We were joined by my good friend and college roommate, Chris Lowe.
After some of the best wings in the 'Burgh we headed to the Milk Shake Factory for dessert. -- January 13, 2018

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- January 17, 2018

The day before my arctic rides in Bedford, Mark was riding at Tuckahoe enjoying the 70 degree weather that temporarily brought a "Spring like" feel to south-central Pennsylvania.  70 degrees one day...single digit temps the next.  Crazy! Pic taken by Mark Lentz. -- January 12, 2018

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

Interested in biking or 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 HIGHPEAKSHIKING.COM and


Sunday, March 19, 2017


I had a good childhood.  A really good childhood.  My mom (God rest her soul) stayed at home with my brother, Jake, and I.  Dad says she did a great job raising us.  Dad was a high school teacher and also worked evenings at the Gateway Restaurant in Breezewood, Pennsylvania to make sure that my mom, brother, and I had everything we needed.  He's happily retired now (and recommends retirement for everyone).

Riding my bike behind Harry's barn.  Just beyond me is the Henderson's yard.  The tall bushes belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Brown.  Love the "All Kids 12 and Under free Pirates Hat" I got at Hat Night at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.  I still have it and it is still my hat of choice. Let's Go Bucs! -- 1980

I grew up in Bedford, Pennsylvania.  South Juliana Street to be exact.  We rented a house on the south corner of South Juliana Street from Mrs. Witt.  Harry Keller lived next door to us.  His house (which my parents would buy in the  early 1980s) was the original farmhouse in the area.  He had a barn in the back yard with a large driveway behind it.  Harry worked for Bedford  Borough and, based upon how he treated my mom and dad, was a really good man.  Going down the street...the Henderson's lived next to Harry...Mr. and Mrs. Brown lived next to the Henderson's...Mrs. Witt lived next to Mr. and Mrs. Brown...the Showalter's lived next to Mrs. Witt...the Heming's lived next to the Showalter's...the Clark's lived next to the Heming's...and the Corle family lived on the north end of the block.

Harry and Francis Keller -- 1977

David Raymond standing in front of Harry Keller's house on South Juliana Street.  The sidewalk on South Juliana Street would be the place all the neighborhood kids rode bikes on long, hot, summer days -- June 1976

Jake and I weren't the only kids on the street.  Beau and Lacey Henderson lived two doors down and Robbie Clark, Chris Corle, and Heidi Corle lived at the end of the street.  Robbie, Heidi, and I were the same age.  Rob and I played high school football together.  Two years behind us were my brother Jake and Heidi's brother Chris. Beau was one year behind Chris and Jake in school...and Lacey was two years behind Beau.  There were other kids in the area, too.  Charles and John Koontz lived near Jake and I.  Shannon Rogish lived near Robbie, Heidi, and Chris at the other end of the block.

Jacob Raymond, Beau Henderson (sporting IRON MAN Underoos), Robbie Clark, David Raymond -- Summer 1979

Jacob Raymond (yes...ROBIN Underoos), Robbie Clark, David Raymond -- 1979

Mom would allow us to sell the cucumbers she grew in the garden to people driving by on South Juliana Street.  10 cents each.  What a bargain!  Lacey Henderson, David Raymond (wearing ultra-kool AQUA-MAN Underoos), Jacob Raymond, Beau Henderson -- August 1980

Top Row:  Beau Henderson, Jacob Raymond, Sheila Rogish, Lacey Henderson, Heidi Corle, Shannon Rogish
Bottom Row:  Chris Corle, Robbie Clark, David Raymond

My first real bike was  sparkly blue and had a red banana seat.  I loved that bike. We kids would spend our summer days riding bikes "down the hill" from my parent's house to the Clark's house.  We had a Big Wheel, too!  The kind that had a side hand break...which allowed us to spin in circles as we careened down the side walk!  To this day, I still remember how uneven and bumpy the sidewalk was in front of the Showalter's and Heming's house.  We'd ride the sidewalk...our own little piece of South Juliana Street...all day long.  Over and over and over again.

My father, Dave Raymond, resting  behind Harry's barn -- Summer 1977

Thanks, to Harry, we weren't just restricted to the sidewalk.  Harry gave us permission to ride our bikes "behind the barn" on his big driveway.  Sometimes mom and dad would come back to supervise...but not always.  Hell, it was the 70s and 80s...we drank out of garden hoses, let our feet dangle from the back of pick up trucks, and used Big Wheels with side brakes...none of which killed us.  Yeah...I had a really good childhood.  Parents who loved me...friends to hang out with...neighbors who were good to us...bikes to cream cones...push up popcycles...and a street that connected all of it together.  Growing up in Bedford was really good.  Growing up on South Juliana Street made it extra special.

David Raymond in the Henderson's back yard.  You can see part of Harry Keller's driveway on the left.  Loving my authentic YODA t-shirt -- 1981

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- March 19, 2017

David Raymond (age 3).  Riding my tricycle on South Juliana Street -- September 1976

Where did you ride as a kid?  Tell me about it in the comments...I would love to hear your story.