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Showing posts with label Longwood Gardens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Longwood Gardens. Show all posts

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


Feel free to FOLLOW me on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM 

@mountnbiker73

Here are the GARMIN maps and data from the rides and hikes that led to the photos 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 
 and 


"WRITE SOMETHING WORTH READING OR DO SOMETHING WORTH WRITING..." Ben Franklin

Friday, August 30, 2019

WHEN I WASN'T ON MY BIKE...

One of my college professors once said that the three best perks about being a teacher are June, July, and August.  I'm not sure if that is true...there are so many aspects of my job that are incredibly rewarding...but I have to admit that I do love my summers.  My boss likes tells us to use our summers for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation.  The amount of actual "rest and relaxation" I gave myself the past few months is up for debate...but I can definitely check off the rejuvenate box.  And so, with August rapidly coming to a close, Labor Day just around the corner, and the 2019/2020 school year already in full swing...I'm beginning to take stock of just how many ways I've had to rejuvenate mind and body over the past three months.
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Enjoying an amazing hike to Black Rock Summit near Skyline Drive in Virginia. -- July 20, 2019

It's a poorly kept secret that I ride my bike as much as I can during the summer months...but there are so many other things that I love to do with my June, July, and August.  I'm not one that is very good at sitting still.  For me...being at rest is not necessarily being at ease.  Conversely...being at ease doesn't always equate to being at rest. So...when I'm not on my bike...what does rest and relaxation look like?  It means a lot traveling with my wife (one of my absolute favorite things to do) and spending time with family and friends.  It includes camping trips, white water rafting, and hiking.  It might take the form of nerdy "8th grade field trips" to historical sites...a trip to Pittsburgh to watch the Pirates play ball at PNC Park...musicals at the Hippodrome in Baltimore...and taking in the beauty of Longwood Gardens.  Basically, all of the things I love to do that DON'T require my bicycle.

David and Robin Raymond at the top of Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla, North Carolina. -- June 14, 2019


A wonderful Father's Day gathering in Bedford, Pennsylvania.  Left to Right:  Jennifer Gull, Jacob Raymond, Jackie Raymond, Dave Raymond (father), Jane Black, Mary Jane Raymond, Galen Black, Sophie Raymond, Alex Raymond, David Raymond, Isaac Raymond, Blythe Arnold-Scott, and Robin Raymond. -- July 16, 2019


Alex, David, and Jackie Raymond exploring (and apparently guarding the gate at) Fort Ligonier. -- June 17, 2019


David and Alex Raymond relaxing around the campfire at Ohiopyle State Park. -- June 19, 2019


Braving the rapids of the Youghiogheny River in Ohiopyle State Park.  Left to Right:  David Raymond, Jackie Raymond, Mia Arnold-Scott, Devin Seiger, and Alex Raymond. -- June 18, 2019


Yes!  My new Chevy Silverado.  And...I purchased it from a former student of mine at Thornton Chevrolet...William Greenfield.  Thanks, bud! -- June 29, 2019


An amazing evening with my gorgeous wife at the Hippodrome in Baltimore, Maryland to see HAMILTON. -- June 29, 2019


Nothing like spending the Fourth of July with family!  Left to Right/Top to Bottom:  Robin Raymond, Alex Raymond, Mary Jane Raymond, Galen Black, and my dad, Dave Raymond. -- July 4, 2019


Hiking excursion with Robin through and around Cucumber Falls in Ohiopyle State Park. -- July 5, 2019


Hiking behind Cucumber falls with Emma Sadowski, Alex, and Robin. -- July 5, 2019


Hiking to Jonathan Run Falls in Ohiopyle State Park with Robin, Alex, and Emma Sadowski. -- July 6, 2019


Touring Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece, Fallingwater with Robin, Emma Sadowski, and Alex. -- July 7, 2019


Out to dinner in Carlisle, PA with some of my compadres from NMS.  Left to Right:  Charlie Lenhart, Kirby Brubaker, Jeff Plummer, Russ Blake, Eric Gimbi, and David Raymond. -- July 10, 2019


My nerdy self toured the homes of four U.S. Presidents with my wonderful wife, Robin.  Left to Right/Top to Bottom:  Woodrow Wilson's Birthplace (July 22, 2019), Thomas Jefferson's Monticello (July 21, 2019), James Madison's Montpelier (July 20, 2019), and James Monroe's Highland (July 21, 2019)


Hiking to Black Rock Summit in the Shenandoah National Park with Robin. -- July 20, 2019


Touring Luray Caverns with Robin. -- July 22, 2019


A day at Delgrosso's Park in Tipton, PA.  Left to Right:  Julien Linne, Blythe Arnold-Scott, Jackie Raymond, Shalice Gull, Mia Arnold-Scott, Robin Raymond, Isaac Raymond, David Raymond, Sophie Raymond, Mary Jane Raymond, Dave Raymond, and Jacob Raymond. -- July 25, 2019


Hanging out with Jackie and Shalice at Delgrosso's! -- July 25, 2019


Hiking through Round Top and Devil's Den at the Gettysburg National Military Park with Shalice, Isaac, Sophie, and Jackie. -- July 26, 2019

Exploring the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. with Jackie, Shalice, Alex, Sophie, Isaac, and Robin. -- July 27, 2019


Hiking at Rocky Ridge County Park with Robin, Isaac, Sophie, Shalice, and Jackie. -- July 28, 2019


Jackie, Shalice and I visiting my Aunt Deb Morosky to work on the family tree. 


Touring Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA with Jackie, Shalice and Mia. -- August 8, 2019


Eric Gimbi and Dave Raymond...two nerdy history teachers checking out the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, PA.  -- August 8, 2019


Enjoying the beauty of Longwood Gardens, near Kennet Square, PA, with Kevin, Mia, and Robin. -- August 10, 2019


Longwood Gardens with Robin. -- August 10, 2019


Hiking the Appalachian Trail with Mike Graham and Alex. -- August 14, 2019


Tailgating outside of PNC Park before the Pirates/Cubs game.  Alex, Sophie, Robin, and David Raymond. -- August 17, 2019


Enjoying the Pirates/Cubs game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Alex, Sophie, Robin, and David Raymond -- August 17, 2019

I'm not sure how much traditional "rest" I got this summer...but I sure was energized and rejuvenated by spending as much time as I could with the people I love the most, stimulating my mind with as much nerdiness as possible,  and exposing myself to a ton of  Vitamin N.  It was a great summer...possibly one of the best ever...thanks, in no small part, to all of the amazing people I was able to hang out with and the awesome places I was able to experience when I wasn't on my bike.


In between all of my summer activities and bike rides I worked at Gung Ho Bikes with some of the best and most friendly people that I know!  Left to Right:  Ben Kelly, Joe Hydrick, and Dave Raymond. -- August 15, 2019


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- August 30, 2019



Enjoying an evening dessert at Vacarro's with my beautiful wife, Robin. -- August 2, 2019



Feel free to FOLLOW me on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM 

@mountnbiker73

Here are the GARMIN maps and data from some of the adventures 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 
 and 


"WRITE SOMETHING WORTH READING OR DO SOMETHING WORTH WRITING..." Ben Franklin