Translate

Showing posts with label Pole Steeple. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pole Steeple. Show all posts

Sunday, August 5, 2018

TROPICAL TRAILS (or...TWO DAYS IN A ROW IN MICHAUX)

Matt, Tim, and I were taking a short breather after finishing one of my favorite rock gardens (near the intersection of Piney Mountain and Slate Roads) in Michaux State Forest when I made a comment about how beautiful the forest was at that moment.  The green of the mountain was totally engulfed in the heavy white clouds that had settled over us.  In all of the years I've been mountain biking in Michaux, I have never ridden it in conditions in which Tim, Matt, and I found ourselves riding in last week...and yeah, it was a blast!

Making a splash in Michaux!  Photo by Tim Sindlinger -- July 31, 2018

For two straight weeks, Central Pennsylvania has been ground zero for more continuous rain than I've ever seen.  The forest, usually bone dry this time of year, was turned into a tropical rain forest...the creeks and streams were raging, the white clouds hung low over the forest, and the air was thick.  The whole experience was very surreal...and just as beautiful.  Matt, Tim, and I didn't ride far last Tuesday...just over 11 miles of crazy rock gardens and single track near Pine Grove Furnace...but the miles we did ride were tough, wet, sloppy, and extremely fun!  

  
Great to have Matt (far right) join Tim and I for a Tuesday ride in Michaux!  You can see the clouds handing in the trees behind us! -- July 31, 2018


Matt and Tim completing one of the "extremely unusual for this time of year" stream crossings during our ride on Tuesday. -- July 31, 2018


Enjoying a day of tropical mountain biking in Michaux State Forest.  Slate Road engulfed in a tropical haze...the sign marks the boundary between Cumberland and Adams Counties.  -- July 31, 2018

The fun didn't end after our tropical ride on Tuesday.  Wednesday morning I headed back to Michaux (with my son, Alex, his girlfriend, Emma, my step-daughter, Blythe, and my partner in crime at NMS, Mike Graham) for, what I knew by then, would be a wet and tropical hike up to the rocks on top of Tumbling Run.  A day of hiking in Michaux isn't complete, though, without first stopping to climb Pole Steeple.  This was, after all, Mike's first trip to the forest and he needed to get the full experience!  Because of it's location, I knew that Pole Steeple wouldn't be wet...but I was surprised that the clouds I had ridden through 24 hours earlier had lifted.  The early morning sun guided us up the first section of the the trail...and then as we usually do, we headed off the marked trail and climbed the crevice in the rock face that leads to the Pole Steeple vista.  The view...as always...was spectacular!

Early morning sun shining on the beginning of the trail leading up to the Pole Steeple vista. -- August 1, 2018

Early morning, August sun shining though the canopy in Michaux State Forest. -- August 1, 2018

Blythe, Emma, and Alex walking ahead of Mike Graham and I on our final climb up Pole Steeple. -- August 1, 2018

Alex and David Raymond on the Pole Steeple vista. -- August 1, 2018

Pole Steeple vista in Michaux State Forest.  Left to right:  Blythe Arnold-Scott and Emma Sadowski (front)...Mike Graham, David Raymond, and Alex Raymond (back). -- August 1, 2018

Our feet stayed dry on Pole Steeple...but there was NO chance of that as we began our ascent up Tumbling Run.  The first obstacle on our journey was Mountain Creek.  I just figured it would be a lost cause trying to stay dry...so I just plunged knee deep through the water.  In all the years that I've been hiking this trail, I have never seen the water coming off of the mountain as high, or move as fast, as it was.  The low hanging clouds from the day before were replaced with low hanging rhododendron and mountain laurel.  The rushing water of Tumbling Run guided us up the mountain to the rock vista at the top...where the breeze was a refreshing change from the humid air that had settled in the valley below.  

Our first obstacle on our climb up Tumbling Run was crossing the extremely swollen Mountain Creek.  Alex made it over the logs easily. -- August 1, 2018

Assisting Emma and Blythe across Mountain  Creek. -- August 1, 2018

The extremely wet month of July has raised the water levels at Tumbling Run higher than I've ever seen them.  The water cascading down the mountain was so beautiful! -- August 1, 2018

Mike Graham taking some pics of the beauty all around us.  -- August 1, 2018

No way for Mike and Alex to avoid getting wet here...the trail was completely submerged under the swollen creek. -- August 1, 2018

The pool of water below this waterfall marks the halfway point up the mountain. -- August 1, 2018

Once the feet are wet, it really doesn't matter how you get to the top of the  mountain!  Mike Graham and Dave Raymond. -- August 1, 2018

Mike Graham at the summit of Tumbling Run. -- August 1, 2018

Bythe Arnold-Scott at the summit of Tumbling Run. -- August 1, 2018

Alex Raymond and Emma Sadowski at the summit of Tumbling Run. -- August 1, 2018

Group pic before descending down Tumbling Run. -- Alex Raymond, Emma Sadowski, Blythe Arnold-Scott, Dave Raymond, and Mike Graham. -- August 1, 2018

Dave Raymond at the top of Tumbling Run.  Two days in a row in Michaux put a huge smile on my face. -- August 1, 2018

Two days in a row in Michaux...(man, that brings a smile to my face).  I can't help but wonder if the trails will be as tropical next week as they were last Tuesday.  Regardless, I know that it will be beautiful (as always)...and so much fun.


Tim, Matt, and I went for ice cream at Mountain Creek Campground after our ride on Tuesday...but on Wednesday, I took Mike, Alex, Emma, and Blythe to Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium.  After getting sugar highs on candy, we took a walk through Mr. Ed's enchanted forest.  Mike was searching for the ever elusive Big Foot...he didn't have much luck. -- August 1, 2018

Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- August 5, 2018


Today we dropped Alex off for the start of his sophomore year in college.  I'm proud of you son...and always remember the ADVICE FROM A MOUNTAIN.  Love you! -- August 5, 2018

Here are the GARMIN maps and data from our two amazing days of mountain biking and hiking in Michaux State Forest.  

Happy riding and happy hiking!








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 the good folks at YOUR TRUE NATUREGUNG HO BIKESPENNSYLVANIA DCNR, and PA PARKS and FORESTS FOUNDATION.

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

Monday, December 18, 2017

PRESERVING THE AWESOMENESS (My Favorite Pics of 2017)

I take thousands of pictures every year.  It's kind of my thing...along with mountain biking, hiking, and  teaching history.  I have absolutely no formal training in the art of photography...so when I take (what I think is a really cool photo) it is simply by chance.  Picture taking while mountain biking and hiking serves the duel purpose of allowing me to slow down and rest my "recently operated on" back while also helping me to preserve some really awesome memories. 

After looking through all of the pictures that I've taken while biking and hiking over the past year I found a baker's dozen that I am particularly proud of.  These thirteen pictures, in my opinion, are the ones that best highlight and preserve the beauty and awesomeness of the outdoors in which I love to spend so much of my time.  So...here are (in no special order) my favorite pictures of 2017.
Enjoy!

I took this ultra cool pic of my Stumpjumper while riding Ridgeline Trail in Michaux State Forest with Mark Lentz. -- July 31, 2017

The first of two pics from an epic ride Mark Lentz and I took in Tuscarora State Forest.  I took this pic from Bower Mountain Road as Mark (faintly visible on the road) made our way up the mountain and above the fog. -- July 6, 2017

The Fall foliage was pretty amazing this year.  I took this super cool picture of my Roubaix and the Conewago Creek when I was on one of my after school bike rides. -- November 2, 2017

This year, on our wedding anniversary, Robin and I took a hike through Watkin's Glen in New York.  The entire hike was something out of a story book.  I took this picture as we approached Rainbow Falls.   If you've never been...go hike Watkin's Glen.  It's absolutely beautiful!  -- July 21, 2017

I took this picture of my Stumpjumper leaning against the South Harrisburg Wall Project during a ride with Mark and Glenn on the Parkway Trails in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Urban mountain biking at it's best! -- July 26, 2017

Michaux State Forest from Pole Steeple Vista.  Robin, Alex, and I climbed to the top of the ridge to see the amazing Pennsylvania foliage. -- November 4, 2017

Just before I made my way down Baughman Trail in Ohiopyle State Park, I took this pic of the view from Baughman Rock Overlook.  What an amazing view of Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands.  This pic has been featured as the header on my blog ever since I took it in June. -- June 13, 2017

With a massive thunderstorm approaching York County, Mark and I decided to cut our ride at Rocky Ridge short.  As we made an abrupt turn back towards the vehicles I took this picture of Mark riding towards the storm.  -- September 5, 2017

A few hours into our trip to Florida, Robin and I took a slight detour off of Interstate 81 and drove a short while on the Blue Ridge Parkway....just in time for the sunset.  What an amazing sight! -- November 25, 2017

This late fall picture of the sun shining at a low angle through the nearly depleted foliage was taken at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- November 3, 2017

Shortly after we were married, Robin and I discovered that, when traveling, we enjoy visiting...and hiking through...local Botanical Gardens. I took this surreal picture of a plant called Flying Dragon Trifoliate Orange when we visited the Botanical Gardens at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. -- November 26, 2017

Yeah...I love this pic. I took it on my only ride of the year in Swatara State Park.   I entered this picture into a photo contest sponsored by Pennsylvania Parks and Forests.  It won one one of the Critic's Choice Awards.  My prize...a gift card to Pennsylvania State Parks.  I've already used it to book a future camping trip with my wife. -- June 6,  2017

Hands down...in my opinion, one of the best photographs I've ever taken.  The second of two pics from our epic ride in Tuscarora State Forest,  I picked my head up as I followed Mark Lentz up a fire road though the fog.  I was in awe of  the scene surrounding me.  Without Mark knowing, I stopped and capture the moment. -- July 6, 2017



Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- December 18, 2017


The best ice cream pic of the year...I love Vaccaro's in Baltimore's Little Italy! -- March 25, 2017

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 YOURTRUENATURE.COM!

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

Sunday, August 27, 2017

ADVICE FROM A MOUNTAIN

My son was nine years old the first time I took him hiking.  Mark Lentz led us up Tumbling Run in Michaux State Forest.  I wasn't just hooked...Alex was too.  That hike has...over the years...become Alex's favorite.  Why wouldn't it be?  That particular trail has all you could ask for:  waterfalls, obstacles, rocks, and a spectacular view at the top!  Over the past ten years, Alex and I have hiked many other places...but Tumbling Run is still his favorite.  Usually, as we did last week, we combine a hike up Tumbling Run with a second amazing hike up to the top of Pole Steeple.  This, along with a picnic at one of the numerous state parks in the area, makes for an adventurous day.  For me, the best part of the day isn't the hikes or the food.  What I look forward to the most is sharing the day and the experiences with my son.

Thank you to YOUR TRUE NATURE for the super cool bookmarks and magnets.  Your gift and your inspiration helps inspire me.

David and Alex Raymond on Pole Steeple vista.  Laurel Lake can be seen in the background. -- August 17, 2017
A few months ago, I wrote about an trip that Alex and I had taken to Ohiopyle State Park.  The title and the format of what I had written was inspired by a t-shirt I saw at the visitor center in the park.  YOUR TRUE NATURE, the creator of t-shirt, was kind enough to send me a few of their magnets and bookmarks after reading my post.  Their inspirational words on a bookmark entitled "ADVICE FROM A MOUNTAIN" inspired me to write this post for my son.  So, Alex, here is some ADVICE FROM A MOUNTAIN.  Enjoy!


THERE IS BEAUTY AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE

Beauty can come in so many different forms and is all around us.  You don't have to take a hike to appreciate the beauty of nature...but it doesn't hurt!

A winter view of Michaux State Forest from the top of Pole Steeple. -- December 31, 2016

The view that Alex and I (along with Robin, Mia, and Blythe) had as the sun began to set on the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon. -- January 20, 2014

The view from the top of Tumbing Run in Michaux State Forest. -- June 22, 2016

Alex on Pole Steeple vista. -- December 31, 2016



GET TO THE POINT

Most of the hikes you and I have taken had peaks with amazing views.  We had to "get to the point" in order to reach those spots.  In life it is important to get to the point if you want to reach any goal that you set for yourself.

Alex (age 11) climbing the rocks on top of Tumbling Run. -- October 17, 2010
Alex hiking the trails on South Mountain near Phoenix, Arizona. -- January 24, 2014

Alex exploring at Rocks State Park. -- May 18, 2014

Taking a breather on top of Tumbling Run. -- June 22, 2016

Ending the year on a high note...on top of Pole Steeple. -- December 31, 2016

REACH FOR NEW HEIGHTS


No matter what you do in life...don't ever be afraid to set your sights on new heights and goals.  It will challenge you, help to expand your horizon, and make you a well-rounded person.

Alex on his very first adventure climbing up Tumbling Run. -- March 8, 2009

The first steps towards Superstition Mountain in Lost Dutchman State Park. -- January 23, 2014

Hiking on South Mountain with the city of Phoenix, Arizona miles in the background. -- January 24, 2014

PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE

Don't be frustrated when things get in your way or when you feel somewhat lost.  These are learning experiences that will help you grow.  You'll learn that there is more than one way to the top.  Also, be aware of the people who are are on the trail with you.  Help them when they need it, carry them when you can, and allow yourself to be helped.  We are all stronger when we work together.

The trail along Tumbling Run. -- June 22, 2016

Tumbling Run in Michaux State Forest.  The trail was swallowed up by the swollen springs. -- June 22, 2016

Alex waiting for his dad in Lost Dutchman State Park. -- January 23, 2014

Alex keeping an eye on Emma as she makes one of the many creek crossings at Tumbling Run. -- June 22, 2016

THERE WILL BE PEAKS AND THERE WILL BE VALLEYS

Life is full of ups and downs.  Love the view from the top...but appreciate the strength gained from the climb out of the valley.

Hiking along the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon. -- January 20, 2014

Hiking in Superstition Wilderness. -- January 23, 2014

Hiking up the trail on South Mountain near Phoenix, Arizona. -- January 24, 2017

BE UPLIFTING

Mr. Lentz took time out of his busy life to share something beautiful with you.  Share what you know with others.

On his first hiking trip to Michaux, Alex was guided along the trail by Mark Lentz. -- March 8, 2009

Alex Raymond and Blaine Yinger checking out the view of the Susquehanna River from Chickies Rock. -- April 13, 2014

Alex (right) along with his friends, Robbie and Austin, on top  of Pole Steeple. -- August 5, 2015

Devin Seiger and Alex Raymond on Pole Steeple. -- August 17, 2017

Alex and Emma having fun on the rocks near the top of Tumbling Run. -- June 22, 2017

Alex getting a lift from step-mom, Robin, after a hike in Lost Dutchman State Park. -- January 23, 2014

RISE ABOVE IT ALL

Do all you can, everyday, to be the best you that you can possibly be.  That is all that anyone could ever possibly ask of you.  If you can do this...you will surely rise above it all.

David Raymond, Alex Raymond, and Devin Seiger on top of Tumbling Run.  -- August 17, 2017



Devin Seiger, Alex Raymond, and David Raymond on top of Pole Steeple. -- August 17, 2017



ENJOY THE VIEW!

No matter how busy you may think you are...or how hectic life is...be sure to take time and enjoy the things around you.  It is even more special if you can share the view with someone that you love.

David and Alex Raymond taking in the view of Michaux State Forest from the top of Tumbling Run. -- August 17, 2017

Thank you again, to YOUR TRUE NATURE, for the inspiration and the gifts.  
These eight sentences are great advice for anyone...but I thought them perfect as my wife and I sent Alex off to Point Park University in Pittsburgh this past week.  Tomorrow, Alex, you begin your first day of  college classes.  There will be many mountains to climb...some expected and some not.  Just be sure to make them even more enjoyable and memorable as the ones you've already conquered.  

Alex and David Raymond. -- June 22, 2017


Life is a journey...not a destination.




David A. Raymond -- August 27, 2017


Robin, David, and Alex Raymond.  Robin and I dropped Alex of at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this week.  We are so proud of him. -- August 26, 2017


Here's the GARMIN maps and data from the hikes featured in this post...










Interested in 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 HIGH PEAKS HIKING and YOUR TRUE NATURE!

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