Showing posts with label South Mountain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label South Mountain. Show all posts

Sunday, August 27, 2017


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!


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 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


No matter how busy you may think you are...or how hectic life 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!


Friday, November 11, 2016


By April of 2007 my 2006 Stumpjumper was only a few months old...and there was absolutely nothing wrong  with it.  Yet, there I was test riding a demo bike from Gung Ho that the shop was willing to sell to me.  A fluorescent green 2006 full suspension Specialized Epic.  I had no need for it...that 2006 Stumpjumper still ranks as one of my favorite bikes...but, for some reason, I found myself in my back yard, showing the bike to my buddy, Glenn.  To this day, I still remember his words, "It's all about the color, Davy!" Shortly thereafter, the bike was hanging in my garage permanently (well, as you're about to find out, not quite so permanently.)  

Dave Raymond & Glenn Medice in Rothrock State Forest.  Notice my green Epic and Glenn's red Santa Cruz.  He's smiling in the pic...but believe me, he had some buyer's remorse! (well, did he?  He used Mikey's credit card!) -- 2007

Yeah...I raced that green Epic hard!  This pic was taken at the Marysville Team Relay -- April 2008

Now, I can't leave out the fact that Glenn's the guy who, when we took our first big trip together, went to West Virginia with a blue Cannondale Rush ( I think) and came home with a red Santa Cruz!  This wasn't an even swap...Glenn downgraded...and he used Mikey's credit card to make up the difference!  And to the best of my recollection...he bought an inferior bike that had some serious shifting issues simply because it was red!  It's all about the color...isn't that right, Glenn? 

 I owned, rode, and raced the heck out of that green Epic for just about two years before I replaced it with a brand new 2009 carbon fiber, full-suspension Epic.  Besides the fact that the bike was fast...I had found a color scheme that I and black.  My 2012 Roubaix road bike is red and 2011 Stumpjumper (yeah...I didn't have the Epic long) had a really cool red, black, and silver color scheme, my helmet was red, my gloves were red, my Camelbak is red, (as long as it was clean) I would sport a red and black Gung Ho cycling jersey, and hell....even the tattoo on my right arm is red & black!

Bringing home my 2009 full suspension, carbon fiber Specialized Epic. It had a white seat.  Who the hell puts a white seat on a mountain bike? -- April 2009

When my 2012 Specialized Roubaix came into the shop, Jay Zech told me I could come in and build it myself.  Pretty cool! -- February 2012

Proudly displaying my brand new 2011 Stumpjumper while on a trip to Raymond B. Winter State Park -- July 11, 2011

This past Spring, after 5 years of riding my 2011 Stumpjumper, I broke with tradition and bought my bright orange 2016 carbon fiber Stumpjumper.  I'll admit...I had doubts at first.  It wasn't red, my helmet wouldn't match, my gloves didn't match, and being a person with some serious ADD it was hard to break from tradition and routine.   But the more I looked at it, the more I loved it.  It's all about the color...and instead of trying to match the orange on the bike I embraced a green "White Squirrel" t-shirt that I purchased in Brevard, North Carolina and bought a much needed new helmet...fluorescent green!  Bright orange and bright I proudly display my latest color scheme. 

My first ride ever on my new 2016 Stumpjumper.  Pedaling Swatara State Park with Mark -- March 5, 2016

Sporting my new orange bike and green helmet in Michaux State Forest on my final mountain bike ride prior to my back surgery last week -- October 30, 2016

Often, the SQUIRRELS WITH CAMERAS who so diligently help me document our rides take a few shots that really stand out to me....again, because of the color.  A few of the pics took advantage of some pretty cool filters built into my smart phone, some pics are of our bikes, some are of us riding, and some are just of us just hanging out...but all are unique because they capture the beauty and color all around us.  Here are a few examples.

I took this "dead of winter" pic while on a ride in Michaux with my next door neighbor, Mike.  My 2011 Stumpjumper is leaning against a boulder in Michaux State Forest & is highlighted by some of the green moss and mountain laurel that still grows, even in the winter, near mountain creek -- January 2, 2016

I love this Spring time pic of Tim and I riding at the Lakes.  There are no leaves on the trees yet, but the pink and purple blossoms are clearly visible and are the highlight of the photo -- April 28, 2013

Mark and I found found this flaming red foliage on the trees while on a Columbus Day exploration ride in Michaux State Forest -- October 12, 2015

Dave Raymond and Mike Alicea riding at Rocky Ridge.  At the time my Galaxy S3 had this super cool "red" filter on the camera.  I used it a lot just because I liked the effect -- September 18, 2014

I think the koolest part of this pic of Kristian and I taking a a break from riding in Patapsco Valley State Park is the reflection in the Patapsco River -- October 15, 2016

This pic of Tim and I was taken at the Lakes.  I love how the sun pokes through the grey clouds and highlights the leaves on the left behind us -- October 17, 2015

Probably the coolest Autumn mountain biking pic in my collection.  I love this pic of Tim and I riding through the red foliage at Rocky Ridge County Park.  The autumn colors really stand out in this pic -- October 18, 2014

I have no clue what filter I used for this picture of Tim riding down the power lines at Rocky Ridge...but it's pretty darn cool! -- October 18, 2014

Some random squirrel caught this pic of me riding at the Lakes.  With all the leaves off of the trees, my red helmet really stands out against the rest of the picture -- November 18, 2012

I love blues and greens...and this pic of me riding at the Lakes has both.  Pretty awesome! -- June 1, 2014

Mark snagged this pic of me taking a break while riding the mountain trails near State College, PA.  I must  have left the "red only' filter on (the only color you see is red on my helmet)...the result is a really kool pic! -- June 28, 2014

Tim captured this pic of me coming up a hill at the Lakes.  The colors all around me are beautiful -- October 24, 2015

It's all about the color...but I'll go on the record here and admit that my most impressive and beautiful pics are purely accidental.  I could never reproduce them.  It's this accidental color, in my opinion, that highlights the beauty of the nature I get to experience while riding and shows exactly why I, and my friends, love mountain biking.  Whether it's a pic of the Lakes here in York County, a view of the Susquehanna River, a sunflower field a few miles from my house, a desert cactus 3,000 miles away in Arizona, or an autumn view of Michaux State Forest from our favorite vista...I have to say, were correct, my friend.  It IS all about the color.

My wife says this is the most beautiful picture I've ever taken.  Up until last week it was the pic on the top of my blog.  I took this pick while riding at the Lakes with Tim -- October 17, 2015

This, in my opinion, is just a really awesome picture.  I took it while on a road ride near Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania -- September 2, 2016

These red flowers really stick out against the overcast sky and the Susquehanna River while on a road ride near Wrightsville, Pennsylvania -- August 10, 2015

Laurel Lake in Michaux State Forest -- October 30, 2016

I took this pic of a cactus while hiking South Mountain near Phoenix, Arizona -- June 10, 2016

The Fall colors were all around Tim and I as we rode the trails around Lake Redman -- October 24, 2015

The vista at Michaux State Forest.  My favorite spot.  I was completely stoked to be able to go there with Mark & Kristian once more before my back surgery last week.  The foliage in Michaux State Forest was at it's peak.  Beautiful! -- October 30, 2016

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- November 11, 2016

Yep...when there aren't any squirrels to be found my new green helmet makes a perfect camera stand! -- October 30, 2016