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Sunday, December 27, 2020

BACKTRACKING 2020, Part Two -- FOOT TRAFFIC

 Social distancing was introduced into the mainstream vocabulary over  the past ten months...but concept has been actively pursued and enjoyed by people who love to hike for as long as there have been trails to explore.  In 2020, my hiking boots traversed more trail than in any other year...just about 200 miles in total.  Those hiking miles due, in one part, to a pandemic and the want (and need) to be out in nature and, in another part, a personal goal that I had set for myself.   According to my Garmin stats, I have (up to this point in 2020) logged 40 hiking activities.  Math isn't my strong point...but that averages about 5 miles per hike. I'm pretty proud of that.  Looking back on the past year...I'm also pretty proud of these ten particular hikes.  Thank you to my friends and family who accompanied me on these adventures.  I hope that we continue to make some foot traffic together in the new year.  Enjoy.


FAMILY AND FRIENDS HIKE IN MICHAUX -- MARCH 14, 2020

Just prior to our state-wide Covid-19 quarantine the Raymond's (Alex, Robin, and I) enjoyed a family and friends hike in Michaux State Forest with the Graham family, Alex's girl friend, Emma, and our step-daughter, Blythe, and granddaughter, Freya.  On this particular adventure we headed South on the Appalachian Trail and then circled back on Tom's Run Trail.

Mike Graham, David Raymond, and Alex Raymond -- March 14, 2020

Kelly Graham, Robin Raymond, Mike Graham, Emma Sadowski, David Raymond, and Alex Raymond on the Appalachian Trail near Halfway Spring. -- March 14, 2020

Emma Sadowski, Alex Raymond, David Raymond, Robin Raymond, Kelly Graham, Mike Graham, Blythe Arnold-Scott, and Freya. -- March 14, 2020


BELLAIRE WOODS -- MARCH 7, 2020

In early March, Robin located a new place for us to explore.  In the weeks before we had any idea that the world would be altered due to a global pandemic, we traveled across the river to Lancaster County for a nice brunch in Elizabeth town and then a hike in Lancaster County's Bellaire Woods Nature Preserve.  What we found was about 3 miles of pristine and visually stimulating trail.

Bellaire Woods Nature Preserve -- March 7, 2020

Enjoying Bellaire Woods with Robin --  March 7, 2020

Robin and David Raymond // Bellaire Woods Nature Preserve -- March 7, 2020


CHICKIES ROCK -- JULY 2, 2020

One of the highlights of every summer is the week that my nieces and nephew come visit. I try to find something, every day, for us to do.  On this particular day we spend some time exploring Chickies Rock in Columbia, PA.  The short, kid friendly hike provided a great view of the Susquehanna River...while satisfying Jackie, Shalice, Sophie, and Isaac's desire for a "big kid" adventure.

Sophie, Isaac, Jackie, and David Raymond and Shalice Gull. -- July 2,  2020

David Raymond on Chickies Rock -- July 2, 2020


ROCKS STATE PARK -- AUGUST 9, 2020

Rocks State Park in Maryland is place that I don't visit nearly enough.  The King and Queen Seat, a huge rock outcropping that hovers nearly 200 feet above Deer Creek, is the centerpiece of the park. The view from the edge is breathtakingly spectacular.  Back in August, Robin and I made our first trip to Rocks since 2014.  The three mile loop was fun and rewarding.

Taking in the view from the King and Queen Seat in Rocks State Park. -- August 9, 2020

Robin and David Raymond // Rocks State Park -- August 9, 2020

The King and Queen can have their seats...I'll claim this one.  Rocks State Park. -- August 9, 2020


POLE STEEPLE -- JULY 1, 2020

Pole Steeple trail in Michaux State Forest is one of more popular destinations for hikers of all ages who want an Instagram worthy view of the mountain ranges making up south-central Pennsylvania.  The trail, which is incredibly well marked, climbs 600 feet in three quarters of mile.  On the journey up, hikers can choose a "moderate" trail or a steep trail.  What the hike lacks in distance it makes up for with shear beauty.  I had a great time escorting my nieces, Jackie and Sophie...and my nephew, Isaac...to the vista at the top.

Sophie and Jackie Raymond relaxing at the top of Pole Steeple. -- July 1, 2020

Isaac opting for the "steep" option to the top of Pole Steeple. -- July 1, 2020

Isaac and Sophie Raymond pausing for a break just before our final climb to the top of Pole Steeple. -- July 1, 2020

Sophie took this picture of me on top of Pole Steeple. -- July 1, 2020

Wrapping up our hike up Pole Steeple with a State Park picnic/tailgating cookout at the trail head. -- July 1, 2020



MICHAUX WITH ROBIN AND ALEX -- MAY 23, 2020

With our Memorial Day weekend plans scuttled because of Covid...with lunches packed, Alex, Robin, and I headed to Michaux for a family hike.  We hiked a combination of the Appalachian, Dead Woman's Hollow, and Blueberry Trails.  The three of us enjoyed our lunch from the vista at the top of Blueberry Trail.

Alex, David, and Robin Raymond.  Blueberry Trail. -- May 23, 2020

Robin and David Raymond. -- May 23, 2020

Eating lunch on Blueberry Trail.  Alex, David, and Robin Raymond. -- May 23, 2020

Near the halfway point on the Appalachian Trail, a hike will encounter the Covid Bear memorial. -- May 23, 2020 


CAMP MICHAUX AND SUNSET ROCKS -- MARCH 26, 2020

With school closed down during the first week of the 2020 Pandemic, Mike Graham, Eric Gimbi, Alex and I made our way to Michaux for an incredibly nerdy hike on the Appalachian Trail and through Camp Michaux...a former CCC Camp and WWII Prisoner of War facility.  

Mike Graham, David Raymond, Alex Raymond, and Eric Gimbi. -- March 26, 2020

Mike Graham and David Raymond posing for a socially distant pic on Sunset Rocks in Michaux State Forest. -- March 26, 2020

Dave Raymond and Eric Gimbi checking out Tom's Run in Michaux State Forest. -- March 26, 2020

Eric Gimbi navigating the trail. -- March 26, 2020

At one point, Eric, Mike, and I found ourselves literally standing in a shit-hole (the remains of the septic area that makes up Camp Michaux. -- March 26, 2020

Alex and Eric checking out the remains of a swimming pool in Camp Michaux. -- March 26, 2020

Eating lunch on the remains of a dining hall which was, at one times, occupied by German POWs. -- March 26, 2020

Dave Raymond, Mike Graham, and Eric Gimbi using the facilities of a WWII era latrine. -- March 26, 2020


OHIOPYLE STATE PARK -- JUNE 17

Our annual week-long trip to Ohiopyle is always one of the highlights of the year.  This year, during our trip Alex, Jackie, Devin, Mike G, and I took a fun and challenging 6 mile hike through the gorges and past the many waterfalls  that make up the landscapes of Ohiopyle State Park.

David Raymond, Alex Raymond, Devin Seiger, Mike Graham, and Jackie Raymond -- June 17, 2020

Jonathan Run waterfall. -- June 17, 2020

Dave Raymond at Jonathan Run falls in Ohiopyle State Park. -- June 17, 2020

Jackie, Alex, and Mike climbing out of the Jonathan Run falls area. -- June 17, 2020

Mike Graham enjoying the peaceful setting near Jonathan Run falls. --June 17, 2020

A great pic of the entire group. Alex, David, Devin, Jackie, and Mike. -- June 17, 2020

A bad-ass pic of me, Devin, Alex, and Jackie -- June 17, 2020

Mike Graham and Dave Raymond doing what teachers do during summer vacation. -- June 17, 2020


APPALACHIAN TRAIL WITH ALEX AND DEVIN -- MARCH 19, 2020

My longest hike of 2020 was an eight mile hike on a stretch of the Appalachian Trail and Sunset Rocks Trail.  Alex and Devin were along for this fun afternoon in Michaux State Forest.  

Taking in the surrounding beauty on Sunset Rocks Trail -- March 19, 2020

Hiking on the AT. -- March 19, 2020

Devin Seiger, Alex Raymond, and David Raymond. -- March 19, 2020


RICKETTS GLEN WITH ROBIN -- OCTOBER 17, 2020

If you are looking for a waterfall bucket list hike...look no further than Ricketts Glen State Park.  Robin and I have been wanting to hike this trail for a long time now.  We had our opportunity while on a late October camping trip to Ricketts Glen.  The nearly 6 mile hike through the Glen Natural Area (a National Natural Landmark) is highlighted by 22 separate waterfalls.  The peak Fall foliage made this hike even more spectacular.

Pausing for lunch with Robin along the trail in Ricketts Glen. -- October 17, 2020

Ricketts Glen State Park. -- October 17, 2020

Ricketts Glen State Park -- October 17, 2020

Ricketts Glen State Park -- October 17, 2020

David and Robin Raymond in Ricketts Glen State Park. -- October 17, 2020


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- December 27, 2020



Nothing like a post-hike cookout!  Following our hike to the top of Pole Steeple I provided a tailgate style cookout for my nieces and nephew.  -- July 1, 2020

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@mountnbiker73
Here are the GARMIN maps and data from some of the adventures featured in this post.
#OptOutside

FAMILY AND FRIENDS HIKE IN MICHAUX -- MARCH 14, 2020

BELLAIRE WOODS -- MARCH 7, 2020

CHICKIES ROCK -- JULY 2, 2020

ROCKS STATE PARK -- AUGUST 9, 2020

POLE STEEPLE -- JULY 1, 2020

RICKETTS GLEN WITH ROBIN -- OCTOBER 17, 2020


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
GUNG HO BIKES
YOUR TRUE NATURE
PENNSYLVANIA DCNR
WHITE WATER ADVENTURES
and
PA PARKS and FORESTS FOUNDATION
"Write something work reading or do something worth writing..." Ben Franklin

Thursday, December 17, 2020

BACKTRACKING 2020, Part One -- SIGHTSEEING

Life is hectic and oftentimes overwhelming.  But if 2020 has taught us anything....it's that sometimes we need to pause and appreciate the good that is all around us.  As imperative as it is that we focus our attention on the trail or road in front of us...it is also just as beneficial to slow down and take in the natural world that surrounds us.  With all of the challenges that every single one of us have faced this past year, taking a moment to appreciate all that is good on planet Earth can be quite rewarding...mentally, physically, and spiritually.  To quote a famous movie..."Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around you might miss it." What follows is a series my favorite pictures that I captured in 2020....each taken at a moment of time when I paused and took time to look around do a little sightseeing.  Enjoy!

This spectacular view of Michaux State Forest can be found a few hundred yards from the where Blueberry Trail and Dead Woman's Hollow Trail intersect.  -- July 28, 2020

Waterville Bridge is a lenticular truss bridge located near the Appalachian Trail in Swatara State Park. The bridge was constructed in 1890 by the Berlin Iron Bridge Company.  The bridge, originally located in Waterville, Pennsylvania was moved to Swatara State Park in 1985.  -- November 27, 2020

Cucumber Falls, located in Ohiopyle State Park, is a must stop for all visitors.  It is one of the most picture worthy spots in the park. -- June 16, 2020

While riding the Capital Area Green Belt in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania I took a detour across the Market Street Bridge to City Island.  It was from City Island that I captured this super cool pic of the the skyline of Pennsylvania's capital city.  -- November 14, 2020

This is Gilda the Dog.  Gilda took a trip to Michaux State Forest with her owner, Blythe Arnold-Scott (my step-daughter) back in August.  Gilda really appreciated the coolness of Tom's Run creek.  -- August 8, 2020

Conewago Creek meanders through York County until it merges with the Susquehanna River in York Haven, Pennsylvania.  I took this picture of the creek after a rain storm as I rode through York Haven.  The previous night's rainfall made the creek look somewhat like chocolate milk. -- May 1, 2020

The remains of a structure used as a stable...built in the late 18th or early 18th century...can be found while taking a walking tour of Camp Michaux (a former CCC Camp and WWII Prisoner of War Interrogation Camp) in Michaux State Forest.  -- March 26, 2020

A large section of the Heritage Rail Trail in northern York County, Pennsylvania traces the path of the Codorus Creek.  I took this picture of the Pennsylvania fall foliage reflecting in the creek as I rode the rail trail into York City to purchase bacon at York's Central Market. -- November 7, 2020

Laurel Lake is one of the many features that makes Pine Grove Furnace State Park so beautiful.  I love this pic of the early fall foliage reflecting in the peaceful lake.  -- September 26, 2020

To beat the summer humidity and heat I got up early on a few occasions for morning rides before the heat of the day became too obnoxious.  On one such occasion, as I crested the top of Starview Road in York County, Pennsylvania, I was greeted with this spectacular sunrise.  -- June 10, 2020

The waterfall trails at Ricketts Glen State Park is, hands down, one of the most picturesque trails you will ever hike on.  My wife, Robin, and I hiked it for the very first time this past October during peak Fall foliage.  This is just one of dozens of waterfall pictures that I took that day.  -- October 17, 2020

I grew up in Bedford, Pennsylvania...but I was born thirty miles south in Cumberland, Maryland.  I took this picture of my birth city in July while riding on the C & O Canal Towpath with my wife, Robin. -- July 21, 2020

This picture of the artillery lining Cemetery Ridge in Gettysburg National Military Park was taken while on a December morning hike with Alex. -- December 22, 2020

Ricketts Glen State Park is known for it's waterfalls...but his amazing view of the the sun rising over Lake Jean was captured just 20 feet from the campsite.  -- October 17, 2020

As I was finishing up my very first ride on the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail I took this westward looking picture of the Veteran's Memorial Bridge spanning the Susquehanna River...connecting Columbia in Lancaster County with Wrightsville in York County.  I believe that this is the best photo that I've taken in all of 2020.  -- November 25, 2020

I LOVE this picture of my niece, Jackie, taken during our summer camping trip to Ohiopyle State Park.  The last full day of our trip is always dedicated to just spending some relaxing, peaceful, and quality time exploring the Youghiogheny River.  I think this picture does an amazing job capturing the feeling of that particular day.  -- June 18, 2020


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- December 17, 2020


The Pennsylvania Parks and Forest Foundation hosts a photo contest every year.  This year I was fortunate enough to have this picture selected as the 2020 winner for the INTER-GENERATIONAL JOY category.  I captured this group photo of myself, my son, Alex, my nieces, Jackie and Sophie, and my nephew, Isaac while we were hiking in Michaux State Forest.  -- August 13, 2020


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


BLACK FRIDAY RIDE IN SWATARA WITH MATT -- NOVEMBER 27, 2020

EARNING MY GREENBELT -- NOVEMBER 14, 2020

HIKING THE AT AND CAMP MICHAUX -- MARCH 26, 2020

WATERFALL HIKE IN RICKETTS GLEN -- OCTOBER 17, 2020

NW LANCASTER COUNTY RIVER TRAIL -- NOVEMBER 25, 2020

FAMILY HIKE IN MICHAUX -- AUGUST 13, 2020


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
GUNG HO BIKES
YOUR TRUE NATURE
PENNSYLVANIA DCNR
WHITE WATER ADVENTURES
and
PA PARKS and FORESTS FOUNDATION
"Write something work reading or do something worth writing..." Ben Franklin