Penn’s View Overlook

Last weekend on the Backcountry Discovery Routes – Mid Atlantic trip we got to stop at Penn’s View Overlook. This is a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside. This is the description of the overlook I found on The Wilds Of Pennsylvania‘s Blog post

Rising high above Penn’s Creek on the northern edge of Slide Mountain Penn’s View overlooks Tunnel Mountain and Rupp Mountain separated from each other by Penn’s Creek and Woodward Mountain behind them.  Upstream on Penn’s Creek is the village of Coburn visible through a gap in Woodward Mountain, beyond Coburn is Penns Valley and on its northern edge are the Buck Ridge, Shriner Mountain, Brush Mountain and Nittany Mountain ranges.  Penn’s Creek flows over 700′ below you on its way around Slide Mountain towards Poe Paddy State Park to your right.  From May to July both sunrises and sunsets should be visible from the overlook.

This overlook is located at 40°50’33.0465″ N 77°27’10.1979″ W.

I took this pano using the Canon 7D Mark II wit the Canon 24-105mm F/4L. This is a 10 frame pano that was stitched in Adobe Lightroom Classic. When I take panos I lock the exposure using manual mode so that it does not change from frame to frame. After I got it into Lightroom and the pano was stitched I did basic edits to the image.

You can see the Hi-Res Version of this photo on my Photography Website at this link in the Backcountry Discovery Routes – Mid Atlantic – July 2020 gallery.

What do you think? Would you like to visit?


Cleaning the Interior Side of the Jeep Tires

It was time to rotate he tires on the Jeep, I got to 5000 miles since the last time I did it. I rotate all 5 tires. No need to have a spare that never sees the ground, plus I will get additional time before needing to replace the tires. The tires were very dirty after the Backcountry Discovery Routes – Mid Atlantic Trip last weekend. When I rotate the tires I like to clean the backside of the tires and inspect them. I use a few professional detailing products to do this.

I follow these steps and use these products.

  1. Spray the tire and when with the power washer to get it wet and dislodge anything loose
  2. Spray the tire with Meguiar’s Super Degreaser D108. This is a great cleaner that will cut through the mud and grime.
  3. Scrub the tire with Tuf Shine Tire Brush, this is a great small stiff brush that I always use on the tires. The brushing will activate the D108 and pull the dirt from the tire. You will see the white foam turn brown as the dirt is coming off. Rinse the tire off.
  4. Give the tire another spray of the Meguiar’s Super Degreaser D108. Scrub the tire again with the Tuf Shine Tire Brush and if the foam stays white you have removed the dirt from the tire. Rinse it off again.
  5. For the next step I spray Meguiar’s Non Acid Wheel Cleaner D143 into the barrel of the wheel and scrub it with a Wheel Brush.
  6. For the final step I rinse the wheel and tire with the power washer.

There is a video below showing the steps I described above.

Not my wheel, but an example of the brown foam that the Meguiar’s Super Degreaser D108 generates when scrubbed on a dirty tire.

For the tire that will become the spare tire I take a little more time to clean the entire tire. I would like to have the spare looking nice and shiny as people will be able to see it easily hanging on he back of the Jeep. So I clean the entire tire using the methods described, including both sides and the tread. Once it is clean I apply Stoner Trim Shine Vinyl & Plastic Coating to the entire tire. This provides an outstanding final touch. Check out the photo below of the Spare tire.

Note: The links above are affiliate links to Detailed Image. You can use this code “DetailedImage3742” for a discount at check out.

Dirty Jeep

This is what your Jeep looks like after doing a couple of hundred mile of dirt and gravel roads. We were out on the Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR) – Mid Atlantic over the weekend. Check out my BLOG POST from the other day. Lots of dust and a little mud. So, of course I had to clean it up. The trip was worth all the effort of cleanup. It took several hours to get it back in shape until the next trip. See the photos below for the engine compartment condition 🙂 Enjoy!

Engine compartment before cleanup, just look at the dust 🙂
After clean up, looks brand new!

Backcountry Discovery Routes – Mid Atlantic

Over the weekend the boys and I spent some time on the Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR) – Mid Atlantic with two other friends. We did the portion in PA from IR-76 (PA Turnpike) to IR-80. This is about a 240 mile section and comprises sections 6-7-8 of the MA BDR. This is primarily comprised of gravel roads in the PA State Parks and Forests. The BDR is designed for Sports Motorcycles but it can be done with 4x4s (or any other vehicle). The roads are generally very dusty and you can sustain about 25 mph on most of them.

We also did the two “expert” sections along this route. These sections are unpaved dirt paths. The further south section was overgrown and if not cut back you wont be able to get a larger vehicle through in a few years. The northern section was a little rocky. Both were fun to do, I would have liked to see more of these along the route.

Camping can be found along the route in the State Parks and the State Forests. But, you need to check out the requirements and if you need to make a reservation to reserve a spot.

In addition to my two boys, Expedition Team Overland (XTO) and Dee cam along. XTO organized and planned the trip.

Some of my favorite photos are below and you can find all the photos I took on my Photography Website in the Backcountry Discovery Routes – Mid Atlantic Gallery.


The boys and myself. We had a great time!
The gang
The Jeeps lined for a glamor shot.
Hobo Vista
Pano shot of Penn’s View Overlook. We were fortunate to be there on a very nice day. his was a gorgeous area!
Google Earth image showing the route we took

4th of July

5 years ago I spent the Independence Day Weekend at the Cost of Freedom Tribute – Twinsburg 2015 photographing and documenting the event. It was such a moving experience seeing love for our country and the love for the men and women who fought for our freedom. This is my favorite photo of the weekend. Link to a blog post in the comments with links to more photos. Have a great weekend and remember it is not just about hot dogs, hamburgers, and fireworks.

In the photo above is Allen J. Smolic Spec 5 captured at The Wall.

For more photos and information on the event check out THIS BLOG POST.


How to Shoot Fireworks Photos

Around the 4th of July every year I like to post information on how to shoot fireworks. This year is no exception to that. BUT, most of the fireworks shows have been cancelled due to COVID-19. So, if you want to photograph fireworks this year you are going to have to search for a place to do it.

I enjoy taking fireworks photos at Walt Disney World because they have wonderful shows and great viewing locations. I like to have something in the foreground when I shoot fireworks to give the image a “place” so that you can see where it was. Walt Disney World is great for this as most of the shows occur over the major landmarks at the parks.

When shooting fireworks you will need a few things: camera, steady tripod, and a cable/remote release at the minimum. Once you get your camera set up on the tripod and you set it and aimed at where you expect the fireworks to appear in the sky you have to do some general setup. I set the camera to “Bulb” mode, this is a mode where the shutter will stay open as long as you hold the cable/remote release button down. I usually set the camera to ISO 100 and an aperture of f/11 as a starting point.

Once the show starts you can hold the shutter open while the bursts are going into the sky. I usually time it so that I get them leaving the ground and close the shutter at the end of the trail coming down out of the sky. Generally my shutter speed is around 6 to 10 seconds.

I have some of my favorite photos of fireworks taken at Walt Disney World below. What do you think about these?