Ray Van Horn, Jr. is a veteran entertainment journalist whose writing and live photography has been featured in Blabbermouth.net, Dee Snider’s House of Hair Online, Fangoria.com, Horror News.net, About.com Heavy Metal, MetalManiacs, New Noise, Music Dish, AMP, Hails & Horns, Unrestrained,Noisecreep, Impose, Pit, The Big Takeover.com, Rough Edge.com, Pitriff and others. His blog The Metal Minute won a “Best Personal Blog” award in 2009 from Metal Hammer magazine and he wrote and produced his own hard rock e-zine, Retaliate.

He has contributed essays to UK author Neil Daniels’ Iron Maiden and ZZ Top biographies. Ray’s fiction has been published in various periodicals and anthologies, including his flash fiction piece “Off the Record” for Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” noir series. His recent short stories “Before the Ball” and “Widow” were featured in subsequent editions of Alex S. Johnson’s Axes of Evil anthologies. Ray wrote serialized original superhero fiction for Cyber Age Adventures and five of those stories appear in the anthology Playing Solitaire. He was the winner of Quantum Muse’s fiction contest in 1999.

Ray is a former NHL game analyst for The Hockey Nut and one-time host of the forum “Comic Books” at ReadWave. He has done beat reporting, photography and lifestyle articles for Metromix, an affiliate of The Baltimore Sun, Carroll Magazine, The Northern News and The Emmitsburg Dispatch.

Monday, April 7, 2014

First Hike of the Year

This was one of the fastest-paced weekends I've had in ages where I caught up with lots of friends and family and dropped on my face by Sunday night.  Friday night I attended the Y&T show at Baltimore Soundstage with friends and then I made some new pals as well, and not just mere "show buddies," it appears.  Dave Meniketti and company are so freakin' tight after 40 years and still have tremendous passion onstage, cheers to those guys.  It was a great night filled with loads of laughs and loud music.

In-between visiting family members throughout the rest of the weekend, I got in the year's first hike with the wife, the kid and our very dear friends who we've sadly neglected due to our insane schedules.  In the morning, I'd taken a quick mini-hike to drop in on a caged (due to injury) bald eagle in our area whom I visit routinely.  Later in the day, we hit a portion of the extensive Gunpowder Trail, which spans an entire county.  Hiking is therapy for me and I was glad to have extra company this time. 

Even though Mother Nature betrayed us again by dumping winds and lower temperatures than originally forecasted, it was at least sunny and snow-less.  We were treated to a pristine view of the river that's normally blocked by heavy vegetation and has yet to grow out due to the long winter.  Here are a few shots for fun.  Enjoy.

Photos (c) Ray Van Horn, Jr.

                       Listenin' to:  Peter Murphy - Cascade

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