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When he returns home, South Williamsport native Klaus Maklunsky loves taking advantage of the opportunities for outdoor activity the region offers, even when his visits come over the cold winter holidays.
"There are some of the best natural resources in the East (here)," Maklunsky said. "I went to the historical society and they had cycling-related exhibits and paraphernalia on display. It's surprising how far back (cycling) goes here."
Maklunsky often has biked with friends throughout area forests.
"Sometimes when you get way out there, you run into these drilling sites," he said. "They're very well-guarded - I'm just curious what's going on at those."
Maklunsky attended Temple University as an undergraduate, then obtained a master of fine arts in sculpture at the University of Richmond. He still lives in Richmond, Va., where he's an adjunct instructor at Virginia Commonwealth University.
"They're all very different, but Richmond is closer to Williamsport than Philly," Maklunsky said. "It's a smallish city with a lot to do outdoors.
"It's wonderful we have a skate park here now," he continued. "It's permanent, it's concrete, and it's here to stay."
On his most recent trip home, Maklunsky went for a hike around the Hagerman reservoir, in Armstrong Township.
"It just renewed my monumental appreciation for the beauty of the area," he said. "I recommend that to everyone. It's beautiful up there - the vistas have so much majesty."
The cold winter wind makes a hike in the area invigorating, rather than uncomfortable, he said.
"The sound's really intensified up there, by the wind - I was looking down at a weird grove of trees near the powerlines that were gnarled and windblown. They looked to me like guardians of the valley, watching out for Williamsport while I'm away."