Wondering about wild grapes

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wondering why I love the outdoors.

As you probably know by now if you follow my blog, I was born and raised in Pennsylvania. I grew up loving the out-of-doors. I was always the happiest when in the woods our in a canoe fishing or just paddling somewhere. I loved the woods and waterways in all the seasons of the year and in day or night.

I wonder why I love the outdoors so much. Do you suppose it could be inherited and in my genes or do you suppose that it was from association? I will let you decide.

My Dad and Mom always loved the outdoors. In fact, since my Grandpa was an engineer on the PRR, my Mom when young, had a pass so she could ride the train for free, with some exceptions.

(This is typical of the passes that she had.)In fact she rode the train to school and on some Fridays after school, she would take it the whole way to the Allegheny Mountains where they had a camp called Bohunkus. She would get off the train, put on her “high top” boots (high leather lace up boots for snake protection) and hike miles up the mountain to the camp, a lot of the times by her self. This picture is of Mom on the left with her sister:

You can plainly see the lace up “high top” shoes (or boots or what ever you call them) on both gals.

There were usually a lot of people at the camp; most were relatives and close friends. The following are pictures of the camp called “Bohunkus”:

As you can see, they all seemed to get a long and a whole lot of fun was had by all.

After getting to camp and settling in, one of the activities was to go to the “cat rocks”. They were named that because wildcats, Lynx, and such used holes and caves in the rocks for dens. It was a favorite destination for the many walks and hikes that they took. The view from there was fantastic.

This first picture is of my Mom’s sister sitting on top of the rocks:

This next picture is taken from below looking up at my Mom’s brother:

In this next picture, from left to right, are my Mom’s sister, my Dad, and my Mom’s brother:

And again from left to right, my Mom, my uncle, and my aunt:

And no, my Mom’s brother was not a punk rocker; the wind blew his hair like that.

This next one is my Mother (left) and my Aunt, Mom’s sister:

This one is just of my Mother:

And this one is of my Mom and Dad, I believe before they were married. Don’t they make a handsome couple?

And they lived happily ever after. . . and then they had me.

Ben had said he liked stories with lots of pictures. So, how was this, Ben?


  1. Great pictures, and I almost get dizzy seeing them sitting so close to the edge of the cliffs.

    I love the outdoors, probably much more than either of my parents did, or any of my 7 siblings. What really thrills me is that my 21 yr old granddaughter is the same as me - another gypsy in the making! I'm not sure it's inherited, but it might be partly the example that is set for you. I don't remember anyone ever setting an example or influencing me though. Good question

  2. Did I miss it? What the camp was for?
    Loved the pics, (outdoor person too)
    After they got to the camp, did they stay, and if so, how long?
    lol all kinds of ?s,,,but really interesting.

  3. Thanks Gypsy, I wish I could have been alive and well back in those days. My Mom's family really knew how to have fun, good clean fun.

    Trouble, a camp in Pennsylvania is like a place to spend your free time out in nature, a base for hiking, fishing, and/or hunting. Sort of like a year round hunting lease here in Texas. The length of stay was determined by how much free time they had.

  4. Those hights scare me! Here's to your Mom a brave woman! I like the pics also.

  5. Thanks Frann, I bet you didn't know that those old Applatian mountains of Pennsylvania had such rocky places, did you? For the most part, they are just rolling green in summer and white in winter.

  6. My Grand dad was railway mail clerk on the AT&SF and grandmother had a pass like that. Now,on the other side of the family GGGrand dad had worked for some rail road over in Mississippi and grand mother had her pass on that line.

    I only been on one , when I was bout 3 I guess and I don't remember it .

  7. Hey Ben, Both my grandparents were railroaders, one on the PRR and one on the B&O. I, like you, had rides on the old steam trains, but just barely remember them, just bits and pieces.

  8. I rode a train once when I was in the scouts! Went from Houston to Brenham, TX.

    Seemed like a long ride at the time, but really isn't that far! Sure would like to ride another!

    I think your Mom was pretty cool and probably a bit ahead of her time!

  9. Hey HJ, I was really lucky to be born into such a grand and fun loving family. And here I am, over a thousand miles away from the ones that are left. I moved out of Pennsylvania in 1979.