Women of the Grove Run Trail

Grove Run Trail

Pennsylvania

April 2001

The Grove Run Trail is a comfortable little loop that brings you up 800 feet from Linn Run to a nondescript summit.  It’s a great trail if you want some mild hill training but don’t want to sweat too much.  The entire trail is within a thick hardwood and evergreen forest, paralleling streams in a few sections.

From trailhead, you gently climb for about a mile and a half.  You cross Grove Run itself and begin an ascent on several long switchbacks.  A trail register has been placed at one of the bends in the trail.

A trail register is a closable box made of wood, metal, plastic, old hiker boots or sometimes just a zipper closure bag.  I made up the part about the boots.  A trail log can be found inside the trail register, almost always a notebook like you might find in a kid’s school backpack.  There is at least one pen or pencil and sometimes more.

Anyone gets to make an entry.  Who writes stuff and what do they write?  Hikers, of course.  We’re on a hiking trail, who’d you think?  Anyway…

Trail registers are useful in a number of ways.  They serve as a record of who’s been here and how many of us have come this way.

This brings up a dilemma.  I want the log books to be full of entries from a great number of hikers.  I want an abundance of users to be enjoying the trail and I want it to be obvious that the trail, and the wilderness area where the trail is located, is worthy of attention and funding so it can be kept in good repair.  On the other hand, I want as few people as possible to be here, so we don’t damage the trail with overuse.  I want this wild area to be quiet and litter free.  I don’t like people so I want to have the trail to myself.  I look to the wilderness to soothe my misanthropic soul.  Clearly, too many people is bad for my vital karmic life force.  Or something.

Trail registers can give rescue teams a clue as to where you might be, or at least where you have been, in case you lose track.

Before cell phones were ubiquitous, trail registers were a primary means of communication among hikers on the Appalachian and other long distance trails.  It was possible, as unlikely as this might seem, to get a message to hikers who were ahead of you on the trail.


Back to my lovely clear sky day on the Grove Run Trail.  The buds are budding, the bears are waking and as they say (or at least Alfred Lord Tennyson said,) “In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.”  I wasn’t exactly thinking about love;  I was hiking.  Of course, I’m always thinking about love when I’m hiking.  Anyway…

Several switchbacks done and I come to the trail register.  Stopping just short of the box, I spend a few cautious moments poking at a snake curled in the nearby grass.  I’m not sure why I do that.  My hiking buddies call me an idiot.  Anyway…

Opening the trail register, I look over some of the recent entries in the log.  One says…

What a great day.  She was in such a good mood we did it in the bushes.

Another reads…

Made love with a babe right on the trail.

And yet a third one proclaims…

Got me some!

Yeah, I get it, that the right wilderness experience can make a body horny.  Now, I’m curious.  I write…

Guys, did you bring these women with you or were they already here?

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