Bob and Carol Grieves

(from an email dated 10 August 2004)

Today, for some unknown reason, I suggested to my wife that we take a ride and visit Lynn Woods. My wife's immediate reaction was to look at me as if I had developed another hole in my head and asked, "Why? We haven't been to Lynn Woods in almost 35 years." My response, "so", was as eloquent as always. My argument convinced her so we packed our dog Max and headed to Lynn Woods.

Both my wife and I grew up in Lynn, she on Western Avenue and I in Veteran's Village just a mile from Pennybrook Road. When we got married we lived on Ashland Street, about 2 miles from Pennybrook Road so Lynn Woods was never far away.

As a youngster, especially during summer vacation, my friends and I would spend at least every other day scrambling around in the woods. We had camps at the Bear Cave, religiously visited the supposedly haunted Dungeon Rock at every visit, climbed Stone Tower, periodically slipped and fell in the reservoir, sometimes taking hours to get out, and generally roamed around what to us was the "wilderness".

When we were first married and lived on Ashland Street money for entertainment was a little tight. One of our favorite ways to relax after work was to take our dog "Augie" drive into the woods, find a quiet place near the water and just relax. These were the days when you could drive into the woods and never see another car. We would sit by the water, toss sticks for Augie to swim and retrieve and generally take it easy. It certainly was a simpler and safer time.

Then the "Woods" got some bad press because of trouble, we were no longer comfortable going there, and then we moved away from Lynn. This takes us back to today when I decided to revisit our old haunt.

When we arrived at the Golf Course entrance we ran into Ranger Dan Small, we traveled form the Golf Course entrance all the way to Pennybrook Road. We visited the Stone Tower, passed the spot where my wife and I and would take Augie and go to relax after work so many years ago, the picnic grounds where we had some great times as kids, and generally traveled the trails back to our youth. I was amazed at the overall condition of the Woods and roads, just as I remembered them. The roads were rocky and uneven, but they were rocky and uneven 35 years ago. There was some damage to Stone Tower but other then that it was like it was yesterday. Dan gave us a running commentary of the changes to the woods and the history of the intervening years and the proposals for the future. He sounds like a man with a genuine love of his work and pride of stewardship.

My wife Carol, Max the dog, and I left the woods and at least Carol and I felt a tad younger. The memories seemed like yesterday and yesterday wasn't so long ago after all. All in all it was a very good day to take a trip back, we can't thank Ranger Dan enough for giving us those years back, even for a short time.

Bob and Carol Grieves

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Jim Harrington

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