When I was growing up in Pennsylvania I spent a lot of time in the forest. One of the places I often went to was Pup Run. Pup Run is a very small mountain stream on private land in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. In the summer time it very nearly dries up, but often it has a very nice flow. I used to go there many times, and sit on the nice rocks beneath the towering pine trees and watch the water cascade its way through the rocks.
Pup Run is not a long stream at all, and probably only runs for a mile or two before it enters into the Brodhead’s Creek on the way to the Delaware River. It was on these rocks watching the water of Pup Run that I would often think of books by Mark Twain. I loved reading his classics such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Life on the Mississippi. It was those books that really got me into the love of reading.
In a way I was a little bit like Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. I would often think of that, and pretend that Pup Run was my Mississippi. It was only a little country stream, but it was my escape, like the Mississippi River was to Huck and Tom.
Pup Run was a peaceful place during my childhood. I would often walk to Pup Run. It was a couple of miles through the forest of mainly oak, maple and pine trees. It was a nature lover’s paradise. I took with me some string, a hook and a few worms. When I got to the stream, I cut a branch from one of the small trees and made a fishing pole. I tied the string around real tight and then attached the hook. Lastly, I put one of the worms on the hook. I walked along the stream and came to a spot where the water cascaded over a rock and made a mini waterfall and had a little pool beneath the falls. I tossed the worm just at the base
of the mini waterfall, and immediately I had a tug on the pole. I set the hook and pulled out a little native brook trout that was only about six inches long. That was all I had to do, to make my day. I took the hook out of the trout and released it back into the cold mountain stream. That was my Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer moment for the day. To me it was life on Pup Run.
Many times I walked to that stream and just sat on the rocks and watched the water flow. I think most people have a spot that they like to go to, and just think, and relax. For me that spot was Pup Run. I could sit there and think about the day, as squirrels played nearby. At times I would see some deer come to get a drink from the stream. It was because of times like that, that I feel lucky to have grown up in the Pocono Mountains.
It was only a little mountain stream, but in the eyes of a young boy it was my Mississippi, and has been for over 50 years.