Excursion 2, Part 3 (The Mystery Vase)

In which our intrepid hero discovers an intriguing and mysterious urn…

When some people drive alone for a distance, they are able somehow to tune themselves out.  Perhaps they immerse themselves in music from the radio, or CDs or MP3s.  Maybe they just focus on the road.  Sometimes I am able to do that, especially if I am weary, or if the traffic or weather is such that I really need to concentrate.  But all too often I am very conscious that I am with myself.  My thoughts roam far and wide.  This is a bad thing if you are depressed or if something unhappy just happened; your mind gets stuck in a loop and you endlessly replay conversations or are simply unable to get away from fears and anxieties.  But if you don’t have those monsters lurking inside you that day, your mind can instead be a “happy place,” where you can absorb and process what you see in a mindset of peace and serenity.  You can almost feel the dopamine kicking in when you get into such a contemplative, almost meditative mood.  When this happens, I find it more than relaxing; it is almost as if my cares are falling away from me as I speed down the road…

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Excursion 2, Part 2 (“Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?”)

In which our intrepid hero visits a graveyard of an unusual sort…

One of the most interesting things about driving in a rural area is that many people treat their property—their land, their front yard, or even their porch—as their own personal junkyard.  Junked cars, old refrigerators, broken furniture—you name it, you can probably find it alongside the road somewhere.   Most of this junk is fairly predictable, but every now and then something will surprise you…

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Excursion 2, Part 1 (Spring Yet Unsprung)

In which our intrepid hero leaves the safe confines of his home and encounters an unexpected bit of Africa…

On my first excursion out of the city, on April 6, I decided to drive around southeast-central Ohio.  Although technically spring, it still seemed like winter.  The weather was brisk, the sky soon became somewhat overcast, and leaves were nowhere to be found.  Gray seemed to be the color of the day.

However, as I began to leave town driving east on East 5th Avenue, I soon encountered an unexpected splash of color.

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Excursion 1, Part 2 (Ye Olde National Road)

In which our intrepid hero drives up and down two streets…

Although the original goal of my first excursion was to photograph the Silent Woman Bar, a goal that was thwarted, I knew there were other things I would want to photograph along the way.  The reason is that the bar had been located on East Main Street.  Another name for East Main Street is US 40.  US 40 becomes East Main Street as it approaches the Columbus area from the east.  Somewhere around downtown it shifts a bit and continues west on West Broad Street until it is out of the city.

US 40 is also known as the National Road and it is one of the most famous roads in the history of the United States.  It was the first road ever built by the federal government, starting in 1811, and linked the Eastern seaboard to the Midwest, almost to the Mississippi River.  However, for me, US 40 holds a particular fascination.

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Excursion 1, Part 1 (Silent Women and Space Cars)

In which our intrepid hero’s desire for instant gratification is immediately thwarted…

From the moment I decided that I would start this blog–which, lazy as I am, was some time before I even started taking pictures, much less started the blog itself–I knew what image I wanted to feature as the very first image of Ohio Unearthed.  It was something I had for years been hankering to photograph and document for posterity somehow, someway.

What I wanted to photograph was The Silent Woman Bar. Continue reading


I discovered many years ago that driving on Interstates and other freeways and major roads is not very fun.  It will get you there the fastest, sure, but you spend your time watching other cars because you want to pass them or because you are being passed.  All too often, at least in the eastern United States, the “scenery” is nothing but rows of trees at the edge of the highway (often deliberately planted to obscure the view).

As a result, I learned to take the less traveled roads, when time allowed, and this introduced me to a lot of America I had never seen before.  I liked it.  I liked turning the corner and finding some tiny town that most people had never even heard of.  I liked cresting a hill and looking down at a great view.  I liked passing old, decrepit farmhouses and wondering what they were like when they were young.  Eventually, I sometimes found myself driving around in the countryside not in order to get somewhere but simply to see what there was to see. Continue reading