Friday, October 4, 2013
Fourth Entry on a Long Journey
I entered the Midwest by crossing a bridge over the Ohio River. Kentucky and the South were now behind me. As I headed Northeast driving along State Route 7, I snapped pictures of the big river which composed the border between Ohio and West Virginia. My destination was a stop in Pomeroy, Ohio, and to spend the night in Marietta, the first Ohio city of the Northwest Territories.
The egg carton topography of Appalachia was gone and had yielded to rolling deciduous tree-covered hills and flat expanses of river bottom land rich with recently harvested cornfields and soy beans plots. Small farms and quaint, clean homesteads decorated with Halloween ornaments dotted the tranquil landscape.
I stopped at an oldtime tavern and grill across from the courthouse in Pomeroy, a historic steamboat landing, and which had been by-passed by the main highway, ate a burger filled with hot homemade cole slaw and listened to the "aaaaksent" of the local people. On other occasions on my trip, like a sophomoric sociologist, I had initiated conversations to glean political opinions on current topics from folks sitting by me, but not this time. I wanted to be simply a fellow passing through town and enjoy the role. My attention turned to the wall adjacent the mirror, elaborate woodwork, and shelves of bottles. There, amid the posters and pennants heralding local athletic teams was, curiously enough, an old placard announcing an evening with jazz-blues great Joe Bonamassa.
In the late afternoon as I moved onward, the wind picked up and blew thousands of brown wilted leaves from the trees. They flitted and dove above the roadway like flocks of small frightened birds. Those that fell on the pavement thickened into a mat and gave the appearance of oddly shaped stones composing a mud wagon trail. There was little traffic and I, cruising along in reverse the direction of countless pioneers that had come this way, slowed my pace even more until I stopped at a wayside to get out to stretch and, in the quiet, appreciate my fortune.