28 June 2009

To Show For It

Yesterday, Kathleen and I went on an adventure to find the abandoned Columbia-Portland Cement Plant, south of Zanesville. For those of you not familiar (and I pray to God no one has had to go to Zanesville), it's about 2 hours south of home.

Zanesville and the surrounding area are very unsettling. In the nearby towns, I was reminded of my time on the Obama campaign, trapped in Pennsylvania's labyrinthine mining patch towns. There's a pervasive squalor and indifference that I know all too well.

We arrived in the approximate area of the plant, not knowing its exact whereabouts, around 7:30. Sunlight was going to be an impossibility soon, but we couldn't find even a suggestion of the monolithic structure. This drove me insane. After an hour or so of frantic driving (TomTom was absolutely no help and I wanted to smash it with a hammer), asking locals for directions, and chain-smoking, we finally found something promising, but by no means likely. We followed the path for as long as it went, and I took a couple of pictures, but it was by no means a cement factory. The sun had all but set by the time we got back to the car.

We drove around looking for a while afterwards, and found out we'd been on the property of an active asphalt quarry (oops!), but couldn't find the cement plant. So we left.

And then, as we were leaving town (by the same road we used to enter), we saw it. Enormous, white silos and towers rising from the treeline. I'm not entirely sure how we missed it, but I was beside myself with disbelief. The day wasn't wasted, but I could have done without all the stress of searching on narrow, winding Appalachian roads.

I'd chalk it up as a good day, though. Kathleen and I had a great time, and I'm glad I finally got myself to go do something.

Hayley's at RFKC this week. I've been missing her since before she left, and I know it's only going to get worse as the week goes on. My thoughts are with her, and I hope it goes alright for her.


To Show For It


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