Andrew Whalen Photograph


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Early Country

February 23, 2008   I am a very on-campus sort of guy.  I quite enjoy Howard Diner chicken strips and have little issue with making them 90% of my dietary intake.  The library has the books, the mail center has my Netflix movies, the dining halls have my vittles, I have no reason to ever leave. 

That being said, it's nice to get up and go once in a while.  On the road that cuts Hamilton down the middle, the options are either up or down.  Down the hill leads to Minar, Tex-Mex, pizza, burgers, coffee, frozen pot pies, books, Utica, gas, limited edition Mountain Dew bottles, and the engravers.  Up the hill has no destination.  It rambles off into the country for miles and miles.

Knowing that fact, rarely do I turn left and head up country. However, this morning, at 6:30, I was scouting for an afternoon filming location.  So often my trips off-campus are straight-line affairs intended to get me to the movie theater or The Spaghetti Kettle.  It becomes very easy to forget that Hamilton is in the middle of a lushly hilled rural ideal.  Within moments of driving away from campus there were wind-mills, rows of stark, black sunflowers, and the classic big-tent red architecture of old barns.

After a couple of turns I was suitably lost.  The snow made the landscape appear abandoned and quite eerie.  There was enough fog that the hills in the distance simply rose into nothing.  One yard had two airplanes in it.  The only place it seemed possible to take off would be the street lining out into the mist.  I passed a lumber yard, with giant bolts of oak stacked right by the road.  The whole world was very quiet and seemed quite large.