A Journey West

Almost eight years ago, I packed my car up and drove west, from Washington, DC, to Washington state. I had decided to move to Seattle. I took a week and a half to drive out, stopping to visit friends and relatives, and enjoy some adventures along the way. The only schedule I had to meet was arriving at my new apartment in time for the moving van.

Starting out in the spring from Virginia, I drove through Maryland, stopping for lunch at a friend’s house in the rural town of Cumberland. Then it was on to Ohio. I wasn’t sure where I would spend the night; I would stop wherever it looked interesting.

USA map for blogMy route


The name Zanesville stuck in my head and I decided to stop there. I knew the region was famous for pottery – Weller and Roseville were made there. It was known as the Pottery Capital of the World. It also made me think of the author Zane Grey and I wondered whether there was a connection. Turns out, there was. Grey was a descendent of the city’s founder, Ebenezer Zane, and he grew up in the city. The first thing I noticed was a startling number of really big churches. I had to learn more about Zanesville. The next morning I spent a few hours driving around. It was clearly an old blue collar town, established around a river, like so many, in this case at the confluence of the Muskingum and Licking rivers. It has a history of producing a variety of goods, including mosaics, tile, stoneware and brick. It was a stop on the Underground Railroad. I only spent a few hours there and wished I could stay and explore more.




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Fog can form when cold air moves over warmer ground. Gray foggy mornings have been with us now and then in Seattle.  Despite popular belief, it’s not foggy or rainy all the time here, especially in winter. But this is our wet season. No snow so far, only intermittent light rain. We go back and forth between rain and sun breaks, foggy mornings and sunny afternoons. Days average in the 50s, with some near 60.  There’s been a real dearth of snow in the mountains this year and skiing is not good or nonexistent. I frequently go out  in a sweatshirt. This  is winter?

The plants have taken notice of the warm winter too.  I see leaf buds greening on the Spirea, which seems early to me. The winter bloomers — Hellebores, Daphne and Sarcococca have been out on cue, but the Brunnera seems outright crazy to be putting out tiny flowers already. That’s about two months early.  Maybe it’s a sign that I can start my vegetable garden earlier this year!

DSC_0458 Winter afternoon


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