Highway to Holler

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The New York Times says the personal essay is dead. Lucky I only make photo essays I guess. This set documents the three-mile stretch from Route 50, where you turn off to get to where I grew up, all the way back to the holler itself.

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When I lived in Oregon, I thought even the plants that grew in the ditches were beautiful. It's taken me a while to adopt that same viewpoint about home, since it's all so familiar, but seeing it through the camera lens definitely helped. And now I wonder if the west coasters feel the same about WV ditches?

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Once you arrive at the farm, you may start to understand why Dad exchanged small-town life for the hemmed-in serenity of these hills. This has long been a question of mine.

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Montreal Part 2

Parts of Montreal felt very much like Toronto to me, with tall shiny skyscrapers and signs of new construction everywhere. But sprinkled throughout are buildings of weathered stone with carved or cast embellishments. 

We walked through downtown on our way to Mont Royal, which is known for its sweeping views of the city. The hill was visible as we approached, and turns out to be a sizable park with wide switch-backing trails that meander to the top, as well as a set of intense stairs for those who want to go straight up. On our way down we heard the huffing and puffing of the surprising number of people who chose this option, and I'd say the paths were the way to go unless you're in it for a workout.

The streets downtown are wide, like in cities out west, and largely the landscape seems very flat. It wasn't until we crested the hill that I noticed the mountains in the distance.

Multiple carved squirrels perched high in the ceiling of the chateau that sits behind the lookout.

A man stopped to tell us that this church was recently restored, reinforcing the friendly Canadian stereotype yet again.

Montreal's Chinatown is sizable and colorful, and just a few blocks away from Old Montreal.

We managed to see a fantastic Chagall exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts on Easter Sunday before the plague that afflicted me on the second day of our trip really set in. But by then I could no longer spare the energy needed to lift my camera.