Monday, December 25, 2006

the seed of American spirits

The Youghiogheny River fell out of Maryland when we weren’t looking. It fell down a mountain through game lands and small towns, gathering streams and joining the Monongahela before Pittsburgh. There’s only one flat farm field before this confluence and Jim drove past it that day. “I used to plow this field when I was a kid. It was nice to plow a flat field. They grew rye on that field. This is whiskey country here boy.”

This is the original whiskey country, the seed of American spirits. The river took it south into the wilderness, beyond the reaches of taxation and regulation.

We followed the bottomlands along the creek for miles. Climbing steeply up the other side looking down below, a long large broken brick building stretched out rigidly along the banks. Broken down, black and burnt, rusted machinery and cars in the yard. “That’s the Old Overholt distillery, or it’s the old Old Overholt distillery at any rate.”

Here we are standing below the log cabin and firing shotguns toward the creek. Here we are two hours later doing the same. Starting off one at a time, then two targets at once, then two shooters at once, then three clays and four. The sun set and it was cold. We could see our breath. We were tired and content.

Enlarge the pictures by clicking upon them.

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