Drive-By Shooting: Western Maryland

More often than not, I'm the one driving the car, but on the rare occasion that I get to sit in the passenger seat, I like nothing more than to shoot through the window at whatever of interest happens to glide by outside. Back in western Maryland for the holidays, we passed through my father's—and grandfather's—old stomping grounds, Lonaconing (a.k.a. "Coney"), a town stuck in time on the edge of Appalachia and the buckle of the rust belt. Here you'll find a few derelict factories, some scraped-clean coal mines—along with the now-sagging board-and-batten style houses the coal companies built for their employees—and not much else. It's authentic though, by which I mean that the mom-and-pops still outnumber the national franchises, and there's a kind of sad, wabi-sabi beauty to the way the place is gradually fading and falling apart. Most of the following 35mm shots were taken along Route 36 between Frostburg and Barton, and as much as the area lends itself to this kind of blink-and-you'll-miss-it photography, I'd like to go back later this year to see my grandparents and spend some real time exploring on foot.