For Ohioans, there is Athens the county and then there is Athens, the bustling county seat and the home of Ohio University.
PHOTO: CHARLES ZIRKLE
Quiet moments come easy in Athens County.
Ohio University's educational and cultural facilities are available to the community at large.
Athens County's numerous parks and forests offer outdoors fans excellent hunting, fishing, boating and hiking.
"I always wanted to farm," says Rick Duff, who produces honey, maple syrup, beef, lamb and vegetables on 140 acres.
Roxanne Groff (top) with fellow county commissioner Dean Kahler and former commissioner Karen Harvey.
Albany's Clara and Albert Hutchison with an employee.
Becky McCutcheon, shown here with her father, at her hardware store.
"I love this place," says Tom O'Grady, county recycling program manager.
Chimes ring out regularly from Ohio University's venerable Cutler Hall, the oldest college building west of the Alleghenies.
Athens County occupies 508 square miles in southeastern Ohio.
At every turn, another slice of Americana: More than 800 miles of back roads lead you to the beauty and charm of Athens County.