Blue Rock Station

Muskingum County Road Trip

Property in southeastern Muskingum County pays tribute to owner’s eco-friendly lifestyle

The first thing visitors see when they arrive at Blue Rock Station in southeastern Muskingum County is a 1955 Volkswagen bus flanked by a flag bearing a peace sign.

Beyond the working barn stands a greenhouse made almost entirely of 2-liter soft-drink bottles. A grass maze invites participants to ponder what kind of footprint they will leave on Earth. Farther along the dirt path are chicken coops, a llama bar and the Earthship, a house built out of old tires, bottles, cans and mud.

No, this isn’t something from an episode of Lost. You’ve just arrived at Annie and Jay Warmke’s 38-acre playground, a tribute to the concept of environmentally friendly living.

Blue Rock Station draws 3,000 visitors annually from all around the world – sustainability believers and converts as well as curiosity-seekers.

“We want to inspire people to recycle and to just start thinking that a simpler life is a happier life,” Annie says.

Summer is a particularly good time to visit the station, which is located 10 miles south of Zanesville. The Warmkes conduct “llama treks,” leading visitors on a walk through the scenic hills of Appalachia. The Warmkes’ five llamas carry packs with snacks that can be eaten during a break under a canopy of maple and birch trees.

“These gentle and noble animals make excellent companions on a leisurely stroll through nature,” Annie says.

The llama trek begins with an introduction to the Warmkes’ many animals, including Alpine goats, rare-breed chickens and, of course, llamas. Annie gives a quick lesson on how to care for llamas and then prepares the animals for the hike.

After the hike, visitors return to the Earthship for a cup of steaming British tea, cheeses and dessert.

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Wendy and Mike Pramik

Wendy and Mike Pramik are writers from Columbus, Ohio. Their favorite topic is travel, and they enjoy sharing stories about the many weekend adventures they take with their two children, Rosie and Max.