Tag: Kentucky

The Cone Zone

The Cone Zone

Summer Sojourn 2016, Part Two

Of the six states and two continents I have called home, Kentucky is byky roads far the plushest and greenest of them all.  The rolling hills, narrow country roads covered by a canopy of trees and lined with fences speak of a gentle life style.

Both Lexington, Kentucky and Gainesville, Florida claim to be the “horse capital of the world.”  I’m not sure about the rest of the world, but between the two, Lexington wins, hands down.

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Heading north on I75, just before you cross the Ohio River, a spectacular view of Cincinnati appears on the horizon.  Take a good look.  It doesn’t last long and it beats the view from ground level as you drive through. Once out of the Greater Cincinnati Area, Ohio is basically flat.

Ohio – it should be named “The state of Perpetual Road Construction.”  Orange cones, barrels and signs of “road work ahead” abound.  I intentionally did the drive on a Sunday to avoid construction slowdowns.  For the most part, it was a good strategy.

I’ve been travelling this stretch of road for decades.  One of my favorite land marks used to be “Big Butter Jesus” until it was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.

If you have never seen this edifice, the best description can be found in the following song on YouTube:  Before the fire…  I apologize in advance if you find it sacrilegious.

After the fire, a new last verse was written to the song and can be viewed here:  After the fire…  Fast-forward to the end.  It is worth it!

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Michigan, My Michigan!  The very minute you cross the state line it’s hard not to notice how much more aggressively people drive here.  Keep your wits about you, an eye on your side mirrors and another on the rearview mirror.

I suspect there are more cars than people in Michigan.  One person may own an everyday car to get to work, a vanity car, and an SUV or truck to pull a boat or RV.  One word of advice:  plan your north- and southbound trips to avoid the masses migrating “up north” to their cottage/cabin on Friday and returning home/south on Sunday.

Michigan is also known for the prevalence of construction zones lined with orange cones and barrels.  The local news report includes a “Cone Zone” advisory.  With all of the construction going on you would think the roads would be in better condition.  The hard winters and number of cars on the road do take their toll.

And so as Part Two of the Summer Sojourn unfolds, I leave you with this from the Mitten State.

Welcome to Michigan Sign at State Border
AJ7400 Welcome to Michigan Sign at State Border
The Slow Lane

The Slow Lane

On the first leg of my summer sojourn I witnessed many types of fearlessness.  So this is less of a story and more of a travel log of the first four states on my journey.

us 19I left my home in Florida, north bound traveling the back roads.  Once off U.S. 19, a four-lane divided highway, it was two-lane country roads into Georgia.  A road sign indicating a town was often followed by a blinking light, no commerce, no residential district in sight.  No sign of civilization as far as the eye could see.

Fearless are those who have chosen to live on the road less traveled.  Where do they shop for groceries?  How often do they make the trek?  Do they have large gardens and farm animals for food?  Are they lonely?  Why have they chosen such an isolated existence?

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One consistent sight along north Florida and southern Georgia roads was the plethora of Baptist churches.  Most were small, white buildings with steeples, the kind ybaptist churchou see in movies, very picturesque.  No two of them were of the same denomination.

Fearless were the missionaries who blanketed the south propagating the faith.  What was their motivation?  What population were they targeting?  Could there have been enough money to keep so many congregations alive?  How do they all still survive?

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Once I joined fellow travelers on I 75 no words can describe the antics of fearless drivers on the road.  They seem to have no value for their own life or the lives of anyone around them.  What is waiting for them at the end of their trip?  It must be something special to risk everything to get there a few minutes sooner.

i 75
They send me to the slow lane, fearful I might be caught in bumper to bumper traffic crawling past them, their car crushed on the side of the road.  Hopefully no one will be injured.

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Tcowswo fearless cows, one brown and one white, pushed their noses out the trailer window.  Traveling 70 mph, face in the wind must have been exhilarating for them.  Or maybe they just wanted some fresh air.  It was a comical sight I wish I could have caught on camera.

 

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Are animals that try to cross a major interstate fearless or merely unaware of the danger they are in?  When they don’t make it, the fearless carrion birds show up, risking their lives for a fresh meal

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Fearless were the crews thatt road 2 blasted through mountains to build the roads in Tennessee.  Not to be outdone by man, Mother Nature shows her fearless side in the plants and trees growing out of the rocks bordering the interstate.

 

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On a respite in Kentucky, I am once again struck by the fearless beauty of the horse farms; miles and miles of fences.  Pastures glow sporting thirty shades of green.  Horses strut and gallop with fearless grace and glee.

horse farm

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If you are fearless enough to leave home and bask in the beauty of this great country we live in, your efforts will be rewarded may times over.  You don’t have to go far.  Just look around you.  See the beauty you have driven by so many times before.  Look for the unexpected in the ordinary.

Go fearlessly on your journey.  I recommend the slow lane.