Skip to main content

The road less traveled

Back from another brief business trip, again to the Nashville area.  And instead of my usual pattern, I overnighted in Bowling Green, a city a bit less than an hour north of the metro Nashville area, so that I could join a friend and take in a baseball game (nice ballpark in Bowling Green, by the way).

Then I did something very different from my usual travel patterns.  I had noticed on several recent trips to Nashville that the I-65 corridor between Elizabethtown (where I merge onto this highway) and the "cave area" of Kentucky (home of Mammoth Cave and other natural attractions) is rife with extensive construction due to lane additions to accommodate the massive amount of traffic on this road.  My friend from the Elizabethtown area explained that this has been in the "ten-year plan" for about twenty years, but, no matter, when it's completed, it will be much safer and better able to accommodate all of the cars and trucks zooming north and south.

Anyway, I saw yet another miles-long backup when I was heading south on Wednesday, so I began to think about alternate routes.  I don't often do that, as traveling is hard enough without having to think about where you're going.  So I asked my friend and he suggested that I merge onto U.S. 68, a traditional U.S. highway (not an interstate), just north of Bowling Green.  Scenic and much less hectic, and, given the delays I'd likely encounter, probably the same amount of time.  And best of all, the road leads directly to Lexington, so as long as I stayed on that route (paying attention to signage in the many little towns was key), I'd return home safe and sound.

So that's what I decided to do, and it was a marvelous experience.  Let me share some of the things I saw and experienced.

*  I hadn't been on this road for five minutes and I encountered an Amish horse-and-buggy, with a bearded man in "plain" clothes and a straw hat driving.  As I passed he briefly touched the brim of his hat, as I moved around him slowly, and I nodded in response.  I had heard there was/is an Amish community near Glasgow, so there's some evidence.

*  Lots of little businesses, all in the middle of nowhere, with signs advertising antiques, pressure-washing, honey, hairstyling, scrap metals, florist services, and, of course, fresh produce sold from roadside stands.  I didn't stop, but later in the season, where some of the items I like would be in season, I might.

*  Honest-to-God farms, small enough for one family or possibly one person to tend, where they grow, you know, FOOD.  Corn seemed to be a popular crop in the part of Kentucky through which I traveled.

*  Miles and minutes where I saw no cars at all.

*  Town squares.  A vestige of times passed, certainly.  Invariably, the courthouse was at the center.

*  Great names of little communities.  I think "Wisdom" was my favorite of this trip.

*  Small independent grocery stores.  I grew up working in one of those, and that certainly brought back some memories.

I could go on, but it was a nice change of pace.  Along with it, U.S. 68 between Oakland (the town nearest where I entered the highway) and Lexington is largely two-lane, with just a few sections looking remotely like a highway with broad shoulders and passing lanes.  And there were numerous signs pointing to the "county lake" of a certain area.

The most interesting aspect of this was that, despite taking about an hour longer than the trip would have on interstates and parkways during optimal (non-delay) conditions, it was a grand total of seven miles further.

Somehow, given what I saw, it seemed a lot further away.


Popular posts from this blog

Oscar Magico!

Good Monday morning to everyone!  If you're like me, and stayed up to watch the Oscars last night, you're a little sleep deprived.  I mean, after all, how often does an awards show end with a major twist in the ending?

If you didn't watch and have not watched or read the news, then you don't know about the colossal screw-up that ended what was a pretty entertaining Academy Awards show last night.  The final and biggest award, for the Best Picture, was being presented by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, selected apparently because 2017 represents the fiftieth anniversary year of their vehicle "Bonnie and Clyde."

In any case, after a brief political statement, the pair got down to business and introduced the nine nominees, then Beatty appeared a bit flummoxed by the contents of the envelope.  Dunaway laughed and said "you're impossible" and announced "La La Land," the odds-on favorite, as the winner.

In the midst of acceptance speeches b…

Learning opportunities

Good Monday morning to you.

Perhaps I should state up front that it's a bit of a blue Monday here in the Big Blue Nation, as our beloved Kentucky Wildcats went down in defeat to the arch-rival North Carolina Tar Heels last night in a wild and highly competitive game.  Kentucky's team never really got going in the first half, owing to foul trouble for three starters, and that foul trouble and lack of rhythm carried over for the rest of the game.  Somewhat miraculous that Kentucky had the lead at a couple of points late, but Carolina's depth and experience won out.

Though my wife doesn't agree, that's pretty much the end of basketball for me this year.  I don't watch much other college basketball except to see who Kentucky might end up playing, so if they're done, I probably am, too.

My company is getting into a new aspect of business that you've probably seen and heard about, but because I don't talk in detail about work in this space, I won't el…

Stunningly apathetic

Good afternoon to everyone.  Unusual day and time to post, but my schedule got a little fouled up this week.

Are you planning to watch the Super Bowl?  For a number of years, starting when our kids were, well, kids, we really made a big deal of the day of the big game, buying special snacks, planning a menu appropriate to the site of the game or the participating teams' cities, and so forth.

Last year was great, since the Denver Broncos won and our daughter and her family are season ticket holders!

But this year?  Hard to get excited about the New England Patriots (again) and the Atlanta Falcons.  Admittedly, the Falcons have a Kentucky native and UK grad on the roster, tight end Jacob Tamme, but he was injured mid-season and won't play.  But otherwise, the Falcons don't have any players who command a high level of attention from me.

And then there's the Patriots.  Sorry to my friends in the northeast, but I don't care for the team owner, the head coach, the offens…