I have spent a large chunk of the week driving back roads in Kentucky. My uncle Gary passed away last weekend. I traveled to Paintsville KY to attend his funeral. I am intending to write an honorary post here with pictures and memories of him in a few days. I have a couple other specific pictures that I want to get before doing so. So I’m not quite ready for that entry yet. This post is going to be about my great adventures of the country roads of Kentucky.
First of all it is important for you to understand that I am a city girl! I grew up living in a small town on the outskirts of a couple large cities. Everything we did was in one of those cities. I was not born in the country. My feet feel most comfortable on concrete – not grass. I currently live in a fairly large city – Nashville. I’m used to interstate driving. Anywhere I want to go I just hop on an interstate and am there in no time. And for the most part all of the interstates around here are STRAIGHT and more than one lane! There are 4 interstate systems that run through Nashville and none of them are connected by a “Parkway” of any kind – no country music parkway – no music city parkway – no Andrew Jackson parkway – no parkways at all!
However, that is not the case in the adjoining state of Kentucky. If you looked at a map of Kentucky you would see an abundance of little roads and parkways but very few interstate systems. And that is where my problem came in this week. I am pretty sure I traveled on every parkway and back road in Eastern Kentucky. And let me just point out here that basically all those country roads look exactly the same. I can’t tell route 23 from route 460 from route 80….you get the idea. Craziness! And I’m not even talking about the “hollers” people live in. All the little towns look the same.
I’m pretty good at getting around. I have a good sense of direction. But generally it helps you to get from point A to point B if some things look a little different. I got lost twice. The first time was when my GPS didn’t match my surroundings. I was pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to turn right when my GPS said to turn right if there is no road there! I turned around and around and around until I finally gave up and put my flashers on and sat on the side of the road and cried. I tried to call Ron – who NEVER answers the phone when I call him. So I felt abandoned in the middle of God only knows where. I barely even had a signal on my cell phone to begin with. Finally I got where I was supposed to go Then I spent the next 2 1/2 hours on some very curvy country road behind every coal truck in the state.
I decided I was going back home (today) via a different route. I mapped this one out myself. I visualized throwing my GPS out into the road and running over it myself personally! And once again today I get lost. I took a left when I should have taken a right. I didn’t figure that out for 45 minutes. I stopped for directions for that one. I wasn’t sure I would ever get home. Eventually I got turned around and headed the right direction.
So this week I have been on the Cumberland Pkwy, Route 80, Route 23, Mountain Parkway, Route 60 through Lexington, Bluegrass Parkway and I-65. I very nearly got out of the car on the shoulder of 65 and kissed the ground. I am definitely a city girl. That country driving is NOT for me. The less time I spend driving country roads and parkways the better off I’ll be. Give me the good old United States Interstate system any day of the week and I can get anywhere.