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    August 2016
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10 Good Reasons to Take the Scenic Route

          …from Elizabethtown to Glasgow, Kentucky

                     …in the Summer

…by Yourself

(Specific enough for ya? Anyway…) Heading south the other day, I soon tired of testing my survival skills on Interstate 65. Since my schedule was loose, I diverted to South 31E and found there are many advantages to taking the scenic route.

  1. You can avoid the Interstate 65 dodge ‘em course and boredom. Actually, driving boredom isn’t possible since every few miles there is a small town where the speed limit drops to 45 miles per hour, or even 35. Keep alert for speed traps. No worries, though. Look around at the scenery. Indulge in a grin when you see the sign stating “Congested Area Ahead.” Give yourself extra points if you actually see a car while driving through the “congested” area.
  2. Stop for ice cream. Most small towns have a locally-owned shop. Try The Sweet Shoppe on the town square in Hodgenville. Good to know? They ship their homemade fudge.
  3. Enjoy the flora. The Highway 31E route glows green, but about 15 miles south of the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park, there is a two-mile stretch where the trees grow close to the road creating a lush, shady tunnel, embellished with Queen Anne’s lace.
  4. Enjoy the fauna. Cows—cows everywhere. Gathered in the shade of a small stand of trees or up to their hoo-ha in the pond, trying to beat the heat. Also, the birds entertained me on my trip. A gorgeous, snowy-white egret flew across my path, trailing its thin, coal-black legs behind it. The sight took my breath away. Then a couple miles down the road, I saw a bird fly smack into a church. HA!
  5. Churches. The poor bird could hardly be blamed for flying into a church. They’re difficult to miss. This area must be Good Folk Central, because you won’t travel very far without seeing a church or two, or four. (Maybe that solves the mystery of the “Congested Area Ahead” signs. Better drive carefully if you’re on the road around noon on Sunday.)
  6. Front yard produce stands. And since this is Good Folk Central, none of the stands I saw were manned. You’re on your honor.
  7. Tobacco barns painted black. More points if you spot the barn supporting the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Not many points though, because it’s hard to miss a five-foot tall, Kentucky blue, upper-case “K.”
  8. Small town names. I’ll only list two. The first one is Uno. It really is. Another town name that caught my eye is Magnolia.
  9. Sing. Belt it out! You’re alone. Your husband or daughter are not there in the car to spoil your fun by turning on the radio just because you happen to start humming a simple, little tune. Anyway, just sing.
  10. More scenery. About 10 miles north of Glasgow, the road opens up to a big sky. A ring of tree-covered hills lines the horizon in the west. Puffy, gray-tinged clouds break up the blue of the sky. You can see for miles at this spot. Get some perspective.

Most places have their scenic routes. Search them out. If you are fortunate, your trip will end as mine did—with an open door and a welcoming hug.

Bonus reason to take the scenic route: I also took the back way to visit my sister, traveling from north of Glasgow to west of Glasgow. In a field along the way, I saw long-horn steer (which is unusual in Kentucky) and two zebras. Yes. I did.