Leisurely dri­ves around town and in the coun­ty have kept me sane dur­ing the pan­dem­ic. They’ve also enhanced my appre­ci­a­tion of the var­ied topog­ra­phy we enjoy here in the Bluegrass region.

Save for a 7‑year stint in rur­al Fleming County over a decade ago, I’ve always lived in sub­ur­bia. Relatively flat green lawns and shade trees com­prise my native habi­tat. While dai­ly neigh­bor­hood walks keep me ground­ed and close to home, some­times I need a change of scenery.

On a recent dri­ve out Ironworks Road (Kentucky Highway 15), I got just that. Within min­utes of leav­ing town, soar­ing hill­sides — ancient and rugged — lit­er­al­ly sur­round­ed me with beau­ty. We made a loop: Pilot View, Goff’s Corner, Kiddville Road, Schollsville Road, back to Pilot View. When we returned to town, I felt like a new woman.

The out­ing so refreshed and inspired me that I pulled out my sketch­book. The sun wasn’t set­ting dur­ing our dri­ve, but that didn’t mat­ter. Part of the fun of cre­at­ing art is hav­ing free­dom to make a big scene!

"Heading for the Hills" Watercolor-and-pen sketch by Adra Fisher.
“Heading for the Hills” Watercolor-and-pen sketch by Adra Fisher. (Click to enlarge.)

I also did a lit­tle research and learned that the high­est point in Clark County is a 1,120-foot ridge that runs “adja­cent to Kentucky Highway 15 about mid­way between Winchester and Pilot View.” This infor­ma­tion, as well as oth­er inter­est­ing facts about our local topog­ra­phy, can be found at https://www.uky.edu/KGS/water/library/gwatlas/Clark/Topography.htms

Having reli­able trans­porta­tion, time, and gas mon­ey to explore scenic byways is a lux­u­ry for which I am con­tin­u­al­ly grate­ful. I know many peo­ple are not so fortunate.

If ris­ing prices and stress are deplet­ing your pock­et­book and psy­che, I hope there is some­thing in your imme­di­ate envi­ron­ment that sus­tains and refresh­es you. Day-to-day liv­ing has a way of wear­ing us down and nar­row­ing our vision, but notic­ing and appre­ci­at­ing our sur­round­ings is a life-enhanc­ing prac­tice that can help us cope in dif­fi­cult circumstances.

Sometimes inspi­ra­tion and beau­ty reside where they are least expect­ed: hid­ing in plain sight just wait­ing to be noticed.

Other times, we have to get in the car and drive.

  • Avatar photo

    Adra Fisher grew up in Winchester, moved away in her ear­ly 20s and returned a quar­ter of a cen­tu­ry lat­er. She enjoys all types of art and encour­ag­ing oth­ers to live creatively.