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!
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.