Living as one does in the flatlands of limestone knobs sticking a few feet above the ocean there is a desire to see mountains and farms and rivers and forests and things not generally available in the Keys.
So on the drive from Hendersonville to Cincinnati through Kentucky we took main roads away from the freeway. It was beautiful. The roads wound up and down and around passing through villages often with distressed storefronts. Beyond the human sadness there were horizons filled with trees and valleys dipping out of sight, grass everywhere and richly leaves trees. It was hot all right but everything looked fresh and new. It was a perfect afternoon drive for one used to Highway One every day.
Rusty was fascinated and far from running wildly around he sniffed slowly and thoughtfully chewing grass and checking every inch of Kentucky sod.
Eventually the sun started to make it clear it was descending for a landing and that combined with the fact that upon crossing the Ohio River we were going to add an hour with our return to Eastern Time got us in gear to seek out a freeway. “Turn right” my wife the navigator ordered. This I asked is the fast way to Cincinnati?
It’s a short cut she said with no conviction at all. We started laughing as we descended below sea level on Tom’s Cut Road. Around a corner we met a pick up coming head-on. As it was only one horsepower I had plenty of time to dowse my headlights and stop the car. The driver in full Amish costume pulled aside and waved gravely as I inched forward trying not to leer at the babe in the bonnet sitting next to him. You know I was itching to take a picture but I’m not that crass. We pulled over to let the dog out.
Rusty was ready to enjoy some grass and to commune with a local dog who was not ready to reciprocate and ran off.
A van approached out of the hollow and wasn’t I surprised when it blew by filled to the brim with women and children... but what was surprising was the women’s clothing: Amish gowns and bonnets. Driving no less and smiling broadly at my little brown bundle of joy standing at the roadside. They must be Mennonites, or else they were Amish making a break for it.
A dry riverbed:
Google got us out of what it had got us into and soon enough we were dodging traffic on the interstate for the last hour before we arrived at our downtown hotel. Another world just an hour away.