Tuesday, June 10, 2008

341. On the road again.

The trip to Lexington over the weekend provided an excuse to do some driving, some driving which I had not done since the price of gas went up to $4.00 a gallon. It was my intent upon leaving Lexington to drive over to Georgetown to see a friend and I had already called him from the Heritage Hall Convention Center saying I would do so. I had even parked my car headed west on the north-side of Main Street (right in front of the historic First Baptist Church of Lexington) so I'd be aimed in the right direction upon departure. Actually, those direction-words in the previous sentence are misleading. Downtown Lexington's street grid is at a decided tilt toward the southeast. Streets running from northwest to southeast are labelled as East-West streets, with names such as Main, Vine, Short, Maxwell, and High, and all the numbered streets just north of town. Those running from northeast to southwest are labelled as North-South streets, with names such as Broadway, Upper, Limestone, Martin Luther King, and Rose. So, I was actually headed northwest, not just west. But, I digress.

I left Lexington with the intent of driving to Georgetown on the Georgetown Pike, which is US 25. But, for whatever reason, I didn't make the fork where US 25 breaks off of the Newtown Pike (KY 922) at a slight angle to the - let's get this right - to the north-northwest - where Newtown, Gerogetown, and West Fourth Street all intersect. I was probably too tired to make any good decisions at that point, so I continued north on Newtown making a stop at the McDonald's just north of I-64/75 for a cup of coffee, this despite the fact that the temperature was still in the 90s even well into the evening. For about two years, the quality of McDonald's coffee has been pretty good and something of a value, much as many years ago people would drive to a White Castle, which in those days were few and far-between, for their special blend of coffee.

When I went to pull out of the McDonald's, I noticed new construction on Newtown going on toward the north, so I followed the formerly lazy country lane out of town. And while there is a widening project going on, it doesn't go on very far, and the road returns to the bucolic drive I had been down several times before. It follows north past the Iron Works Pike to the African-American community of New Zion, just after crossing over North Elkhorn Creek at Lemons Mill Road. From there it continues north to US 460, called Paris Pike now that we are into Scott County. At this intersection, which is maybe two or three miles east of town, I turned west, toward town. For the record, the village of Newtown is for the most part gone. Had I turned east about 1/2 of a mile and crossed over the little Cherry Creek bridge, with the cemetery on the right, where Leesburg Pike runs off to the northeast, I would have made it to Newtown.

Eventually, I got into Georgetown, mostly now known as home to Toyota since the 1980s, but which has always been a beautiful small town set amongst the hills along several curves of North Elkhorn Creek, and also home to Georgetown College, a Baptist-church affiliated seat of higher learning which is Alma Mater for my cousin Steve Collins. My meeting with my friend was, as planned, not very long as I was tired and intent on getting to Louisville sometime before sunrise, knowing that upon leaving there, I'd be driving over to Frankfort, probably stopping somewhere just to unwind, which in fact I did.

The road from Georgetown to Frankfort, US 460, is a relatively due west affair passing through places that used to be called names like Great Crossing, White Sulphur, and Woodlake. On arriving in Franklin County, the one name that does remain is Forks of Elkhorn, which is sort of spread out for a half-mile or so where the highway crosses the creek, just upstream from the dam and the forks, with the old Buck Run Baptist Church along the banks. This stretch of US 460 is due to be widened and much of this area, including the church buildings, are slated to be removed. If I am not mistaken, my mother's first cousin Jean Moore, now of Choateville, was baptised at Buck Run.

Eventually I made my way down into the comfortable confines of my favorite capital city, and from there took I-64 back towards the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My grandparents, James and Geneva Barber, lived/owned/operated Cottage Grocery, and Barber & Son garage along the road (460); the dam is virtually in the back yard. Their house / store is still standing.
Sandy Schroeder

The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.