Over the weekend I drove up to Owenton to meet some friends. My usual route is from Lexington to Stamping Ground, having picked up one of my favorite scenic roads, Ky 227 at the historic Great Crossing. (Those 2 towns get their names from herds of buffalo which swarmed over Kentucky in the 18 and 19th centuries!)
I have been on that road a half down times in recent years and thought I had the route down pat. I always take along the latest KY highway map, but this time, to be safe, I added a KY Atlas and Gazetteer from the well known map maker, DeLorme, which has GPS points. (No GPS in my 20 year old wagon.)
I never got there.
Never found Great Crossing, and Stamping Ground must have disappeared.
I turned off the 460 by-pass onto 460 proper, and just a few miles down the road found new road construction right where the turn to Great Crossing should be (and I was certain it was.) But, there were NO signs..and I mean NO signs (except one saying..”Parents---school entrance”)
I drove on, happy for the new black top, but after a mile or so, realized something was wrong. I should have been at the Crossing soon, and even the Ground shortly..but no. Good blacktop; NO signs.
Miles later, when a pickup truck came out of a side road I signaled the driver to talk to me and asked the way to Stamping Ground. He told me I would see a “T” road a mile or so away, take a right and in time I would be in Stamping Ground. I thanked him and went on. (Once in Greater Downtown Metropolitan Stamping Ground I would have no trouble picking up 227 to Owenton.)
Maybe he meant left; whatever, miles later I was on Ky 32.
Once in a while..a great while..there would be a sign that assured me this was still 32..I route I had not travelled before (and not as scenic as 227.)
OK, enough of the jokes about men will never stop and ask directions. A young man stopped his mowing to my simple plea “(I’m lost, How do I get to Owenton?”) He had never heard of Owenton (Was I that far back in the boonies? But he whipped out a smart phone, pulled up a map ,found Owenton and said to continue on and I would eventually come to I-75 at Sadieville. (I was going East away from Owenton, but at least I knew that exit and how to go from there.)
More driving on 32..No vehicles passed, very few signs to even acknowledge 32 let alone any side roads, which would have helped me using my Atlas. I even stopped a kind lady, when I was about to make a mistake and turn off 32 onto a side road because it was marked..and 32 wasn’t.
Finally, high enough ground near 75..and the sight of a cell tower allowed me to call and tell my friends I would be late.
Up 75 to the 144 exit, then west on 330..also new blacktop. So new in fact the sides had caved away in only a dozen places on my 22 mile journey to Owenton, during which not a single car was going in my direction (which was good because the entire distance has two yellow stripes down the center making passing illegal.)
30 Minutes late I arrived for dinner and made my apologies.
Now I appreciate road repairs and new blacktop as much as anyone..but DOT folks..more signs please. Just one sign at 460 could have saved me. Signs along 32 would have helped very much—and there’s a road that truly needs new blacktop.
Just look up the word “meander” in any dictionary. It says..”See KY route 32”
I'm just sayin'...