I may or may not be directionally-challenged. That’s for me and my family to know. Join my guest, Deanna Klingel, as she discovers how a carefully planned (but still wrong) route lead to a pretty fun discovery.
Zaniest Road Trip Selling Books
by Deanna Klingel
I’m invited to Jefferson Davis’ birthday party at his birth place, with my new book, The Mysterious Life of Jim Limber, a book about the Davis family. The Jefferson Davis State Park in Fairview, Kentucky, has a 350 foot obelisk memorial, and there will be cake. Of course, I accept!
I print out their website and Mapquest, study my Atlas and check with my GPS. All agree Fairview is an hour north of Lexington where I stay with friends Thursday night.
Friday morning Gladys, my GPS navigator, says we’re 58 minutes from Fairview on U. S. 68. It takes longer than Gladys anticipated because—have you heard of the 500 mile yard sale? It’s today. And it’s on U. S. 68. Every house, church, business, and farm is selling their stuff next to the highway, for miles and miles. People cross the highway carrying chairs and ladders. Amish families pedal bicycles from sale to sale. A farmer plows his garden with his horse. He and I are the only ones not shopping.
Suddenly a sign: Welcome to Fairview. No brown State Park sign? Next sign, Leaving Fairview. Gladys chirps that we’ve reached our destination. We travel on and see a brown state park sign; not the park I needed. But, surely someone knows how to find a 350 foot obelisk in their neighborhood?
The park ranger looks at my brochure and hollers at his staff. “Jefferson Davis was born here? How did I not know this?”
I show him the picture of the obelisk.
“No ma’am. We don’t have anything like that here.” Another Fairview? “No. No. That can’t be it. It’s ag’in the law to name two towns the same.”
I show him my letter from the Ranger. “Is this your zip code?”
I decide to call that Ranger. The park ranger in front of me comes alive. “I can help!” He shovels through his state park brochures and finds one that says Jefferson Davis. The locator map on the back has a red dot in the far south western tip of Kentucky.
Gladys insists we are at our destination and refuses to navigate to another Fairview. I feed her a town close to Fairview #2, and we’re soon back on U. S. 68 with all the yard sale fun, traveling south five more hours. After several miles we leave U. S. 68, and travel down the beautiful Bluegrass and Western Kentucky Parkways. After four hours we’re back on U. S. 68 where the fun continues: miles of sun umbrellas, lamps and dishes. Buggies, Amish bicyclers in bonnets, and a farmer plowing a field with a horse. There’s the same sign: Welcome to Fairview.
Exactly the same things I saw 5 hours ago.
The same Amish boy in the same blue shirt cycles down the road, his Border Collie beside him. I saw it exactly like that 5 hours ago!
Then rising out of the wheat field, there it is. So out of place, so surprising. An obelisk. There’s the brown sign, Jefferson Davis State Park. The park ranger is incredulous when he hears this story. He doesn’t know there’s a Fairview with another State Park.
I hear the faint melody of the Twilight Zone. Two Fairview Kentuckys, both on U. S. 68, both Amish farm communities, 4 ½ hours between two state parks and the rangers aren’t aware of each other, and both Fairviews are 6 ½ hours from my home, in different directions. An oddity that lead to the zaniest road trip ever selling books.
Walker languishes in an animal shelter in the mountains, waiting for his family to come for him. When seven year-old twins from the city arrive on vacation, Walker’s life turns around. The story of this Walker Treeing Coon Hound is a true story and a testament to the hidden potential of rescued dogs. Get ready to fall in love!
Deanna K. Klingel writes for young readers Pre K through high school. She lives in the cool mountains of western North Carolina with husband Dave and golden retriever Buddy. Their family has grown and are scattered around the Southeast.
Do you have any fun navigating stories? Did a wrong turn take you somewhere totally unexpected?