Down the Backroads: Unfamiliar Places Provide Familiar Feelings

Posted on May 5, 2021

I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel quite a bit around our beautiful state and often I have visited places that seemed more special than others, even though I had never been there before.

I had no personal connection to these locations other than I just happen to be passing through, but a feeling of comfort would come over me just by being there.   

And more times than not, these weren’t big tourist attractions or spots along the beaten path. Many were out-of-the-way places along rural roads that caught my attention or little country stores that offered a place to rest and recharge with a candy bar and a cold soda.

I remember the first time I passed a small cemetery right off a road in Central Kentucky. I had seen many like it before but this one seemed special and peaceful so, I stopped.

As I walked through, I saw name after name on old tombstones wondering who they were and what stories belonged to each. From the looks of the place, it had not been visited in many years. So, I was glad to be there.

Why I felt comforted in this place I don’t know, but it was a true feeling of peace and I knew when I left, those who were laid to rest there were also at peace.

I would make that a regular stop through the years, each time I passed that way.

I also remember a small diner in West Kentucky that had the best homemade food. It was not a place you could visit quickly. And the first time I ate there, I immediately felt at home. I would stop by whenever I was in the neck of the woods and always left with a full belly and feeling of gratitude, not to mention a feeling of being home when I was far away.

Then there was this old motel that set up on a hill along a scenic highway headed to the southern part of the state. Every time I passed that way, I was completely overcome with a feeling of familiarity although, I never saw the place when it was open for business. I figured it has closed many years prior to me discovering it.

But I got this comforting feeling whenever I passed by and often I would take the time to stop and sit with the old building for a while just imagining what it was like during its time of prosperity.

No matter how long it would be before I would pass that way again, I always looked anxiously for it whenever going in that direction.

Unfortunately, on my last trip, I discovered the old landmark had disappeared; torn down or perhaps it had just fallen down due to old age. Whatever the reason, it was gone, and I felt very sad for some reason; like I had lost an old friend.

How could someplace I have no personal attachment to, be so dear to me? It was a familiar face along this lonely stretch of highway, I suppose.

Whatever the reasons I have found myself so drawn to these out-of-the-way places, I may never know, but I hope to find many more, as I continue to travel down the backroads.