Breland: Little winding roads can lead to great adventure

Published 10:52 am Friday, October 21, 2022

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Following a road to see where it leads can be a great curiosity. An interesting looking road draws me and I am tempted to turn and follow it just to see what views I am missing. Usually on my way to some destination, I make a mental note to come back and explore.

During the many years I worked, I drove to some mighty strange places to interview people for newspaper stories. Having an excuse to go down some of those little gravel roads was a real pleasure.

Nowadays, I feel I must have a reason to go exploring … or have somebody along with me! In these perilous times, I never know what danger I may stumble upon.

Over the years I have made many photographs of “little winding roads” that piqued my curiosity. Some I have used for my paintings. On various vacation trips we have found some of the most interesting places when simply taking the wrong road or trying to find a certain place … or actually getting lost.

One year we went to the Smoky Mountains and just prior to that trip we had read the book, “Christy,” which was the real life story of a young woman who went to the mountains as a young missionary.

Although the names of the actual places had been changed in the book, we figured out about where it was and went exploring. We drove and drove, going higher and higher down a little dirt road until the road came to a stop. We were pretty sure we were on the right track.

Close by was an old house and people sitting on the porch observing. Apparently they didn’t get much traffic up that way. When we asked about directions, we were told that we needed to turn around and go back the way we came. We could not go any farther. We had pretty well figured that out for ourselves and we did just that! That was one interesting road to remember.

There are some really neat places that can be found off the beaten path. The nearby areas of Mississippi have some wonderful hilly scenes and just riding around you can see some great sights. Some roads have beautiful houses and farms you will never see on the main roads. Trouble is, there are rarely maps for these secondary roads.

I especially enjoy “going through the woods” to see what is there, but unfortunately if you aren’t familiar with the territory, you can get lost very easily — especially if you don’t have a keen sense of direction. If you are in unfamiliar areas, road signs don’t mean much … if there are road signs!

It doesn’t seem all that hard to find our way around, but it is the way back that gets us most every time. There are so many little roads to take that will most all eventually lead back down into Louisiana, but it may take a bit of doing.

In finding our way, we can delightfully see some fine country and come out at some unexpected places. We always found our way home.

Being curious about where a road leads may be a form of wanderlust that has led explorers over the centuries on their quests to find and explore many parts of the world. Fortunately, those lovely little winding roads draw me to interesting worlds much closer to home.

Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at