Wanderlust Draws Our Minds Down Untraveled Little Roads

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, February 7, 2024

By Bob Ann Breland
Columnist

Following a road to see where it leads is 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 maybe come back and explore.

During the many years I worked, I have driven down some strange little roads to interview people for newspaper stories – with maybe a few of the people being a little strange, but they made the stories interesting.

Having an excuse to go down some little roads was a real pleasure. We were searching for an old cemetery we knew was in close proximity and got so far down a little road there was almost no place to turn around…and no cemetery! We never found it! We may have to try another little road sometime!

Over the years I have made many photographs of “little winding roads” that piqued my curiosity. I have even painted pictures of some of them. 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.

Interesting adventures can happen along the way. One year we went to the Smokies and just prior to that trip we had both read the book, “Christy,” which is the real-life story of a 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 on a day of adventure, we went exploring. We drove higher and higher down a little dirt road until it came to a stop. It was obvious that the road had once gone farther, but was closed.

Close by was an old house and people sitting on the porch. The scene was just like you would imagine that far back in the woods in the mountains. When we asked them about directions, they said we needed to turn around and go back the way we came. We did!

Another time we were coming home from Chattanooga and decided we would take the old highways instead of the Interstate. Somehow we missed our turn and after driving for a while we came to this really beautiful lake.

We stopped at the small post office and asked how we could get to a certain place. We were actually told “you can’t get there from here” and we had to turn around and backtrack to the road we had missed.

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 that you will never see on the main roads. Trouble is, there are rarely maps for these secondary roads and practically no signs. One can easily get turned around and lost.

It isn’t so easy for us to get lost anymore. Modern technology can guide our vehicle in the right direction and keep us on track.

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. I feel we must now have a reason to go exploring. In these perilous times, we never know what danger we may stumble upon down an unbeaten path.

My mind still wanders down these lovely little winding roads, but in my present time of life they draw me to roads much closer to home.