Krazy Kentucky Kaper
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 can stay with friends Thursday night. Friday morning Gladys, my GPS navigator, says we’re 58 minutes from Fairview on U. S. 68. I’ll have lots of time to look around. It takes longer than Gladys anticipated because—have you heard of the 500 mile yard sale? I read about it in Southern Living Magazine. It’s this weekend. And it’s on U. S. 68. Every house, church, business, farm is selling next to the highway. 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 sign? Next sign, Leaving Fairview. Gladys chirps that we have reached our destination. It must be farther up 68. We travel on and see a brown state park sign, but not the one I needed. But, surely someone knows how to find a 350 foot obelisk in their neighborhood.
I show my paperwork to the park ranger. He starts to read then shrieks to his staff, “Jefferson Davis was born here? How did I not know this?” I show him the picture. “No ma’am. We don’t have anything like that here.” I suggest there must be another Fairview. “No. No. That can’t be it. It’s ag’in the law to name two towns the same. No.” True, Rand McNally only shows one Fairview in Kentucky. “Is this your zip code?” I ask. “No.” “I’ll call the park ranger and see where he’s hanging out today.” Suddenly 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 Fairview. I feed her Elkton, a town close to Fairview #2, and we’re soon back on U. S. 68 with all the yard sale fun, traveling south for four and half hours.
After some miles we leave U. S. 68, and travel down the beautiful Bluegrass and Western Kentucky Parkways. After about four hours we are back on U. S. 68 where the fun continues. Miles of sun umbrellas and heaps of lamps and dishes. Buggies, Amish bicyclers in bonnets, and a farmer plowing a field with four horses. Have I just driven in a big circle? I’ve already been here. There’s the sign: Welcome to Fairview. Looks like the same Fairview.
Then rising out of the wheat field, there it is. So out of place, so surprising. An obelisk. There’s the brown sign I wanted to see. The park ranger is incredulous when he hears the story of my trip.
What did I learn on this book-selling trip? I will activate the zip code function on my GPS because it is possible to have two places with the same name in the same state. I hear the faint melody of the Twilight Zone hovering around me. Two Fairviews, both in Kentucky, 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 my zaniest road trip yet.