Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Window of Opportunity


There was a weather window of opportunity and I took it and ran. In between major storms crossing the country were a couple of snow free days.

Interesting sky made me stop in mid-Indiana farm country.

It’s fourteen driving hours from my home in Michigan to our lake house in Alabama. And that’s if I only stop for gas and bathroom breaks.

Can’t resist a red barn glowing in what little light there was.

Seriously? What are the odds I only stop for gas and bathroom breaks?

The the sun began to fight it’s way through the clouds and this farm lit up.

Either way that’s two long days of driving, and this trip I had a meeting to attend virtually too. That’s an hour a half spent sitting in a parking lot while on the phone, making no Southerly progress.

They must have had an ice storm the day before, when the sun came out I could see the trees were covered in thick ice.

But on the whole I had a nice drive, the roads weren’t bad, traffic wasn’t horrible, and I got to see some pretty stuff along the way.

I stopped only five hours away from home but after more than seven hours of traveling, in Columbus Indiana. After checking into a room, I went out looking for something to eat. I ended up following the road right into the next town over, Seymour.

The bridge looking back toward the west.

Which happens to have a stinking cute bridge that perfectly frames their county courthouse as you travel west to east. I didn’t get a photo of that because I didn’t have my camera with me that evening, and because there was nowhere to park. So you’ll have to image driving up over a winding entrance to the bridge, and bursting out at the top to see the tower of the courthouse framed in the red tubes of the bridge.

An almost whimsical building, with fussy details and beautiful colors.

I went back to Seymour the next morning, found a place to park in town and explored the bridge, and the courthouse grounds.

This modern sculpture next to the more victorian architecture of the courthouse struck me.

I couldn’t resist checking out the tall sculpture, even though it meant more walking and it was a bitter 17F degrees.

Reaching toward the sky.

Turns out it is the county’s homage to their fallen war veterans. The interior walls are scribed with names and dates. And letters home.

There were long letters, and short, each with the name and date of death of the author. Some were killed only days after sending the letter home.

It was heartbreaking.

A grandson’s love.

After spending almost an hour wandering Seymour I figured I’d never make it to Alabama at the rate I was moving south, and I got back in the car, resolute not to stop again until I needed gas.

Five miles down the freeway I glanced to my left and saw white farms shrouded in a layer of fog rising from the snowy fields under a blue sky. And there was an exit right in front of

Couldn’t NOT stop.

The fog was freezing thick on everything.

Nature’s art.

I was on a narrow country road with not another person or car in sight. So I stopped for quite a long time.

Frosty fencing.

But I knew time was flying by and I’d only progressed a few miles down the road, so as the sun rose I tore myself away, and headed back toward the freeway.

One more image. Really, only one more this entire trip. 🙂

By focusing on the road and not the pretty sights I finally made it to Kentucky.

Kentucky had snow on the ground! I chose to think of it as cotton instead.

But do you know what they have a lot of in Kentucky? Yes, you are right.

Saw this guy from the freeway, and there was an exit right there!

I only drove a couple miles down one little road which was running right next to the freeway and I found three barns.

A little jewel.

I call that a worthwhile diversion.

I turned around here, I’m sure there would have been more just over this hill.

Someday I’m going to have to visit Kentucky instead of just travel through it.

And then there’s Tennessee…

I always enjoy this sculpture at the Tennessee welcome center just across the state line from Kentucky.

… which thankfully is a narrow state if you’re traveling north or south. So I could feel like I was finally there when I got to the Huntsville Alabama welcome center.

Celebrating Alabama’s contribution to space exploration.

Of course it was a false sense of being home. I still had four hours of driving to go.

Welcome home, ya’ll.

By the time I made it all the way to the house it was dark, so no views of my lake. But I knew it was out there, and that was all that mattered.

I had a great trip down, and for those of you wondering where Katie is on this grand adventure, well, she is having some dad time at home. I thought about bringing her, she hasn’t had an adventure in a long time, but mama needs to get some sleep and Katie is a persistent little girl who has decided she wants her breakfast somewhere between 2:30 and 4:00 a.m. Every single day.

All I have to say is good luck daddy!

Remember you can make any image bigger just by clicking on it. I’ll see what I can find pretty down here, it’s raining this morning, but it’s not snow, so that’s a win in my book.

Talk later, as my girl says, time for mama to take a nap.

Edit: I thought that grey barn felt familiar. Turns out 2 of the three I found on that road this trip were featured in a post I did in June of 2018 on my way down to Alabama!

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

46 thoughts on “Window of Opportunity

  1. Thanks for taking us along on your adventure south. I love the photos, so nice to see a change of scenery after all these months at home. I’ve never seen a monument with interior walls covered in names, date, and letters home. I like it, sad as it is. Most provocative.


    • Yes it was interesting. I’m sure there were more things to see there ,but it was cold and I needed to head out. The best part about traveling by yourself is you’re not making other people wait while you wander around looking for stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Too many photo temptations! 😉 The trip might have taken longer than you had hoped, but that was one fine pictorial travelogue. Have a wonderful time at your lakeside home.


  3. Good luck, daddy, indeed!
    I love the perspective shot down the RR. I’m not sure if those modern pillars needed to be so close to the courthouse, taste is individual, I guess.
    Glad you made it!


  4. Thank you for including us in your travels. Enjoy your Katie-free time. Sleep, read, explore and recharge.


  5. Well, now I’m just pea-green with envy!! Good for you, Dawn, taking a much-needed R&R trek south to heal mind, body, and spirit. The Princess and her dad will be just fine (probably, she’ll let him sleep til 6:30 or 7, ha!) Can’t wait to see some more gorgeous photos after the rain lets up!


  6. Impressive journey. Love the frost photos! That’s like the hoar frost we had in Wisconsin. Lucky you to get some sleep past 2:30 – 4:00, I chuckled that you wished daddy good luck with Katie! Sweet dreams and enjoy your ‘me’ time!


  7. When I drive, I tend to see little besides the road in front of me. Your trip was wonderful, and I almost felt like I was in the passenger seat. I’m happy for you that you’re getting some Alabama lake time, and some time completely alone, with no one to dictate times for anything except yourself. Furry kids are wonderful, but sometimes their schedules can be a pain in the neck. Enjoy!


    • I’m enjoying the extra sleep. Sort of miss having her here though, she loved being here two years ago. She’s not so much for adventures these days, though, so maybe it’s best she’s home where she’s happy.


  8. What beautiful sights you saw along the way. The frost captures are incredible.
    Glad you made it safe and now it’s time for YOU!
    Happy Sunday!


  9. We’re you singing “Suddenly Seymore” from “Little Shop of Horrors” as you explored that town? Sometimes coincidences are just coincidences, but do you think the planners took into account the view of the courthouse through that cable stayed bridge?


  10. As always, I LOVE your photographs, Dawn! What an eye you have! And it’s fine for Katie and Bruce to have some time together while you are free to stop with your camera wherever and whenever you want — traffic permitting, of course.


    • Yes, saw lots of stuff I didn’t stop for. If I took the back roads all the way down to Alabama (which would be fun) I’d need at least 5 or 6 days. Maybe more, there’d be so much to see.


  11. I love barns! I hopped over from Terrie’s sunday stills post. I started joining up with her in it this month and it’s been so fun.


  12. Love your photos … and the fascinating things you find along the way. Thanks for paying attention to the world, and for sharing it!


  13. Nope, can’t drive down without stops. I’m sure it was a long day of driving, but you got some great photos! Have a good time down there 🙂


  14. Hope you have a great get away!


  15. You are going to be in big trouble with Katie! Have fun! I enjoyed the trip photos!


    • Oh yea. I’m sure she’ll bark at me for at least 1/2 a day when I get home. But her dad says she’s given up waiting by the door for me to come home. In fact, she gave that up the first day, soon as he fed her. Her loyalty is bound up in whoever feeds her. 🙂


  16. Must be so nice to get away and pretend for a bit things are normal and we can travel again. I have one camping trip booked for June and we’re planning another for early July. I’m not leaving Ontario until I’m vaccinated which won’t be until July or later.


    • It is nice. I only talked to 2 people on the way down, the hotel check in lady for the one night along the way, and one gas station attendant when I had to go inside to get a receipt. Didn’t see anyone that didn’t have a mask on, at the rest stops or gas stations. Rest stops were pretty empty, though I was traveling on a Thursday and Friday so they might be busier on weekends. Down here I have talked to both neighbors from afar, and am pretty much living a solitary life. Haven’t visited my brother or my sister yet. When we do it will be outside, masked. Just in case. But still it feels good to look at a different back yard! I hope your trip can happen. I have one booked in June too.


  17. It is SO HARD not to stop when gorgeous things are everywhere! And you do us a favor by sharing them. I love the barbed wire and vines with ice crystals–wow.
    And here’s something I looked up 2 years ago when I encountered a very nifty looking bridge much like your bright orange one: “cable-stayed bridge”.

    This is the one that I discovered while whizzing up I-5. No good place to take a photo, but fortunately my kludged dash cam was available. This is not my photo, but it is “my” bridge now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see that someone else mentioned cable-stayed bridge, too. It was a new one on me. I mean, I’ve seen them (or driven across them) before–including Brooklyn Bridge on the east coast and now this nearish the west– but never thought about their species before. They built one in my home town (well, starting in 1968) but not until I wasn’t there much any more. Originally they lit it at night and it was stunning, but now apparently not, so I don’t have photos of that (just unlit). I mean, they really are gorgeous creatures.


      • They sure are beautiful. I’ve seen a couple of them, one in Jacksonville very near my friend (Reilly and Denny’s mom) and one somewhere near Fort Knox as I recall. Possibly others, I get them confused a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

    • This one is much much smaller than any of the others I’ve seen, or these examples you’ve provided. I wish there was a place to park on the other side so that you could wait for traffic and then get the killer shot. It’s not a freeway, so I don’t know why they didn’t do that. Probably because people like me would get run over trying to get the shot.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. What beautiful images! That bridge is quite something as is the beautiful building. I give you a lot of credit for making such a long drive, and solo! But so worth the scenes, and of course the arrival!


    • The best part about traveling alone is you stop when you feel like it. Which I do often when I’m alone, and not just for pictures. I do worry, of course, if something goes wrong it’s all on me, but that’s not really true. I have husband on the other end of the phone and Onstar on the car…so I’m not so alone after all.


  19. Your landscapes are breathtaking. Something about those horizontal lines and lonely structures pings my heartstrings.


  20. Dawn, that snow looked exactly like cotton clinging to that bush in front of the Kentucky building. Good eye! Barns, churches, bridges, foggy fields; it would have taken me days to make that drive. I remember once when we were in Texas, we couldn’t go more than three miles without me yelling stop! There is just so much beauty to enjoy in this world. Thanks for taking the time to capture it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d be in real trouble if I yelled “STOP!” every few miles when traveling with my husband (or anyone else I think)…I can yell “BARN!” once a day if I see something that is amazing and there is somewhere safe to park. Which is why these kinds of trips are best done on my own.

      Liked by 1 person

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