Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Travel. — Reflections of Route 52

on July 22, 2013

There’s an old road that I have traveled many, many times.

It’s a road that curves through the mountains. A road that follows the river.

And it leads to one of my most favorite places. My grandma’s house. My Ma Betty’s house.

Route 52.

With its 11% downhill grades and truck escape ramps, “just in case”.

It is lined with “Watch for fallen rocks” and “S-curve” signs.

The route is marked with names of little unincorporated towns.

Houses that are built literally into the sides of mountains look across to houses that are seemingly below the horizon in the valley near the river.

It winds its way through Hatfield and McCoy territory.

It introduces you to places that were once…thriving. all-American towns, with 8 High School State Basketball Championships in the 70’s and 80’s … that now seems like a ghost town.

Abandoned houses. Out of business. Closed. No Trespassing.

The haves and the have nots live seemingly side by side.

They work at Rob’s Auto Repair or Dotty’s Hair Salon and they meet at Sam’s Diner for coffee or go for one of Nick’s Famous Liver Sandwiches at lunch.

          Churches of every denomination imaginable and some that seem absolutely made up.

         And as you drive out of these little towns, you might catch a sight of a little sign that says, “We love where we live.”


I used to drive this road all the time.  I hadn’t been this way in over 6 years. That is when the girl child revealed her extreme curvy road stomach sensitivities. And it was after the fourth or fifth time…when I was sitting in the driveway, crying just a little, cleaning up her carseat and other things close by…that I realized we would have to start taking the interstate from now on.

But this trip, armed with an adventurous spirit and a lot of dramamine and direct orders for her to ‘watch the road’, we tried it again. I kept having flashes of me, driving this road in my red celica, sunroof open, Tom Petty’s “American Girl” blaring.

At one point, I told Felix to speed up…and he promptly reminded me that he was driving a minivan, with our two kids in the backseat.

Oh. Yeah. You’re right. Be safe. Stay slow.

So, in celebration of good ol’ Route 52, here’s a little taste of Horsepen Mountain for you to enjoy… the only thing missing is a coal truck to follow:

As a bonus, you can also listen to an example of awesome parenting skills as the boy-child starts sniffling loud and uncontrollably just as soon as I start to videotape. We decide that his air conditioning vent is blowing on him, but the girl-child says his vent is broken. So, I tell everyone, at least 12 times, that “I will take care of it in a second” (since I am trying to create a video for this blog). You can hear my voice just oozing with parental patience.  Be impressed.

Just kidding. If I knew how to take the audio out and play Tom Petty’s “American Girl” in the background of that video, I totally would. Alas…I’m keeping this one real, as this is how a road trip really is in our world! 🙂



2 responses to “Travel. — Reflections of Route 52

  1. Jan says:

    The road is even worse than it looks in the video! I love going that way. Nice tribute to Route 52. 🙂

  2. sarah says:

    Thanks for reminding me that our area was thriving once. It’s that image that I want to remember.

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