The roads less taken

I don’t spend a lot of time traveling, nothing like I will in 2021. But when I do dart around the Midwest, my methods don’t deviate much from the average American. I travel mostly interstates, where available, preferring to get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible. 

I’ve decided I’m going to change that up, at least when I’m on a solo run. Interstates are, by design, supremely boring, with little in the way of interesting view

On a recent trip home from the Cincinnati area, I opted instead to back-road it through Dearborn County (in this case, taking the path off-the-beaten path really didn’t add much time to my trip, given the unique nature of the I-275 loop around Cincy.

And a special opportunity awaited me on my journey. I stopped in the small town of New Alsace, a tiny community in northern Dearborn County I had never previously frequented, despite living not much more than a half-hour away for 13 years. And New Alsace was home to St. Paul, a pretty little church with a nifty place in history. Here are a few shots from the church…

As for the history, back in 1863, Civil War General John Hunt Morgan darted through this area on his famed raid of union territory, designed to divert troops and attention away from the fronts at Vicksburg and Gettysburg. Here, at St. Paul, Father Roman Weinzapfel was celebrating 8:30 a.m. Mass when Morgan’s men spirited away with his horses as the raiders pushed toward Ohio.

It was a nice opportunity to stop and learn something about this church I wouldn’t have known about had I not diverted myself from the main thoroughfare. More important, it was merely nice to stop, walk around the church and simply sit/kneel and pray. Like most, I tend to convince myself I’m in a hurry to get where I’m going, though most often I am not. Taking this break reminded me of the calm that comes from simply sitting in a church in prayerful thought and reflection. I intend to make this a regular part of my solo trips in the future, and I’ll share the photographic evidence of these churches of all types as I do.

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