Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Bridges of Madison County...


No, not a book or movie title - we are headed towards Madison County today.

John came out to our RV site this morning to say good-bye.  We had a great time visiting with him - we all look forward to the next time we're together.

Before heading out of the park, we stopped at the sewer dump station, and emptied the gray and black tanks.  I put on fresh water this morning - we are good to go for a while.

Rolling east, we are treated to the lush green farm fields - Iowa is quite pretty this time of year...
 

One of the first towns we came to this morning is Carroll, Iowa...


Driving along the Lincoln Byway...


I have a fond memory of my rock 'n roll youth, playing at the Starline Ballroom in Carroll, when I was in the Fabulous Flippers.  Driving by the building today, it is a non-descript bowling alley.  (Sigh)

Since we are staying off the Interstates, Joan decided to go "old school" today - that paper thing in her lap is called: a map.  Back before the days of super accurate GPS, people found their way around by using those paper things, and comparing what they could see with information on the map...


The down-side of that is: no "you are here" icon, like on a GPS.  Also, you can ask the map where the nearest Italian restaurant is located and it is mute... seriously, it won't talk to you at all, not even to tell you it is "recalculating."

Good thing she was using that map thing - we came upon a detour on Hwy 30...


A bridge out - Joan quickly had it figured that we would be going an extra 10 miles or so thanks to that.  She said, "I hope this doesn't take us on gravel roads."


Nope.  It was narrow, but it wasn't gravel.  That would come later.

More lush fields, as you can see in that photo above.  Also, some wooded areas...


We stopped for a bit to give Izzy a lunch break.  Afterwards, while cruising down the road, she was really wanting her Daddy to sing and play for her...


"Sorry, Iz - I have to drive.  Maybe later."

Less than 200 miles today, to our destination...


Winterset is southeast of Des Moines, and a great location if you want to see some of the covered wooden bridges - yes, of Madison County.  We got into our RV site, then headed off for a late lunch, before going in search of the bridges.


Yeah, now we are on gravel roads.  And every vehicle coming at us was doing 50 mph or better, kicking up a gawd-awful cloud of powdery dust.  Our first bridge: Hogback...



There are some white boards at the end of the bridge interior - just made for grafitti...


Sadly.  More lack of respect (and more on that later).  Why not just take pictures and leave no trace?




The next bridge along our route is the Cedar Covered Bridge.  A truly sad story here: a couple months ago, two idiot young guys set this bridge on fire, completely destroying it...



The charred skeleton is what remains.  The two were caught and are facing up to 25 years in prison for arson.  They had both signed up to join the marines... they were booted out of that... pretty stupid way to screw up the rest of your life.

Next up: the Holliwell Bridge...




That waterway under the bridge is also a popular canoeing and kayaking venue.  Next up is a bridge that is in the Winterset City Park (after a bunch more gravel to get to it)...


Also in the city park is the Clark Tower.  We had seen photos of this 25 foot tall tower, erected in 1926 as a memorial to the first pioneer family to settle in this county.  I had no idea how narrow and convoluted the road to get to the tower would be...



I would not want to be driving anything bigger than our CR-V on this rutted trail.  Finally, we made it to the tower...




No, we aren't trespassing - you are allowed to climb the steep stairs.  Back to the car, and more "off-roading"... then, time for us to head back to the coach...


It is a hot day in central Iowa - the thermometer in the car read 92º as we made our way back.  We'll cool our heels in the coach for the evening, and set out again tomorrow.  Plenty to do in Winterset and the surrounding area for the next couple days.


7 comments:

John and Kathy said...

Isn't Winterset John Wayne's hometown or birthplace.

Captain Jim and the Blonde said...

Yes, John & Kathy - there is a John Wayne museum here. Right on the main drag.

Michael Bayles said...

Captain, If you get to Quincy IL stop in as the BoodaLu C-Dory is now the BoodaLu Steakhouse.

Captain Jim and the Blonde said...

Michael, seats 4 - advance reservations recommended?? ;-)

Michael Bayles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Bayles said...

Reservations 217-222-3100. See boodalu.com
I have full RV site on my farm-ette

Captain Jim and the Blonde said...

Michael, I looked at the website - your restaurant looks great! Our routing will be taking us north of there this time, but our options are open for the way back. If it works, I will make a reservation; it would be a treat to meet you in person.