Rural Iowa Adventure

One can not always do woodworking.  When one is visiting one’s parents, in their house without tools, one looks for other hobbies to enjoy.  My mother and I decided to take our cameras to Madison county.  A few years back Robert Redford made a movie, ‘The Bridges of Madison County’, and we went to see the bridges.

Iowa has a lot of treasures and is a fun place to visit.  I looked at the guest book, in the Winterset tourism center, and saw that some people from Texas had been there earlier in the morning.  Bridges are not the only attraction in Winterset.  John Wayne was born there and his house is a popular attraction.

We were there to see bridges.  Now many of you, who follow my daily ramblings and occasional Tweets, will know, that I have had a bit of a cold.  On this day, mom and I got up and left the house at 6:30 AM.  I hadn’t gotten much sleep, but was excited to do some photography.  I mention this, because my limited energy meant we didn’t make it to all six bridges.  In fact, we only saw two of them.  But they have been there for 140 years, chances are good we can return and see the rest.

We went to the city park, where one of the bridges is located.  It was about 7:30 am and the light was really good for taking photos.  Generally the hour before sunrise through the first two hours of the day, and the last two hours, plus the 1 hour after sunset, are called the golden hours.

There aren’t many covered bridges around anymore, but the ones in Madison county are lovingly taken care of by the county.  Some people might wonder why one would build a roof on a bridge.  We found that answer while at the information center.  It turns out, that in the late 1800’s, it was less expensive to build walls and a roof, than it was to rebuild the floor.  The winters in Iowa can be brutal and these bridges lasted longer, because of their coverings.

Cutler-Donahoe Covered Bridge - 1870 -by Sandy Meeks

I took many pictures, but my computer is still in the computer hospital, so I was not able to share any of them with you.  Mom is becoming quite a photographer, so I am using her as the official Extremely Average blog, guest photographer.   Her photo of the Bridge is just lovely, wouldn’t you agree?

We did not stop with bridges though.  We were driving the dusty gravel roads, having taken the scenic route past another of the bridges, when we came across a farm.  There were all sorts of people there, with small people in tow.  Many of the small people were riding ponies.   Mom and I found lots of things to take photos of here too.  There were old tractors, which are on my camera, and I may share with you later.  There were also pumpkins and flowers and best of all….Goats!

The goats were very friendly.  They were an eating machine, and what did they eat?  I am not sure, but there were lots of other small people getting coins from the big people, and putting them into goat food machines.  Then the small people would laugh as they fed the goats.

There was one goat, who when he heard the velcro on mom’s camera case, mistook it for the sound of snacks.  He was a very nice goat.  We quite enjoyed taking photos of him.

If I ever write a story about a goat, and we all know that is likely, he will be my inspiration.  So that was our day out in rural Iowa.  I guess one can have fun, even without doing woodworking.

Friendly Goat - by Sandy Meeks













4 comments
Sheila Landry
Sheila Landry

Thank you for the lovely story, Brian. I think every place has treasures if we take our time to look for them. Exploring is a favorite activity of mine also. I find inspiration in the wonder of the simple things around - many things that most take for granted. Like the joy of small people laughing while feeding goats, as well as the goats themselves. I always thought that goats were delightfully silly. The appear to be smiling much of the time.

It is nice to see you building up your inspiration library while waiting for your computer to be fixed.

Sheila

Sheila Landry
Sheila Landry

Thank you for the lovely story, Brian. I think every place has treasures if we take our time to look for them. Exploring is a favorite activity of mine also. I find inspiration in the wonder of the simple things around - many things that most take for granted. Like the joy of small people laughing while feeding goats, as well as the goats themselves. I always thought that goats were delightfully silly. The appear to be smiling much of the time.

It is nice to see you building up your inspiration library while waiting for your computer to be fixed.

Sheila

Dawn
Dawn

I have wanted to go to Madison County, I may have to make the trip. I agree, there are many hidden treasures in IA!!

Dawn
Dawn

I have wanted to go to Madison County, I may have to make the trip. I agree, there are many hidden treasures in IA!!

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