Friday, April 23, 2010

Winterset. Iowa

Sun - April 18th

If you have ever read the book "Bridges of Madison County" or seen the movie with Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep, you know where we are now.

This is about 20 miles east of John's hometown and the last turn before you get to Roseman Bridge of book and movie fame.

Roseman Bridge was built in 1883 and is one of five of the original 19 bridges remaining. The sixth one, Cedar Covered Bridge, was destroyed by fire in 2002, but it has been rebuilt. They were built to preserve the large flooring timbers which were more expensive to replace than the lumber covering the sides and roof. They were usually named for the nearest resident. There has been a Covered Bridge Festival every year since 1970 with guided tours, arts & crafts in the park, food, etc.

One of the covered bridges is in the city park of 76 acres. It is a beautiful park with two stone bridges on a winding road through the woods up to this tower. There are picnic shelters, playgrounds, a hedge maze and a very nice campground. The view below is taken from the tower.

They also have an Art Center in an 1854 brick home that was a stop on the Underground Railroad and a Museum and Historical Complex. It features an 1800s log school and post office, 1871 train depot, country church, stone barn and an 1856 mansion.

Marion Robert Morrison was born here 1907. He is better known as John Wayne and they feature the largest public collection of memorablia about him here in Winterset.

The Bob Feller Hall of Fame in Van Meter, Iowa. I guess he was some famous baseball player or something. More trivia from John's endless store.

Hot air balloon we spotted on the way home. I hope we're not late for happy hour again. I hate to see B.L. get a head start on us again.

We were listening to Garrison Keillor on Prairie Home Companion the other night. He was telling this long, drawn-out story about this pathetic, old couple whose children had all grown up and left home. The husband finally joined some civic groups just to have something to do, but the wife just stayed at home and drank Brandy Alexanders. We both busted out laughing. When we were in Mexico, I bought a bottle of Brandy Alexander. About two weeks before I had opened it and I had been fixing myself a drink with ice cream for dessert almost every night since. Not to worry though, it's almost gone now.


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