10/21/18 Winterset IA,-Rogers AR.

DAY #3

Up early (hadn’t been sleeping very well) and after hooking up the trailer and squaring everything away, it’s off to another long day on the road.  I decided after conferring with my co-pilot (goggle maps) to do what I had just said I wanted to do little of, and that’s take the freeway.  I was looking at an eight-hour drive, and towing the trailer is still new to me (trailer anxiety) so I decided to take the safe, expedient, and yes, boring way to the next stop.

Leaving Iowa and travelling through Missouri was uneventful.  It’s a nice enough looking place but nothing to really WOW you, of course being on the interstate tends to dull ones senses to the surroundings.  A couple of things though did catch my attention. One was an old semi-trailer sitting in a field along the interstate.  On the side was spray painted, “Are you a producer or a parasite?  Then below that was added, “Republicans are producers, Democrats are parasites”.  One thing I’m sensing so far is that (for good or for bad), I think Donald Trump is more popular than most who oppose him may think. I did get a laugh out of the message. Another interesting tidbit (at least to me) is they grow pecans in the southern part of the state.  It wasn’t until getting into far southwest Missouri that the landscape began to change and get more interesting.  That change continued as I entered Arkansas where I was immediately welcomed by forests and hills.  Not long after entering Arkansas I came into Rogers and then onto the campsite that was another 10 miles of twisting, curvy, uphill road.  The truck got quite a workout with all the shifting and accelerating going up grade.  I got to the campsite and checked in, then drove to the site and thought, NO WAY!  To park the trailer you would have to back down a hill then make a 90 degree turn to back into the site.  as a novice (hell I’m a newbie), no way did I want to try this especially after what I had just done.  I took a wrong turn into the campgrounds after checking in and came to a closed road.  As I backed up and the trailer turned to about a 90 degree angle, it made some grinding metallic sounds (not good).  In my defense, there wasn’t very much space but gee, I really didn’t do a very good job.  Oh well, lesson learned.  I stop to look at the damage expecting the worst and thankfully, I didn’t see any (thank you, thank you, thank you). Fueled by that good fortune I go back to the office and explain my situation (limitations) and long story short, I get a new site.  It’s nice, it faces the water.  Hooked everything up and settled in at Rocky Branch Campground.DSC_0039 (1).JPGDSC_0064.JPG


10/20/18 Winterset, Iowa.

DAY #2

Coming into Pammel State Park was in many ways a sharp departure of the Iowa I had just driven across.  Gone were the miles of flat fertile farm land where stands of trees stood in fertile fields,  a remembrance to the homesteads of old, and replaced with hilly country roads and trees, lots of trees along with an out cropping of shale hills.DSC_0006 (2).JPGDSC_0025.JPG

The day started chilly (had the heater on in the trailer overnite) but with the clear sky’s and bright sun, it warmed up to be a nice (if somewhat cool-low 50’s) day.  Left the park and headed into the town of Winterset, It’s a small town with a lot of late 19th and early 20th century brick buildings standing and still in use.  To me it had the feel of a small college town but without the college. The town and Iowa for that matter felt alive and relatively prosperous.  The town is known as the birthplace of John Wayne and there’s a museum there.  I didn’t go in (didn’t even take a picture, what kind of American am I?), but if you’re a fan, this should be on your bucket list pilgrim.DSC_0021.JPG

Winterset is also noted as the locale for the Book ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ and the movie was in part filmed here.  I really liked the film, I found it to be a moving love story, underrated in my mind.  Central to the movie and the area are the covered bridges.  While not ‘blow your mind’ cool, they are interesting in that they do take us back to a different time.  A couple of the bridges are within towns (One in Winterset, and the other in St. Charles) and are more like displays to me.  Because of that, I didn’t take pictures of them.  I wanted the ones that were still true to their location. To find those bridges required going a down a number of dirt roads with my somewhat trusted google co-pilot guiding me along.  The Bridges are isolated in their location and really, that only makes it cooler when you come upon them.DSC_0009 (2).JPGDSC_0008 (2).JPGDSC_0032 (2).JPGDSC_0029.JPGDSC_0033 (2).JPG

The most famous of the bridges is the Cedar Bridge which was filmed for the movie.DSC_0037.JPGUnfortunately, it was burned (for the second time) in early 2017 by a jilted lover.  I believe it’s beginning to be rebuilt.  In checking it looks like I forgot one of the bridges.  Oops, I’ll have to get it next time.

All in all just a very scenic and tranquil day in this sliver of America.DSC_0013.JPGDSC_0018.JPGDSC_0024.JPGDSC_0016.JPG