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.
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.
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.
The most famous of the bridges is the Cedar Bridge which was filmed for the movie.Unfortunately, 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.