Monday, May 11, 2009

The Bridges of Madison County

You will never believe what I did today, OK I guess the title gives it away. I just found out the other day that Madison county is in Iowa, right outside of Des Moines. I figured this would be a good day trip, to give me something to do. I love to read, as any of you who know me know, and though it has been many years "The Bridges of Madison County" was a book that I adored. Unfortunately I have quickly discovered that Iowa is not nearly as romantic as the book made it seem. When I got up this morning I saw that it was a beautiful sunny day and the temperature was supposed to be in the 70's so I figured it would be the perfect day to go. I did a small amount of research and took off. I drove about an hour to Winterset, IA. Which is the county seat. I went to the chamber of commerce and got a map and took off. There are 6 of the original 20 bridges that remain. They are located all over the county. Some of them are down long dirt roads and some of them are right outside little towns. They were all very pretty. Many of them had been moved multiple times, and all of them had been restored. I also learned a little bit (which I guess is always good) so I will pass on one tidbit I learned. The bridges were covered because the timber they used on the floor was very expensive, so they wanted to protect it from the elements. Apparently the cost of the roof was less expensive than having to replace to flooring. Interesting, huh? I was waiting to meet some cute photographer on my journey, but no luck.
The second thing I did on my journey will interest you guys more than the girls. The Bridges of Madison County is kind of a chick thing so I figured I would do something a little more masculine. In my research for my little day trip I came across the fact that John Wayne was born in Winterset, IA. So of course, because I couldn't pass up the chance, I went to visit John Wayne's birthplace. He was born in 1907. So of course you get there and go in this little gift shop. And there are about 10 little old ladies there, giving tours to about 10 little old men. So cute, so I thought I would go along for the tour. They take you into the house, and tell you can't take pictures inside (I'm really not sure why). They then proceed to show you 3 little tiny rooms crammed full of John Wayne memorabilia. Very exciting! Then they have one room that has furniture that they "think" "might" have been like the furniture he would have had in the home when he was born. I'm telling you people it was fascinating! (catch the sarcasm, if you haven't already) Well needless to say I am now crammed full of useless John Wayne facts, so now I will share them with you! John Wayne was a 13 lb baby. Which is really no surprise given the size man he became. Though it makes you wonder how is mother survived childbirth in 1907 at home. I tell you how, because a female physician came to his house to help deliver him. My most hilarious fact of the day is that John Wayne's birth name was MARION! hahahaha. I just love that a man as rough and tumble as John Wayne was named Marion. I guess it's just proof that a child can survive any emotional trauma you throw at them. Oh yeah, Not far from one of the bridges was a little stone school house that was built in 1874. It is so cute. It has been restored along with the the outhouse, and little water pump.
Overall it was a really fun day. I think it is great that I am able to do things that I NEVER would have done in a thousand years if I hadn't have come to Iowa. It's not like I was so fascinated by the bridges that I would have made a special trip to the middle of Iowa for it, but I am really glad I got to see them.


Mary Keller said...

Hey Leigh Ann! Thanks so much for leaving a note on my blog! Im glad someone is reading it and Im happy to learn that you have started a blog too.

Yes, it is a bummer about our house, but you are so right, all that matters is we are safe. I keep having horrible thoughts about "what if" something bad happened to wade. Hopefully they will go away soon.

Your job sounds so cool and Im sure everyone loves reading about it. I do! Please let me know if you ever travel anywhere near atlanta. I would love to see you.

So good to hear from you.

Take care in Iowa and I hope to see you soon.

Leigh Hart said...

Love the blog Leigh Ann! How cool, its like you were right there with Clint and Meryl in the movie! Although I'm not a fan of this movie, didn't they film 'Field of Dreams' in Iowa? I bet the tour there would have guys under 65!!!