The Bridges Of Madison County Are No Longer On My Bucket List

Is it Fall already?

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Wow! It’s been over three months since I last posted. In my own defense, it didn’t seem that long. I have no idea why, but the older I get–I swear–time completely escapes me. Such is the reason for my, umm… ‘non-blogging’. I have so many pointless/unimportant things that fill my day that I literally forget I have a damn blog I’m supposed to be tending to. And if it were not for some pics that my husband is insisting I post, I have to admit I probably would not be here now. Can you say, shitty-fucking-blogger? 

Yes, I have pics (many of them) from a little out of town adventure me and the Old Man went on last Tuesday to celebrate my birthday. Pissy turned the big 51!  I finally got to see something that has been on my bucket list for quite a while now, and became a little snap-happy when I did. I don’t have nearly enough room to show you all of them, but am going to lay out as many as I can. To say I was tickled to death is an understatement.

Anyone read the book “The Bridges of Madison County” by Robert James Waller? I’m sure far more watched the movie of the same name that starred Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. If you did, the storyline and characters no doubt ‘hooked you’. For me it went way beyond that. It was the bridges. 

I grew up here in Iowa and knew about the ‘bridges’ long before the book or movie came out. It was one of those places that you hear about from one family member or another who had visited or lived in those parts at one time, you find you have a desire to see it yourself, but just keep putting it off for one reason or another. Such it was with me. I’ve always had a love of nostalgia, had a desire to see the covered bridges, but it wasn’t until the movie came out and the bridges were on screen in all their glory that the desire really began to grow. That was many years ago, much time has passed, but my husband kept promising me he would get me there and last week he finally did. I can’t begin to tell you the emotions that flooded over me. I literally cried after I walked through the first one. 

Enroute we stopped at the Jesse James Historical Site which is near Adair, Iowa. Fascinating that I didn’t even know this shit took place here. Wow!

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For any of you interested I found this little website with info about it: http://www.rits.org/www/histories/jjstory/jj.html

After a very long drive, we’re here on the backroads and finally nearing our first destination.

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The 1874 stone schoolhouse near HogBack Bridge.

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OMG! I WAS SOOOO EXCITED 🙂

HogBack Bridge

HogBack Bridge

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The most amazing feeling came over me as I entered into it and began walking through. It’s hard to explain, but I felt like I was apart of the past. I could almost hear the clackety-clack of horses hooves and wagon wheels.

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Other side of bridge looking out at North River.

Other side of bridge looking out at North River.

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Stopped in Winterset to find the next covered bridge, and since this is the ‘Dukes’ hometown we figured we oughtta pay our respects with a drive-by. Drive-by SNAPSHOT, that is. 

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John Wayne’s childhood home.

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It rained nearly all day, but I still managed to get pics, and literally stood across from traffic to get this shot of the John Wayne statue the town erected.

Statue of John Wayne.

Statue of John Wayne.

Found the Cutler-Donahoe Covered Bridge in Winterset City Park. Lovely area.

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Cutler-Donahoe Covered Bridge

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The Old Man taking a walk through and checking out the inside.

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Next on the list was the Holliwell Bridge. It remains in its original site over the Middle River southeast of Winterset

Holliwell Bridge.

Holliwell Bridge.

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Upon reaching the end of the bridge I found it opened to the most beautiful little area.

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End of Holliwell Bridge overlooking the Middle River.

End of Holliwell Bridge overlooking the Middle River.

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It didn’t occur to me until after I got back into the car after seeing this third bridge that I was experiencing the same thing that Clint Eastwood did in the movie. I found something so freaking cool about the thought that I might perhaps be standing in the same spot during my trip that Clint did. Laugh if you will, but I grew up with Clint Eastwood movies. “Play Misty For Me” is one of my favorite movies and shows just how damn goodlooking he was. So, yeah…I got a bit wet thinking I was hanging out where Dirty Harry had been. 

The next stop was the Imes Covered Bridge. Originally located over the Middle River west of Patterson, it now sits over a natural ravine east of St. Charles.

Imes Covered Bridge

Imes Covered Bridge

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This was something I didn’t expect upon getting through to the other side.

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I was terribly curious about whom this person was that a beautiful path was put here in his memory. After searching online for a bit I found this. http://iagenweb.org/boards/madison/obituaries/index.cgi?read=110342   Very sad, but what a beauiful way to be remembered.

The end of Imes Covered Bridge.

The end of Imes Covered Bridge.

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We took a little road-trip into DesMoines after. We only had one more bridge left to see and figured we’d save it for the ride home. I forgot how damn congested DesMoines was though. Ugh! If it weren’t for the Old Man insisting that we go to some place called Jethro’s BBQ, I wouldn’t have done the big city thing. I hate crowds like that anymore. He was right though, the food was awesome and the waitress very accomodating. I really liked it and had tons of leftovers to take with. My kinda place. Tee-hee.. BIG SHOUT OUT TO JETHRO’S BBQ IN DESMOINES. THANKS!

The last Bridge on the list was Roseman Covered Bridge. We almost didn’t find the damn thing. Yep, it’s waaaay back in the boonies….

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Here it comes……

Roseman Covered Bridge.

Roseman Covered Bridge.

YAY! WE FOUND IT!!

The Roseman Covered Bridge Visitor Center is a little log cabin located to the right of the bridge. I have no idea if it was once a real residence or built for it’s current purpose, but find it would be too freaking cool to live right here if it had been. (There currently is another house near the bridge that’s inhabited, but I didn’t take any pics of it out of privacy for the residents. Lucky bastards!

Roseman Covered Bridge Visitor Center.

Roseman Covered Bridge Visitor Center.

Path from the visitor center to the bridge.

Path from the visitor center leading down to the water under the bridge.

View of the Middle River under Roseman Covered Bridge.

View of the Middle River under Roseman Covered Bridge.

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Another view of the Visitor Center from the bridge.

Another view of the Visitor Center from the bridge.

I didn’t find out till after we got home and was doing a bit more research that Roseman Bridge is considered the ‘haunted’ bridge. Still in it’s original location, it’s where two sheriff’s posses trapped a county jail escapee in 1892. It is said the man rose up straight through the roof of the bridge, uttering a wild cry, and disappeared. He was never found. This may be true, but honestly, I didn’t feel shit, and I’m pretty sensitive to my surroundings. I read up on some of this crazy shit my mom passed down to me and the closest I’ve come to having it explained is labeling myself a bit of a Clairsentient. I feel energy in people and places. Anyway, enough of the psychic crap… The place was awesome and I wish I had a damn house there too!

Okay, now this is going to explain some of what I’ve been saying about how scatter-brained I’ve been lately. There were six covered bridges in Madison County left that I wanted to see. The Old Man and I mapped out all six, visiting each (or so I thought), and upon arriving home I downloaded photos. It wasn’t until I moved them into my blog’s media library and began putting them on this page that I realized we missed a bridge. No, I’m not shitting you!  I mean literally missed it. I took pictures at every bridge we went to and I have none of Cedar Covered Bridge. I don’t know whether to blame it on the fact we were driving around for hours and were tired, it rained off and on all day, or I’ve just completely lost my mind. I’d love to blame it on the Old Man, but unfortunately can’t, due to the fact I usually do the navigating from the passenger seat. Anyway, I don’t have any of Cedar Covered Bridge this post, but will make sure I take some when he takes me back the first heavy snow we have so I can get some winter pics. I’m hoping to make this a seasonal thing.

FYI: You probably noticed that there are no pics of me on or near the covered bridges. I didn’t intend for it that way….well maybe subconsciously. Pissy quit smoking over three months ago. YAY! 🙂  Pissy also started gaining weight over three months ago. NOT YAY! So until I can find a happy balance within myself of my current weight or lose it, ummm…. hell no, I ain’t taking no pics! 

I hope you all enjoy my ‘birthday’ pics. Here’s to being 51 and still having fun!


6 Comments on “The Bridges Of Madison County Are No Longer On My Bucket List”

  1. Carol says:

    What a great adventure… kudos to your husband for the best birthday party ever!!! Your photos are wonderful, even if the weather didn’t cooperate. Maybe there was a subconscious reason why you missed that sixth bridge. Now you absolutely *have* to make the trip again. I’ll bet all your scenes will look equally fabulous draped in snow.

    I saw the movie but never did read the book. (I know, bad me. But I will one day.) I just recently discovered there’s an epilogue about the two main characters, entitled “A Thousand Country Roads”, that was published in 2002. Have you read it? (And I hear they’ve now come up with a musical that’s suppose to release early in the New Year, but somehow I can’t get excited about a musical version.)

    I think there’s something magical about mixing history with the present. I’ve just finished reading Susanna Kearsley’s historical romance, “The Winter Sea” and loved it. It’s about a writer who seems to have “ancestral memory” which makes writing her novel about events in 1700 a very personal thing. I recommend it. No covered bridges, but stone castles and small Scottish towns.

    Congratulations on the new look of your blog AND on quitting smoking. 🙂

    • Hi Carol!
      No, I hadn’t heard about “A Thousand Country Roads”. I’m going to have to find that one on Amazon, if they have it, and read it.
      I absolutely LOVED ‘the bridges’ movie and book, so I was really excited about seeing them for myself firsthand. I was not disappointed. They were everything I hoped they’d be and more.
      I’m also going to have to look for that other book, “The Winter Sea”. That sounds like something I’d be interested in. It’s funny you mention ‘ancestral memory’. If my Christian upbringing hadn’t poo-poo’ed the idea of reincarnation, I’d swear that I lived in another time and place. To say I’m drawn to a location of the country that I’ve never been to, and an era that I know little if anything about, is an understatement. I feel a strong–almost familiar–pull to Salem, Massachusetts and the witch trials. Never been there, have no family there, but when I look at photo’s associated with it or that era I feel an emotional tug on my heart. Think I was a pilgrim in another life? Ha..Ha..

  2. Jodi Lea says:

    I LOVE your site’s new look! I know exactly why you didn’t post for 3 months – when I first stopped smoking I had the attention span of a 2-year old, and I couldn’t think right.
    I’m proud of you – I know how difficult it is!! (You can read my story in the “Diary of a Nicotine Addict” menu item).
    Glad you’re back at it, and taking all those gorgeous photos 🙂

    • Hi Jodi! So the not-smoking is the culprit for my insanity, huh? And all this time I thought it was old age and menopause. Who am I kidding…I still think it’s old age and menopause. Ha…Ha..
      Yep, not smoking sucks! I’m trying to be a bit health conscious though, so we’ll see where it gets me.
      Glad you liked my new page!

  3. Hi Sue! I miss you too!
    The bridges are AMAZING. Really. The pics don’t do them justice. You have to experience firsthand the way they make you ‘feel’ when you’re in them. It’s like being in a time capsule. The first pic is of the changing leaves in my backyard. I wish I had more reds, but alas, not on this property.
    You have to watch the movie! Nevermind that Clint and Meryl are wonderful at their art, the scenery is gorgeous if you like the country.

  4. Welcome back – you have been missed.
    And I love, love, love those bridges – and your autumnal colours and am filled with jealousy.
    Read the book – skipped the movie.