Busy Bee

I normally don’t do back-to-back posts but since I saw so much yesterday, I figured why wait? But before I get into it, just a quick follow-up on my house-hunting in St. Paul.  I have been thoroughly talked-out of moving to the Twin Cities by just about everyone that knows me (except Renee and Matt).  Val, Dana, my mom, the people in Spillville… and to reiterate Clay’s comment – there’s a reason they have habitrails between all the buildings.  So Bend, OR remains the #1 contender.

Okay! I didn’t plan on seeing the Bridges of Madison County but as it turns out, Dana lives about 20 minutes away from Winterset which is the seat of Madison County.  So I figured why not?  This is what this trip is all about, right?  Heather at the Visitors Center was very helpful and put together an excellent itinerary for me, complete with assorted maps.  I’ll be honest – the bridges all look pretty much the same. I really tried to take different types of pictures at each stop but not sure I was entirely successful.  The order in which I saw them:  Hogback, Roseman, Cedar, Cutler-Donahoe, Holliwell and Imes.  While I didn’t have a favorite bridge, my favorite pic is the one of Juno looking back at the road with the dust kicked up from a passing car at Holliwell…

During the covered bridge tour, we made a quick detour into Pammel State Park, which is only a few minutes from Roseman Bridge. I did this for two reasons – to drive through Harmon Tunnel and to drive across the “ford” in the river.  Mission accomplished!

The Cutler-Donahoe Bridge is located in Winterset City Park – also home to Clark Tower, a very cool medieval-looking, Game of Thrones-type tower on top of a hill.  The road is narrow and winding and there’s a vehicle limit of 20′ long but the MoHo had no problem making it up the hill.  Nice views but no sign of Gendry.

After winding down the Bridges of Madison County tour, I zipped into Des Moines.  Despite my many trips to Des Moines in the past for work, I’d never been to the capital.  All I can say is wow – it is absolutely beautiful.  Maybe they are making up for all the cornfields?  Also some nice statues and fountains on the grounds – I definitely want a bison fountain in my next house.

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From there, I was heading to the Moburg Gallery to check out Chris Vance’s artwork when I passed by this incredible sculpture park.  I immediately pulled over, put Juno on a leash and took a stroll around the grounds.  So many great artists are represented… and the best part?  They have a cell-phone guided tour! Brilliant.  These are my favorite pieces.  The name of the horse sculpture is “Juno.” And the last picture? That’s the Chris Vance painting I now own – I’m sure it will be the first of many.  His work is fantastic.

And that’s all, folks!  As much as I’ve enjoyed Dana’s hospitality, comfy bed, A/C and unlimited beverages, it’s time to hit the road.  Western Iowa beckons!  And who know? I might even sneak into Nebraska…

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