This journal got its start back in 2005 when we started full-timing in a motorhome and traveling around the country, visiting with family and friends and seeing the sights of America. The focus has changed through the years as we became more stationary and no longer travel by motorhome. Since October of 2018, it is the story of the journey of Tom and I and me flying solo again. To view entries before June of 2013, go to http://archive.bridgeccs.com
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Thursday, September 30, 2021, MN
Sunday, September 26, 2021
Sunday, September 26, 2021, MN
When I got back home, Frisco and I went for a nice walk on this beautiful fall day. Temps are in the upper 60s and will warm up to a perfect 80 degrees today. I fixed myself a healthy egg scramble with onion, spinach and cheddar cheese when I got back home.
Saturday, September 25, 2021
Saturday, September 25, 2021, IA, MN
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Wednesday, September 22, 2021, IA
On Sunday, we left Cedar Falls and headed southwest to Griff’s RV Park near Altoona, IA, not much more than 100 miles and a 2-hour drive. The park is very large, with 150+ sites and we are in the older part of the park where the sites are much smaller, gravel with a concrete pad, and among the worker bees. The newer parts have beautiful lawns, a fountain in a small pond, and much bigger sites - I guess that is where the longer term guests get to stay. We do have a nice grassy area, a horse pasture, and a couple of very nice evergreen trees behind us, so we are good for another week. The nicely paved Chichaqua Valley Trailhead (20+miles long) is adjacent to the RV park and we have walked it several times.
The Bridges of Madison County was our destination on Tuesday, after breakfast and a walk. It was after 11:00 when we left the RV park and we had a 50 mile drive south to get to St. Charles where the visitor center and the first of the six covered bridges were located. The Imes Bridge was the first that we saw. We chatted with a sweet little old lady at the visitor center who shared some great tips about what to see in the area.
From there, we headed west to Winterset and saw the Holliwell and Cutler-Donohoe Bridges, then farther west to the Roseman Bridge (the one that was featured in the 1995 movie, “Bridges of Madison County” with Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. A side road led us to the Pammel Park Campground (we were not impressed) and the Harmon Tunnel (we were impressed) that was built by a man and his 4 sons in 1925.
Back in town, we walked around the 1876 Courthouse that was under major construction and centered the town square. The friendly lady that we had spoken with in St Charles suggested that we visit the Montrose Pharmacy that had an old fashioned soda fountain that has been run by Cathy for the last 32 years. I opted for a cup of Cheddar Potato Soup and a piece of apple pie. Tom and I shared an old-time Cherry Coke. We then drove north on US 169 to the Hogback Bridge before heading back to our home at the campground.
The bridges were all painted red and the inside walls were covered in graffiti, mostly initials and dates. Surprisingly, we didn’t see many dates earlier than 1995 - I guess people had more respect for property back then and were not interested in defacing the bridges. Several of them were built by the same man out of massive boards and different structural arrangements, designed to withstand the severe winters and be able to carry people and goods across the rivers. The water levels in the Middle and North Rivers were all pretty low, I don’t believe a canoe or kayak could float down them right now. We saw all but one of the six bridges.
It was an all afternoon excursion that took us through some beautiful parts of Iowa and was a good way to spend an afternoon. For years, whenever I passed through the area, I would see the signs and say “some day I will come back and see the bridges” - now I can add them to the list of places that I have been to see.
While walking on the Chichauqua Trail that runs along the RV Park, we noticed a huge construction site with 3 large cranes and after doing some research, I learned that it is an expansion of Facebook’s Data Storage Center. There are already several large Facebook buildings nearby.
Tom spotted this guy on the concrete trail - haven’t seen a Praying Mantis in a while.
The last few days of my stay were spent taking long walks, doing some shopping, taking naps, and hanging around the campsite.
Saturday, September 18, 2021
Saturday, September 18, 2021, IA
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Tuesday, September 14, 2021 - MN, IA
Yesterday, after our walk, we drove to George Wyth State Park and Blackhawk County Park to check them out, then stopped at a little bar for a beer on our way home. Today, we went to the Cedar Valley Arboretum and walked the paths, strolled through the gardens, and had the park to ourselves until we were ready to leave. The park is beautiful and the plants were identified well. The topiary was great!
We stopped for a Papa Murphy’s pizza on the way home and had a late lunch/early dinner, then picked up some firewood and sat around the campfire for a while. Neither of us could remember the last time we had a campfire.
Saturday, September 11, 2021
Saturday, September 11, 2021, MN
On Thursday morning, they came over here and saw my apartment and then we walked the 9 Mile Creek trail. After that, I met them at their hotel and we went to the Farmer’s Kitchen Restaurant for some lunch and then walked the trail to the Stone Arch Bridge. We parted and later that evening they came back to my place and we walked to Willy McCoy’s for dinner. It seems like all we do is eat.
Friday night we met at Ben and Jill’s, ordered dinner from Broder’s, and had some wine and lots of good conversation. It’s been about seven years since they have seen Ben and his family. We had a great visit!
Monday, September 6, 2021
Monday, September 6, 2021, MN
Jo left late in the morning yesterday and Frisco and I went for a nice walk around the neighborhood. I took a nap in the afternoon and finally got around the hanging my glass balls in the living room window.
Thursday, September 2, 2021
Wednesday, September 1, 2021, MN
I sold my dining room table tonight - to a gal that sure seemed to have an appreciation for the age, quality, and beautiful wood. I’m posting a picture of it, so I will never forget that it came from my good friend Marty and belonged to her Grandmother. It has had a special place in my home for years, there is no longer enough room for it in my small apartment.