On the way through Iowa, I about had a panic attack because I didn't realize we were driving right through the Amana Colonies -- and we really didn't have time to stop. The colonies are made up of seven villages settled by German Pietists in 1855. There are more craft and artisan shops than I've ever seen in my life. Someday . . . perhaps we'll drive through again and plan to visit.
In the meantime, we drove to the western edge of Iowa, to Madison County. It was a cloudy, sometimes drizzly afternoon, but very pretty just the same. We drove through the countryside and saw a few of the covered bridges, including the Rosemont Bridge which was featured in the book and movie, Bridges of Madison County.
We also stopped in the town of Winterset to see the John Wayne birthplace and museum. As someone who grew up watching John Wayne movies with my three brothers, this was exciting for me! I texted my brothers some pictures and told them, "I'm on hallowed ground!"
Here's the little house he was born in. Isn't it cute? That's Dan on the porch and he just made it through the door without bumping his head.
Yes, I'm smiling big time. The museum contains things from his movies, as well as a lot of personal items. It really gave me a sense of his character and the values that he held dear. Some of my favorite things included his datebook -- his handwriting was just beautiful and so even -- and his address book. The address book was open to the page for Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Just below their listing was the name and phone number for the washing machine repair man.
This is the jaunting cart from the movie The Quiet Man. Maureen O'Hara kept it after the movie and later donated it to the museum. They also have the shawl that she wore in the movie, which was a gift from her mother. I won't bore you with all the pictures I took -- the saddle from The Cowboys, the shirt from She Wore A Yellow Ribbon. You get the idea;)
After staying the night in Council Bluffs, we drove pretty much straight through on the way home, but we made one more stop in Lincoln, Nebraska. It has a huge barn filled with antiques, and about a dozen grain bins that have been turned into little sheds filled with more antiques. It was fun to poke around for a while, and I found an old wash bin to buy that will set on my back porch filled with flowers.
It was such a good trip, and SO good to get home!