We got another late start today.  Don and Venessa were already out when we got up and then we got a call that they were having serious car trouble so we should fend for ourselves.

So, our plan was to get breakfast and then go see the covered bridges of Madison County (Helena’s idea, I swear), but there were not a lot of choices in my birth town of Winterset, Iowa, so breakfast was lunch at Rudy’s restaurant, where the one waitress was of an age that she should have been retired, and she was well overworked, the place was quite busy.  Almost everybody was old, some positively ancient, and there were a lot of coveralls and farmer hats, mixed in with a few country and western get-ups and I felt a mix of local pride, this is where I’m from, and relief that I live so far away from it all.

Then we went to the gas station, and the guy in front of me at the cashier, who the girls obviously knew, it’s a small town, was old and so shakey he had a special stamp because it was hard for him to sign a check, but then he went out to drive.

Then we went to the first covered bridge, which was in a city park, so that didn’t really cut it, and then we walked up to Clarks’ Tower, which was a lovely walk through the woods but it was really hot, and sweaty, and we went through our bottle of water very quickly, and Isabel said she felt sick but sometimes I’m not sure that’s just an excuse.

The next covered bridge we found was the one that had burned, which is a shame, I hope they have the good sense to rebuild it exactly as it was, and then the third was the one, a proper covered bridge in its natural environment.

Then, we headed to Lake Ahquabi, scene of many memories of my  youth.  The raft was gone but that was O.K., we had a nice time in the water and then rented a paddle boat but Sam was being Sam and decided to wait for us on shore, but I shouldn’t  complain, he was reading a book.

Grilled, flavored bratwursts for dinner, it’s an Iowas thing.  Tomorrow, we’re headed for Indianapolis, 1st stage in a two day drive to New York.


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