Day 83, Around Adel and Winterset, 88 Miles
"Life is tough. It's even tougher if you're stupid."
'The Duke', John Wayne
Today, we fooled around 'Bridges of Madison County' country. Never watched the movie. The man at the tourist center claimed the movie transformed their town, with thousands snapping pictures of the previously non-eventful bridges. The bridges were covered for a number of reasons; to keep snow and ice off the surface, to keep the wood on the deck pristine and for architectural reasons. The supports have huge wooden dowels driven in them. And the bridges look pretty cool.
A few blocks off the main drag sits John Wayne's birthplace, a little house with four rooms. The preservationists have-well, preserved it, and filled it with mementos and photos of The Duke. I always loved John Wayne, a man's man who taught us what tough meant. I asked the pleasant tour lady if he'd ever said, "I'm going to wrassle me a bear and kiss me a pretty woman," but she didn't know. She said many quotes were claimed to be his and weren't, but assured me he stated the 'stupid' quote at the top. I remember Ronald Reagan; our past president was asked what he looked to for inspiration when making difficult decisions. "I ask myself, 'What would John Wayne do?'" Quite a guy, that John Wayne, born Marion Morrison. No wonder they gave him a stage name. Big tough guy named Marion?
Okay ladies and...ladies. We stopped at (drum roll please) (PP!) Fons and
Porters Love of Quilting! Yes, the nationally known store that sells fabric,
kits, books, tools and they have a magazine too. The place provided us with
pieces for the '50 States' quilt, but Quilter Girl wasn't impressed. Pretty
small store. That’s TV. Makes you bigger than life. Wandering through town, we took pictures of buildings with quilt squares on them. (Men, be patient. It gets better at the end.)
Next, a museum, with a period house from the late 1800's buildings and artifacts from Madison County over a century ago. And quilts.
We searched for a restaurant in the town square-a really nice one. It sported a county courthouse, complete with four clocks that actually work, and shops
around the square. No restaurants. Oh, a few cafes and a bakery...but one
restaurant, a Mexican one. Wonderful.
Today I got service changed at (PP!) Verizon that has ended a ten month saga of stupidity, but I won't bore you with the details.
The heat bore down on us, the only reprieve being riding to generate a bit of
wind, so we rode home, around five. Then jumped in the pool. Nice. Topping off the day, like baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and all, I went to the
fair and watched a demolition derby. QG stayed home. No explaining some women. They just don't appreciate culture.
And what fun, as tired old cars got their last fifteen minutes of fame, smashing into one another. Only thing funner (Funner? More fun?) is driving in it. I've participated in five, and aside from a few days of whiplash, you can't beat it. And it is amazing how long a car can run with steam pouring out, sparks flying below the front grille, the tires wobbling and flat. I sat next to Cliff, a native who's lived within forty miles for his entire 78 years. He's done the demo too, so we had a great talk, and I now also know a LOT about farming. Like you can't store corn in an elevator with 15%. It has to be 14% or less. Less what? Moisture content. Don't you feel smarter now?
Tonight we're back in the tent and blessed relief, the sun has set and cooler
temperatures prevail. Tomorrow we visit the Amana Colonies. Don't know what they are, do you? Stay tuned, you will.