Finding covered bridges outside of Siouxland, Winterset

28 Jun

Earlier this spring I took a drive down to Winterset, Iowa, known for its covered bridges and the birthplace of the actor John Wayne. To my limited knowledge, there are no covered bridges in Northwest Iowa. The covered bridges in the Winterset area were made famous by the book “The Bridges of Madison County” written by Robert James Waller. And then made more famous by the Clint Eastwood movie of the same name. None of these bridges today area actually working bridges. All have been set aside on short roads for visitors to park and walk to and explore. Only one bridge is accessible by vehicle through which you can drive and stop and take a picture of your car in front of the bridge. These bridges were built in the 1800’s and allowed farm families to get to market with their good. Today the bridges are just too small for most trucks and farm tractors and implements to pass through. But it’s fun to be nostalgic for a slower time in life, depending on whose life one is living. And to imagine passing through these, or hauling up inside during a thunderstorm or snow storm. The seven bridges are scattered about Madison County on country roads and easily found. Maps are available in town at the Chamber of Commerce office. It makes for a fun day, driving back roads and seeing living history.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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