We recently went on a trip to California. We have been some beautiful places but somehow the sunshine and warm weather in the midst of a long Iowa winter had me seriously wondering why we weren’t living there.
A warm day in April (40 degrees warmer than back home) had me convinced it probably really is the happiest place on earth.
Too cold for swimming but there were palm trees!
Can you tell who the photographer in our family is? Lots of pictures of me.
Wildlife…we don’t see anything like this back home.
Another “cold” day at the beach.
I didn’t see enough traffic to convince me otherwise I suppose. I know we both felt bad we had to head back to the cold lingering winter of the midwest. And it really did linger this time around.
Yesterday I was invited on a bike ride with some friends while Abe was at work. We started in Solon, IA, about 10 miles outside of Iowa City. It was a beautiful spring Iowa day with comparable weather to our California trip (about 2 months later!). Within minutes we were out of town and pedaling along the rolling countryside of rural Iowa. I can’t say I have much interest in photography at all, but riding along the countryside with its quiet roads and quaint farms I found myself wishing I could capture the beauty. My frustration in my lack of ability led me to take a grand total of three photos.
I found myself feeling a great deal of pride for our state. These beautiful hills of corn and soybeans. The old barns and silos. The families who work so hard to produce so much of the world’s food. The kind people I get to interact with every day. I felt like at this moment, I hadn’t seen seen much prettier a place. Even the happiest place on earth didn’t seem to compare to the heartland.
(At least not in May.)
Most of my exploration of Iowa has been by bike. I think it is an amazing experience to be able to hop on a bicycle and within 10 minutes be out in the countryside, away from it all and seeing a side of America that few get to experience.
Places like Sutliff, Iowa, where a historic bridge runs to an old tavern that has been there for over 100 years. It still serves food, plays local music, and you can enjoy it all from picnic tables on the bridge.
Part of the bridge washed away in the recent flood but was restored.
I hope to continue to enjoy Iowa throughout our upcoming hot and humid summer. We are lucky to live in such a wonderful country with amazing places to see and enjoy.
And I hope to get out on my bike a little more this year to experience it while I am here.