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An Afternoon Drive in Iowa


Monday, January 2nd, 2012 — 4:28pm PDT
Comments 3

It’s become a tradition for John and I to return to his hometown in Iowa to ring in the new year. During our winter visits, we usually do our first photowalk of the year, sliding around the ice-covered streets and crunching through knee-deep snow.

Us in Iowa on New Years Eve Winter 2009-2010 in Iowa

When we arrived this time around, we were welcomed by some very Vancouver-ish weather instead and while we haven’t gone on a winter wonderland stroll just yet, we did drive over to the Mississippi today with our cameras ready to fire. I wrote the following post on my iPhone as John took the driver’s seat:

Afternoon Iowa Drive

Summer’s thousand shades of green are muted as winter paints the patchwork countryside with a dim and faded brush. Hills roll by capped by farmhouses, silos, cherry-red barns, and groves of bare-limbed trees.

Afternoon Iowa Drive

The odometer drops as we enter river towns that share names with other places. Each has their own gas station, food mart, and bubbled water tower. Steeples on main street churches are the closest thing to heaven around until you pass another network of industrial silos.

Afternoon Iowa Drive

Afternoon Iowa Drive Afternoon Iowa Drive

Afternoon Iowa Drive

Afternoon Iowa Drive Afternoon Iowa Drive

Afternoon Iowa Drive

After about hour of heading East, the Mississippi appears at the foot of the highway exit. The water reaches right up to land, appearing to lack any type of bank or slope.

Afternoon Iowa Drive

We explore antique shops, have some lunch by the river, and stop at the gas station for a pit stop — and to soak up some free WIFI from the car.

Afternoon Iowa Drive

Afternoon Iowa Drive Afternoon Iowa Drive

Afternoon Iowa Drive Afternoon Iowa Drive

The highway slips under us once again as we make the slingshot trip home, chasing the fiery orange sunset as it dips behind hills and bends in the road.

Afternoon Iowa Drive

While it lacks majestic peaks and sea-sprayed shores, Iowa is full of heartfelt beauty in January – even without its usual white blanket.

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3 comments

  1. Mae says:

    Love your travel photo blogs. That last photo is fantastic, with the selective focus.

  2. Carole M says:

    Okay, that is crazy for an Iowa January. I always hated January in Iowa b/c it was so cold!! My favourite picture of my best friend and I was us standing on the Mississipi (right at Clinton IA/Fullerton IL there) when it was totally frozen over. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Believe it or not, it’s 60F/15C today!

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