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