If you’re traveling between Kansas City and Des Moines and have some extra time, a fun side trip can be found in the bridges of Madison County, IA. These bridges were built in the mid-1800′s. Aside from being quite nice looking the covered nature of these bridges served one main purpose – to protect the large timbers used as the decking. It was less expensive at the time to build the sides and tops as weather protection than to replace the main decking due to weathering.
At one time there were 20 of these covered bridges dotting the county landscape. The oldest remaining bridge is in the town of St. Charles. Built in 1870 and named the Imes Bridge. We had the opportunity to visit 3 of the 5 original bridges remaining in Madison County.
Although I have never read the novel or seen the movie, you may know the Holliwell bridge from the movie “Bridges of Madison County“. It along with the Roseman Covered Bridge played parts in the movie.
What is quite amazing are all the signatures and messages to people inside all the bridges we visited. Message of love for each other signed with hearts and dates. Other general message of wisdom or hope. The oldest message I found was simply a name dated 1912, although it was impossible to make out the name. There was a very noticeable increase in the volume of signatures starting in the mid-1990′s. As I returned home and did some research, this coincides with the release of the movie.
Today’s (or yesterday’s as the case is) Picture of the day is my family walking toward the light inside the Cutler-Donahoe Covered Bridge. I am fortunate that my family walked through that tunnel into the light – and returned safely. My style is normally very dark or colorful and usually high contrast. I really relish images with great detail. The picture today was my attempt to think outside my box.
This ends our mini trip to visit family in Illinois. If you’re interested here are some additional images from our trip.
Nikon D7000 | 1/40 | ISO 1250 | 18mm | f/3.5 | flash - not used.