I Went Down to the River
It’s a remarkably warm December here in Iowa. Last night what should have been a huge snowstorm was just a lot of rain. Before that we’ve had sunny 50 degree days. This weather belongs in Denver, not Ames.
But we have it, so I guess the answer is to work with it.
I grew up in a small house on the south side of Ames. Across the street and a few feet past the city ends, and rural Iowa was never far. One of the places I used to explore was an old bridge across the Skunk River. Getting to the bridge couldn’t be easier: walk east down the road until it’s dirt and keep walking.
Earlier this week I decided to do just that. It had been years since I last visited the bridge but very little has changed. A new No Trespassing sign by the fields and a new gate across the far side of the bridge, but nothing else I could see.
Even though the road and bridge appear to be private now, the bridge is far too substantial to have been built simply as private access to fields. I wonder about its history and whether once upon a time the narrow dirt road had a destination.
The river was low but moving. I like the slow sweeping arcs it is still carving out of the farmland.
I can’t go back to my childhood, but I enjoy revisiting old haunts.
Posted on 30 December 2011