Afterwards, I found myself driving through our beautiful rural area, taking the 8.9 mile circle route on country roads that we ride sometimes. I thought it might be fun to share some photos taken along the way. We’re in Eastern Iowa, and I imagine many of you think of Iowa being flat and covered with corn fields. Not the case!
Our part of the world is so lovely, with areas of deeply rolling hills, timber, meandering creeks. Peaceful, quiet. Back when we moved out into the country there were just farms and horse ranches out here, but now, there are lovely homes tucked up in the hills and many more horse places, too.
I love taking pictures of barns and the wide open spaces in the country. Listening to public radio one day, I heard that our population of bats is seriously endangered not only by White Nose Disease, but by the gradual attrition of our old hip-roofed barns, which offer good sheltering places for bats. As the old wood barns crumble away and are replaced by metal structures, the bats have fewer nesting places.
As I drove on, I reminisced about all the rides we’ve taken on the horses along these roads, the bike rides (not so easy on gravel!), the boys’ adventures on their trail bikes, and one particular ride when Andy needed a ten mile hike to complete his requirement for a hiking merit badge and the qualifications for a high adventure Boy Scout trip to the Rockies.
The rest of us were on horseback, but Andy had to hike every step of the way. And he sure wasn’t happy about it, that day! But he did finish, and I’m sure he has wonderful memories of that trip to Rocky Mountain National Park.
What are some of your favorite outdoors memories? Trips, camping? hikes? The water you see here is all part of a creek that runs about a mile from our place. It’s only a foot or two deep, though it runs all year without fail, and our boys grew up fishing, wading, hiking and inner-tubing there–a Huck Finn sort of childhood. We went as a family when the kids were young, but I still remember them taking off as teenagers, with fishing poles tied to their bikes. They caught and released a lot of fish there!