January 20 to February 14, 2014 NOMADS Project, Mercedes, MS

February 15 (Approximately) to June - Gate Guarding, TX or LA.

June, 2014 - Up to Alaska!

September - NOMADS Annual Meeting, Branson, MO



Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Duke and The Bridges

Camp Fontanelle, Fontanelle, NE

Two weeks down and one to go on this NOMADS project.  Still having to go to Camp Lodge to use their wifi.   WAYYYYY   behind on reading blogs.

Having Friday off, we did a bit of touring yesterday.  We drove over 100 miles each way to Winterset, Iowa.   Winterset has two claims to fame (actually I found out it has three).

One claim I did not know about is that the Delicious Apple was first developed and named there.   A big one,and the reason we got up early for a long drive, is that it is the birthplace of John Wayne.

To those who know Leonard, you have to know he is quite a fan of John Wayne.  In fact today, Encore Westerns DirecTV is celebrating the 105th birthday of the Duke by running 19 of his movies.  Len is planted in front of the TV.

Marion Morrison (John Wayne) was born in this house and lived in it for about 4 years, before moving into another home in the area and then moving to California when he was 7 due to health issues of his father.


Visitors are led by a tour guide to only 4 rooms of this small house.  As it holds family pictures, they ask that no pictures be taken.   There are some items the family had donated to the museum, including the eye patch he wore in True Grit.

On the grounds is a bronze statute his children donated to the town in honor of Wayne's 100th birthday.


A small house next to the museum has been converted to the gift shop.  It sells all things Wayne.


Len left with an addition to his toy collection of trucks, dozers, construction equipment, etc with a Peterbilt semi replica with John Wayne stuff written on the side.    He's a happy man today.

Each year the town celebrates Wayne's birthday over Memorial Day weekend.  We could see various activity going on in town in preparation.   They pick one of his movies to highlight.  This year it is Leonard's very favorite - The Quiet Man.   He has many, many of Wayne movies on DVD, but not this one.  And there were none to be found in the gift shop.  I guess this gives me a clue for Christmas gifting.

Winterset is in Madison County, Iowa.    Yup, THAT Madison County - home of the famed covered bridges.  The movie The Bridges of Madison County was made on location.

At one time the county had 20 covered bridges.  Today 6 are left.   We checked out three of them.

Roseman (1883)


Holliwell (1880)


Cutler-Donahoe  (1870)


On the way back to camp, we drove through DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge which is partly in Iowa and partly in Nebraska.



We spent a little time in the visitor center before driving around looking for wildlife.   The Missouri River runs through the refuge.   DeSoto is a stopover for migrating ducks and geese.   We saw lots of White Pelicans, turkeys and this flock of egrets.


But the biggest thrill was watching a Bald Eagle fly directly over our heads.

Gotta love those Wildlife Refuges!

8 comments:

Paul and Marsha Weaver...OCT. 17, 2009 said...

I couldn't tell John Wayne from Leonard. They could pass as brothers.

Oh I hope while we are here in Oregon and Washington we can see at least one Bald Eagle. You two are so lucky to see one...WOW!

Donna K said...

How fun to see John Wayne's old home. Hubby and I are both fans. And seeing the eagle fly directly overhead had to be a thrill. Enjoyed reading your adventures.

Laurie and George said...

Very cool for Len to be there. Looks like he was in his glory!

JOJO said...

I bet Len is a happy man. What a cool place to visit.
But I love the covered bridges best. Sorry Len.

JOJO said...

I bet Len is a happy man. What a cool place to visit.
But I love the covered bridges best. Sorry Len.

Rick Doyle said...

Sure hope Iowa takes care of those last 6 remaining covered bridges. It would be a shame to see all that history fade away.

Good to see Len being able to celebrate with John Wayne.

Carol and Kevin said...

We happened to drive through Lake Sakakawea COE park in by Riverdale last week. Very nice park. At least if it is the one by Garrison Dam. You'll be just across the lake from us. A short boat ride or a 50 mile drive! Nothing is very close around here. lol

Donna W. said...

guy that used to work here was a big "duke" fan...even had a john wayne gumball machine on his desk