Backroads, Pottawattamie County, Iowa. Few things are more relaxing than exploring the backroads of rural Iowa, where antiquity, nature, and modernity all mingle in a slow-paced reverie. There doesn’t have to be any particular start point or end point. Wherever you are, at any given moment, is the destination, and that’s the greatest part. One mile of backroads and one hundred miles cover the same distance. The discovery, the renewal, the awakening, it’s just waiting there, all day long. You’re just along for the ride.
Council Bluffs, high atop the Loess Hills. I’m not normally a wildlife photographer, but this doe got between me and last night’s sunset, so I shot her. For the procrastinators out there, our dining room has become a temporary gallery for last-minute Christmas gifts. Email me if you’re interested in stopping by to browse through the big selection of prints I have on hand. An added bonus is that you’ll see a 30X60 print of my favorite local photo, which I’ve never shared (nor will ever share) online.
So I’ve been continuing my exploration of local backroads in my search for rural Americana, neglected barns, abandoned farmhouses, forgotten structures that stand as reminders of semi-recent antiquity, and lone trees along dusty gravel roads keeping an eye on the rolling Loess hills, somehow surviving storm season after storm season with no protection from the relentless prairie wind. I’ve been trying to stay more organized, keeping notes and placing virtual pins in Google maps, to keep from retracing prior steps. It can be a challenge, though, since much of the terrain begins to look pretty similar on those backroads, except when you stumble upon a really memorable scene like the ones I did this past Saturday morning. The weather forecast called for a cold morning and a possibility of early fog, so I left the house hopeful that I’d find some. I headed toward Mineola via Woodland Trail and Brothers Ave and found this scene waiting for me, just before the descent toward Keg Creek, the entire valley awash in rolling ribbons of fog and only the tallest trees pushing through as if to breathe while treading water. It was one of those moments when I again felt fortunate to live among the hills, where so many great views can be found. Which leads me to my question of the day: With so many high points around the Loess Hills, which offer your favorite views?