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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
About 170 years ago my Great grandfather emigrated from Germany and started a farm in central Iowa. About ten years back a writer wrote a sappy best seller about a hunky photographer seducing a bored farm wife, and Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep made it into a hit chick flick. Since then the sleepy little farm town of Winterset hasn't been the same.

My Dad's farmer cousin was proud of the covered bridges, and we'd go out to visit a few on occasion. A modest little house in town would be pointed out as being the birthplace of Marion Morrison (later famous as John Wayne) ... but it wasn't even marked back then!

The big attraction was the farm itself with all it's BIG tractors and impressive equipment and all the animals. And Aunt Fern would lay out such a meal of pot roast, fried chicken, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob ... everything raised on the farm, and just a typical meal!

Well, today the tiny "Wayne House" is now a museum, and the town square is full of antique and local interest shops (shoppes?) and dozens of attractions. Only an easy 2 1/2 hour meander from Kansas City (and close enough for St. Louis, Omaha, Wichita, MN, IL and of course IA smart folks to join us. We plan on meeting for a late Sunday morning guided tour of the bridges followed by one of those memorable family style farm meals, lovingly put together just for us by friends and family.

This will be a flexible event. All the group activities will be Sunday, and an easy drive to (up US 169 in convoy?) and from (save time return on I35) in one day for most. But if you want to spend more time, come up Saturday and relax in the heartland. There are affordable motels, some quaint and wonderful B&Bs, and stick to your ribs food that inspired Betty Crocker.

Among the nearby attractions are the recently famous "Covered Bridges of Madison County", the Winterset museum, John Wayne's birthplace museum, the well publicized "Patriotic Rock", an antique car collection and the Iowa Aviation Museums, a 26-acre dried flower farm, the Henry A. Wallace homestead and native wildflower and prairie preserve, the Penn Avenue Wedding Chapel, a beautifully restored, century-old church, plus numerous antique shops, tea rooms, country style restaurants, historic working farms and much more. Will elaborate later.

Please send me a PM or respond if in any way interested. I'll be developing and adding more info. Based on interest, will negotiate group rates at motel and/or a B&B.

Working date is the September 18-19 weekend.

Cheers, Bob in KCMO
 

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I live in Long Beach, CA which was once known as "Iowa by the Sea" due to all the folks that moved here from that state.

Trip is a little far for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I live in Long Beach, CA which was once known as "Iowa by the Sea" due to all the folks that moved here from that state.

Trip is a little far for me.
I recall when the area around the Queen Mary was filled with tattoo parlors and old folk's apartment buildings. The promotion around the series of Long Beach Grand Prix events went a long way toward publicizing the area, and changing it's local perception from a tawdry sea port and industrial town to rival the other beach towns.

But, it's only a three day drive! ... and you won't find farm style platters anywhere in LaLa land ... or the right kind of watermelon pickles!

Cheers, Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks Buzzz and I agree that the Covered Bridge weekend would be a good time to visit, but not for a group. According to my local family, Winterset is really crowded then, and there will be MANY bus tours that will clog the small town. It would be difficult to do our group dinner.

I was going to mention the event for those not able to attend our smart tour. Group accommodations for lodging, dining and especially a relaxed Sunday dinner would be difficult. Plus we should have the flexibility to arrange group shots that may not be possible if the bridges were crowded.

Sorry not to see you there, and hope you're making the trek to the Dragon.

Cheers and thanks, Bob
 

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Bob, do you have any updates on the Winterset trip? I talked to some of the Omaha smarts Saturday, and they are interested in coming. Will there be any MoKan's in town on Saturday the 18th, or is it just Sunday? That weekend has opened for me and we will make the trip to Winterset.
Buzzz42
 

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Buzzz42, we're all driving up the 17th, Friday night, with 3 other MO-KAN members. We all have reservations at the Super 8 Winterset 1312 Cedar Bridge Road Junction of Hwy 92/Hwy 169 Winterset, IA 50273 US. Any other Iowa, Nebraska smart owners want to join us, that weekend. Like to get a early start Saturday morning. Should be a fun drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Buzz and others, thanks for the patience.

I had planned an update last week, and keep getting new info and more opportunities. I've been to Winterset twice, have church ladies preparing a family style meal for us and inviting some locals, and the county newspaper is doing an article! Not only do we have a Saturday morning farmer's market on the town square, but the merchants are having a special/sidewalk sale Saturday, an event they were discussing, but apparently our visit helped them set the date!

We are only planning the bridge tour and meal on Sunday, and if enough are interested, I'm talking to my cousins who own and work the farm and the current 150 year old restored barn owner about doing a talk/tour on farming then and now. Send me a PM ASAP if you are interested in the Saturday farm visit.

There are dozens of interesting places to visit in the area, and we're arranging an access pass for most if not all ... your name badge.

I've had at least ten cars positively indicate attending, with at least that many probables. A group from KC is coming up Friday night, and a caravan early Saturday AND Sunday, so the Madisonians will know we're around.

The local Super 8 is saving rooms for us, and with a wedding in town, may run out. Be sure to mention the smart car group for special rate. Bill is the manager - (515) 462-4888. There are other hotels within 20 min, and several B&Bs (in my note)

Thanks and Cheers, Bob
(back to writing!)
 

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Sure wish I could go.

You kids will have a great time. Bob has made some excellent plans!

And I'm offering 25 bonus points for photos of Steve being thrown off one of the bridges! I wanna see a SPLASH! :eek: :rolleyes: :D

Be safe and report back.

Smiles and rockets,
Terry
 

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Sure wish I could go.

You kids will have a great time. Bob has made some excellent plans!

And I'm offering 25 bonus points for photos of Steve being thrown off one of the bridges! I wanna see a SPLASH! :eek: :rolleyes: :D

Be safe and report back.

Smiles and rockets,
Terry
At least someone will be taking photos that
weekend we'll see on the SCOA. You make a better sinker.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Current plans for Madison County Bridge Trip 9/18-19

Less than a month remains until the MoKan smart car group’s trip to Winterset, IA. This will be a mostly unstructured weekend event with dozens of Midwest heartland farm attractions and shopping opportunities. Most folks are expected to arrive Sunday for a late morning guided tour of the famous covered bridges, culminating with a hearty farm style afternoon meal. But others will arrive Saturday or even Friday night to take advantage of the Saturday market. People from five states have signed up at this time, and we’ll invite some locals to join us for the meal. We can get to know each other and Winterset better while passing dishes around.

Please let me know if you are attending for a head count for meal, bridge tour and passes. Our working cost of $30 ea would cover the meal, bridge tour, and local attraction admissions. Based on your response and a visit to Winchester, details will be firm by 9/5.

( ) # of SATURDAY attendees for a brief historic farm visit**
( ) # of CARS for the SUNDAY Bridge Tour
( ) # of attendees for the SUNDAY afternoon meal
Names and residence town of attendees for name tag.

Please send an email to Bob Storck at [email protected], send a PM or call (816) 943-0060 with preliminary head count information.
_______________________________

Most covered bridges were built in the 19th century to protect the wooden roadbed and structure. Over 10,000 existed in the United States, at least nineteen in Madison County, IA … six remain.

My great grandfather built a farm just north of Winterset around 1840, and it is still farmed by Fred Martens, a cousin. The old barn has been lovingly restored and is a featured stop on the Iowa historic barn tour.

Optional Other Activities (and there are many more!)
We will get prepaid admission to attractions if enough are coming.
· Morning Farmer’s Market - Saturday only
· Merchant’s Special day- Saturday only
· Historic working farm tour Saturday **IF ENOUGH INTEREST!
· Madison County Historical Society - complex of stone, log and Victorian historic buildings plus substantial museum.
· John Wayne's birthplace Welcome to the Birthplace of John Wayne!
· George Washington Carver, agricultural researcher early home
· Fons & Porter Quilt store and more fabric shops
· 26-acre dried flower farm and shop
· Henry A. Wallace (FDR VP just before Truman) homestead … also a native wildflower and prairie preserve
· A beautifully restored, century-old church
· Art Center - local artists and artisans collections and shop
· 1700 Acres of park land, 15 miles of trails & scenic canoe trips
· Numerous antique and other small town shops
· Iowa Aviation Museum (within ½ hour)
· National Balloon Center (within ½ hour)
· Two Saints Winery (within ½ hour)

We’re planning for some Kansas Citians to take an early scenic drive up US169 on Saturday and spend some relaxed time in central Iowa. I'd expect the majority of the group to arrive (convoy?) early Sunday. Everyone will gather in the Winterset town square about 11A. We will have pastry and nibbles waiting on arrival to tide folks over.

Those who come up Friday or Saturday are on their own, although we may suggest meeting places for lunch and dinner. If there are enough attendees, (and enough interest) we may impose on present barn owners and my relatives for a short farm visit covering 170 years' history. That would be the only scheduled item on Saturday.

Thanks to the ladies of the ‘kitchen crew’ from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, we’ll enjoy a Sunday Iowa country meal. A sit down, family style meal …NOT served and NOT buffet style … We'd sit down with platters of good, tasty food, and would enjoy the conversation and fellowship of passing the dishes around.

Our working menu includes:

  • Pot roast
  • Fried/baked chicken
  • Mashed potatoes/sweet potatoes
  • Local seasonal vegetables
  • Cole slaw/shredded carrot & raisin salad
  • Locally home canned condiments - watermelon pickles, pickle relish, etc
  • Pie, cake for and or for dessert
We’ll be inviting a few Winterset friends to join us and continue in the conversation. You can maybe even help wash dishes after!

If staying Friday or Saturday night, I’d suggest reserving a room NOW! We have a limited number of rooms at the Winterset Super 8 - $60 group rate. 515-462-4888 Mention smart group Mgr. Bill www.super8.com There are plenty of places within a half hour drive, but a big local wedding is offering competition.
There are very nice B&Bs, but not many of them. Winterset has a highly rated campground.

Area B&Bs
Heavenly Habitat B&B $100 515-689-2640 www.ibbg.com
Brass Lantern B&B $75+641-743-2031 www.brasslantern.com 20 min. away
Fitch House $125 641-396-2443 www.thefitchhouse.com 20 min away
Special Moments B&B $85 515-710-8514 www.specialmomentsbandb.com 30 min. away
Timberview B&B $65 877-339-2431 www.iabedandbreakfast.com 45 min. away
 

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Sounds like a good trip, unfortunately, my wife got a new job and is very unlikely she can get the whole weekend off. You guys have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
KC group trips - Saturday and Sunday

Prisons full, can't get the dogs in. Have to go Sun. morning. Anybody else going up from K.C. Sun. morning? Jerry & Ruth
How about volunteering to be the wagon master? If there are enough coming, a Saturday train might be appropriate and a leader for that group would be helpful. I'll get them maps (only one jog) and some handout sheets, pointing out a few notable items on the way.

I'm suggesting meeting early at the US169 exit of I435 on the north side. There's a Conoco MiniMart there for coffee and biology breaks, and a nice drive through bucolic farm country. With a less than 3 hour trip from there, and a farmer market on Saturday, and the bridge tour about 11 on Sunday, I'd suggest leaving about 730A.

I'll have some coffee, juice and snacks when you arrive at the Winterset town square.

Thanks, Bob
 

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How about volunteering to be the wagon master? If there are enough coming, a Saturday train might be appropriate and a leader for that group would be helpful. I'll get them maps (only one jog) and some handout sheets, pointing out a few notable items on the way.

I'm suggesting meeting early at the US169 exit of I435 on the north side. There's a Conoco MiniMart there for coffee and biology breaks, and a nice drive through bucolic farm country. With a less than 3 hour trip from there, and a farmer market on Saturday, and the bridge tour about 11 on Sunday, I'd suggest leaving about 730A.

I'll have some coffee, juice and snacks when you arrive at the Winterset town square.

Thanks, Bob
Bob. a group of the MO-KAN's are leaving Friday night:)
 
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