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 cousin was proud of the covered bridges, and we'd often go out to visit a few and a modest little house in town would be pointed out as being the birthplace of Marion Motley, later famous as John Wayne ... but not marked. 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 ... all raised on the farm, and just a typical meal!
Well, today the "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 and IL smart folks to join, we plan on meeting for a late morning guided tour of the bridges followed by one of those memorable family style farm Sunday meals.
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", antique car and airplane museums, a 26-acre dried flower farm, the Henry A. Wallace homestead and native wildflower and prairie preserve, a beautifully restored, century-old church, often used as a Wedding Chapel, and numerous antique shops, tea rooms, country style restaurants, historic farms and much more. Will elaborate later.
Please send me a PM or respond if interested. I'll be developing more info and 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