Dating Ideas for Fall: Bicycling in Central Iowa
We took our last motorcycle trip of 2011 two weekends back and have a few pics to share. As I’ve said in earlier blogs, we like to take little jaunt around Central Iowa for dinner or breakfast or to see some local sites or visit an antique shop or just to see what’s up. Fall is a perfect time to enjoy the changing of the seasons and take in the unique scents of harvest. I’m not a hunter, but I understand the draw to the outside whenever we take to the back roads. Even if it’s a little chilly the golden corn and auburn leaves are compelling, something that is easily less appreciated in a car with the windows down.
While this blog is about our trip from Ames to Johnston to Woodword and back to Ames on our motorcycle, I’d like to share a great dating idea that crossed our paths. We haven’t done it ourselves, yet, but it’s on our list. Perhaps this blog and our pictures will get your creative juices flowing as you think about dates with your spouse next year.
Our trip took us from Ames on country roads past Big Creek and along the Des Moines River Greenbelt Trail (see here and look at Map #1). From Big Creek you can bicycle all the way to Des Moines and beyond on other trails. The road system follows the trail and is winding and pretty. We putzed along on our motorcycle, taking the back roads to Texas Roadhouse for supper. We got there around 4:30 before the rush. We’re not so fond of going to franchise places for dinner dates, but we’ve enjoyed Texas Roadhouse. Their steaks are really tender and they let us split one as neither of us can eat a whole steak. Their rolls are fresh and hot and peanuts are free on the table when we arrive. Mary Sue would go just for the loaded sweet potato! They also let you order different size steaks which is a nice touch. DO NOT TELL THEM IT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY! It is humiliating! Nufsaid.
Splitting a small steak with tip was less than twenty bucks. Really. Mary Sue and I’ve have split food eating out since we were broke college students splitting a hot fudge sundae at the campus cafe up at Moorhead State (that goes back a ways!).
We took the Hiway 141 to Woodward in order to check out the High Trestle Trail and Bridge. This is part of Central Iowa Trail Network for bicycling, walking and cross country skiing. It’s a beautiful time to go for a walk, even on a brisk day. If you are bold you can bring your bicycles and park by the Trailhead in Woodward.
For more info on coal mining in Iowa see an article by UNI here or Wikepedia
We took Highway 210 east across the Des Moines River from Woodward and were able to see the High Trestle Bridge from the highway. The Bridge was completed just this year (2011) in April.
Here’s a summary of the High Trestle Trail from Wikepedia:
High Trestle Trail is a rail trail running 25 miles (40 km) from Ankeny, Iowa, to Woodward, Iowa. The recreation trail opened on April 30, 2011. It is a paved recreational trail that runs through the counties of Polk, Story, Boone, and Dallas in Iowa.
An impressive 13-story high (130ft), nearly half mile long (2,530 ft) bridge provides scenic views of the Des Moines River Valley. Completed in the spring of 2011, the bridge’s special lighting remains on until midnight. The bridge is located near numerous mining shafts that were worked by many Italian immigrant families and others who settled nearby. Enhanced by artist David B. Dalhquist (Dahlquist Art Studios), the bridge art is an artistic representation of the view through a mine shaft.
The conservation board directors estimate that more than 3,000 people use this trail each week.
Put the High Trestle Trail on your list of fun things to do this winter or next spring when the weather warms up and you can bring out your bicycles.
By the time we’d gotten back home in Ames, we’d put on 80 miles on our old Vulcan. It was a relaxing and beautiful trip. It beat dinner and a movie any day.
Dr. Bing Wall is a therapist specializing in marriage and relationships and issues facing single adults with a practice in Ames and Urbandale, Iowa. To set up a time to see Dr. Wall click here or call 888-233-8473. For more information about Dr. Wall click here.