Walk inside a covered bridge and go back in time to the days of horse-drawn carriages and wagons rolling over creaky wood floor boards. A roof shelters travelers from the elements and sun streams through the cross-slat sides. In the 1800’s, covered bridges were common throughout the US. Innovation and modern transportation turned the bridges into wooden relics of a past age replaced by highways.
Romance and Covered Bridges
Covered bridges, knicknamed kissing bridges, are quiet hideaways that attract couples. Robert Kincaid, a National Geographic photographer, travels on assignment to Iowa to photograph a county’s bridges in The Bridges of Madison County, a fictional best-selling novel. The story was turned into a popular movie starring Clint Eastwood as the taciturn Kincaid and Meryl Streep as Francesca Johnson, expatriate Italian and lonely farmer’s wife, he meets and falls in love with on his trip. While photographing the covered bridges, love blooms between Robert and Francesca. Kincaid speaks his thoughts and emotions through his photographs and a shared love of poetry. The book and movie highlight the love story and the romantic beauty of the bridges.
Fall Colors and Covered Bridges
Fall season is a popular time to tour covered bridges. The country landscape takes on rich colorful hues accented against the old weathered covered bridges. Covered bridges are in counties across the US. During October two of the largest, most well-known covered bridge festivals are held in Madison County Iowa and Parke County Indiana. Parke County has 31 covered bridges, probably the most in one county in the US. Madison County has 19 bridges.
Festivals have attendees from around the US coming for the music, vintage cars, period costumes, storytelling, and historic bridges.
Covered Bridge Stories, Covered Bridge Festival, Madison County, Iowa, October 13 -14, 2012
Covered Bridge Festival, Parke County, Indiana, October 12-21, 2012
Do you have a covered bridge in your town or county?
Photos of a Covered Bridge
42 Annual Madison County Covered Bridge Festival
(from Boblink 123)