A favorite bike trail crossing of mine on the Great Western Trail is just a few yards off of this gravel road intersection. It’s a good stopping point to tip back our water bottles, compare notes on the ride and turn back to the trailhead where our vehicle awaits us.

Central Iowa gravel roads are a twisting, turning maze of this way and that. I’m never quite sure where the highway is to take me home again but that’s part of the adventure when I’m on a photo expedition. Finding this particular intersection – 33rd Avenue and Fillmore – has eluded me for weeks.

Until now.

I was delighted a few nights ago to stumble onto a not-yet-travelled strip of gravel with gorgeous old barns, windmills and fields of cattle. While I had yet to find anything that caught my photographic eye that evening, I did make a happy discovery: the 33rd Avenue road sign. Could this be it? I drove along for a mile or two and there it was. I’d found it.

I was further thrilled another quarter mile or so to come across an old single-lane bridge. The road was lined by swamp and deep woods on either side. When I exited my car to snap a few photos, I had to make it quick as the mosquitoes – late in the evening as it was – were literally out for blood, aghast (or perhaps thrilled?) at my intrusion.

It was a successful outing. I’d found a bridge to photograph and more importantly, my elusive intersection was elusive no more.

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge: 2015 Week #33


This small but stout bridge on a nondescript ‘river’ in central Iowa is our halfway point whether we begin our ride at the southern trailhead in Martensdale or from the other direction at the parking lot juncture just outside the Cumming Tap – a popular stopping point for bikers especially on Tacopocalypse Tuesday nights.

I like it here because of the quiet, the isolation and, especially late in the day, how the trees are reflected in the water below. We don’t stay too long – we’re riding for the exercise, after all! — but just enough to drink from our water bottles, maybe snap a few photos and to compare notes on the ride. And then we mount our bikes, push off and – exhilaration! – we’re flying again.


An old, derelict school bus, sandwiched between what appear to be two abandoned, ramshackle mobile homes, runs parallel to our favorite stretch of the Great Western Trail, a popular rails to trails bike path. Come summer, these tumbledown, forsaken structures will be almost entirely hidden from view by all the trees in full bloom, vines, shrubs and other unrestrained vegetation. For now though, stepping carefully (and somewhat daintily!), I was able to snap a few pics of these old relics while I still have a relatively clear path to do so.

Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge: Abandoned or Alone