Chicken poop and alien structures

by on July 13, 2009
in Iowa Rides

Threatening weather (which never materialized) kept most folks away from East Village Bike Night on July 10, but Saturday the 11th was a great day for a ride. We started out with a trip up to Big Barn HD for the Summer Celebration. For me that translates into shopping and free lunch – I refuse to play the silly outdoor games until they bring back Chicken Bingo, which, in case you are unfamiliar, is an amusing adventure involving a chicken and her poop.

Anyway, shopping was successful (bought a pink leather pouch to clip to my jeans) so we then headed out on a short ride by taking a slight deviation from the usual “Madrid Loop.”

We traveled up to Madrid via NW Beaver Drive, through Polk City and up Highway 17, then west to Woodward and south to Highway 141. Headed Southeast on 141 back to 44 and then west on 44 which brought us into the north end of Des Moines at Johnston. About 70 miles total, I think, but made for a nice (if short) afternoon accompanied by Garry & Shirley – thanks guys!!

I wish I had stopped to take a picture from the Des Moines River bridge just west of Madrid. As you head out of town on Highway 210 toward Woodward, there is a row of cement pilings that used to hold up a railroad bridge. There’s no bridge or trestle anymore – just the cement towers. And the river in this area has apparently been really low for a couple of seasons because it’s just a small snakey stream  running through a lush green valley of a riverbed.

Garry tells me the towers are going to be used to hold a recreational trail, a project also mentioned on the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation website. For now, the view of it from the highway is very surreal-looking – these man-made cement towers with no discernable purpose rising up like soldiers in a row through the grassy, nearly-dry riverbed. The aerial photo used here is from the INHF website and doesn’t look nearly as alien as the view from the highway, but it does show the condition of the riverbed and the highway running parallel to the row of towers at the right.

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4 Responses to “Chicken poop and alien structures”
  1. wendyvee says:

    Wow, that does look kinda’ creepy, huh?

  2. BikerChick says:

    Hi Wendy – it’s even weirder when you are at road-level, looking across at it. Just seems like there should be more river there, and SOMETHING connecting those towers. It reminds me of the trip my friend Susan and I took a few years ago where we rode past acres of those giant wind turbines – they were SO large and intimidating! I do think a recreational trail is a wonderful idea, but for now it’s just very very strange-looking – and been that way for years!

  3. Cassie says:

    I think we went by that on a LOH ride up to Ames last month.. I remember seeing the pillers and I was wondering what they were for. I thought maybe they were putting a new highway through there or something.. That will be a nice recreational trail.. Going to have to see if I can find it by myself.

    Cuddles and Cassie

  4. Janet says:

    It’s an easy one to find… Take 17 up to Madrid, left at the 210 junction stop sign in Madrid, follow 210 through town and then west. You’ll go right by it just outside of town.

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