Short, sweet solo ride to Palmyra Church
If you read this blog regularly, you know that my favorite way to ride is gather some friends and take off for an interesting Iowa destination, find some new curvy roads or a good local diner, or – when the stars align – all three! Sometimes though there’s not time, or I just want to simplify, so it might just be me an’ hubby Steve. Then other times, he’s working on a project or otherwise occupado, so I go by myself.
So today I took off by myself for awhile – did less than 50 miles, took 90 minutes doing it, and came back feeling quite refreshed! I headed south on my trusty county road R63 which goes south out of Des Moines down to Highway 92 at Indianola. I was going to ride west to Winterset then do the St. Charles & Truro loop that my gal pals and I missed last year, but I left home later than I intended (and needed gas anyway) so instead of going west on 92 I went east into Indianola.
Once through town I turned north on S23, the “Palmyra Road.” Stopped to snap a couple roadside pictures (much easier to do when riding alone – no group to worry about!), then continued north. As I was passing through the tiny town of Palmyra, I noticed the neat old church that we always see when we are headed to Bike Night, and as I passed it I thought I should stop and take some pictures. So just because I was alone and could do so easily, I slowed and did a U-turn and went back to the church.
I am a huge fan of peeling, chippy paint and old buildings, and the Palmyra Church is a neat little gem in a town of about 500 people. Built in 1870 (1870, people!), the church had its heyday through the 1940′s and went into decline, and around 1979 was on the “short list” for demolition. Thank goodness the descendents of the original builders were still in the area and got wind of the plan, because they got together and the church now rests on its laurels upon the National Register of Historic Places. A bit of restoration occurred, and a bit more is planned. Although the church doesn’t have a congregation, it is available for special events and hopefully one day the bell will be restored to the bell tower. (Read a bit more in this neat article from the Mason City Globe Gazette.)
Cute little gothic country church…
The NRHP agrees.
Just look at that chippy goodness!
These windows are completely awesome.
Happy to have found the place – neat little ride!