Saturday, June 15, 2013

Day 27 - Winterset & Kansas City

The Roseman Covered Bridge near Winterset, Iowa. This bridge was used in the Meryl Street/Clint Eastwood movie "The Bridges of Madison County".

Us - at the Roseman Covered Bridge, near Winterset, Iowa

The birthplace of John Wayne, Winterset, Iowa

John Wayne statue in a Winterset park. The locals are trying to raise money for a John Wayne Museum at this particular spot

The Holliwell Covered Bridge, Winterset. Also used in the film "The Bridges of Madison County"

The Holliwell Covered Bridge near Winterset, Iowa

Our dirty "Ralph" in front of the last covered bridge we visited - The Imes Bridge.

Entering Missouri and out of Iowa - it's the law!!!!

A snap shot of Kansas City, Missouri taken at 65 MPH along the many expressways that cris-cross the city

On the way to the dancing venue in Kansas City, Kansas we experienced a torrential downpour. The fuzzy photo was taken inside Ralph when we stopped to wait for the peak of the storm to pass. Notice the waterfall on the right side of the picture coming from the elevated roadway - very scary indeed.

An excellent dance venue - Walter's Dance Centre owned by Mark Harris in Kansas City, Kansas. He taught us our second lesson on the West Coast Swing and we have actually put a 16 bar sequence in place. We wish we had this building in Penrith for all our friends.  

The social dance at Walters Dance Centre - Mark Harris teaching the American style rumba

Mark Harris with a slightly apprehensive student. Kansas City, Kansas

Anne and Mark Harris during the social dance at Walter's Dance Centre, Kansas City, Kansas

Last night it poured down and hailed. We were thinking of poor Ralph taking the brunt of the storm. However, in the morning all was okay but it was still raining. Strange weather here in Winterset, first it is raining then sunny and then back to heavy rain. Needless to say, it didn't worry us as when we were visiting the tourist sites - these places were visited during the sunny break - ain't we lucky? Steve and Nancy, our B&B hosts gave us a great English traditional breakfast and were great conversationalists at the dining room table. We left at 9:30 am and visited the Roseman Covered Bridge nearby. This was the main bridge filmed in the Bridge of Madison County. Then we drove back to Winterset and visited the John Wayne birthplace museum and Neil obtained many books about the great man. Also there was Maureen O'Hara's biography which we couldn't refuse buying. After staying in her room last night we gained some interest in the aging star. We left Winterset and visited Holliwell Covered Bridge and further on the Imes Bridge. Hence it was a three hour dash southward to Kansas City. We arrived at our Holiday Inn Hotel at 3 pm, checked in and then went straight on the our pre-arranged dancing lesson at Walter's Dance Centre. Now before we go any further we like to discuss Kansas City. Astute readers may have picked out that in the photographs above  have annotated Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas. Firstly they are the same city....but...two different locations - confused?  The Missouri River runs west to east through Kansas City and separates the city north and south. The border actually runs from the west along the river and about half way in Kansas City the border turns immediately southward and bi-sects the city into two, west and east. More confused??? Well, to differentiate the two parts there is Kansas City, Kansas (on the west side) and Kansas City, Missouri (on the east side). Interestingly, our accommodation is just in the west side (Kansas City, Kansas) and the border is only 50 metres or so away (the street that separates the two is called State Line Road). So that's it in a nutshell. Well back to the dancing. On our way to Walters for our lesson a downpour occurred and we have never seen torrential rain as it did. On the expressway we could only drive about 30 kph and the water was almost flood conditions. The way it poured down was absolutely terrifying. Anyway we had our lesson on the West Coast Swing and our instructor Mark Harris help us with a 16 bat routine. All we need to do now is to put it into muscle memory and follow the beat. The only way we could describe this dance is a slow jive with foxtrot movements. After the lesson we drove back to the hotel, freshened up had a meal from the hot dog place next door and returned to Walters for a social event. Anne was invited to dance the American style foxtrot from a local and coped very well. We did the Paso Madrid which the Americans - some how - love watching. We finished at 10 pm dashed back to our hotel to finish the day off. Tomorrow we are still in Kansas City, and if the weather is fine we will explore Kansas City's famous fountains. Cheers. 

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