Monday, September 21, 2009

Orchard, winery & barn tour

After a lazy start to our Sunday morning(man, I like Saturday night church!), we decided it was time to go for a ride. The nice Sundays are going to be few and far between as the weather turns, so wanted to take advantage of it while we still could. The main goal was to end up at an apple orchard but we wound up with some other interesting stops in the process.

There is something reminiscent of my childhood to see cattle grazing in the pasture. Notice the sunny sky too.

As they said "Go West young man" so we listened and headed west to Iowa.

We crossed my "favorite" (not) bridge between Savanna, IL & Sabula, IA. The bridge has a grated surface that pulls the bike all over the place plus you can see right down through it so it never feels very safe. Oh, and please disregard the road kill in the picture right above the windshield. Poor little guy didn't quite make it to the other side. Now, what was he thinking anyway? Silly animals!

Once you cross the bridge the road runs between the backwaters of the Mississippi River and is always good for viewing wildlife. These water are almost always loaded with herons such as this one.

The rolling farmground along the river in Iowa is always so picturesque. We'd like to return in a week or two as the leaves turn.

First stop on Rt 52 was the Gravert's Apple Orchard. I came, I saw, I purchased.
Goal accomplished!
While there, we found out about the Brush Creek Winery west of Bellevue and thought we would check it out. Sorry no winery pictures. I didn't even think about it. I did think about making a purchase there though and we did! The owner was really interesting to talk with and told us about a barn tour going on in the area. Knowing, we wouldn't have time to stop at them all as it was starting to cloud up, we went with the winery owners suggestion of which one was the most interesting. Wow, what a beautiful place!

This farmstead orginated in the 1850's with the original part of the house being built in 1870. Isn't it gorgeous? I love the limestone bank. The owners just added the wrap around porch this year. Aren't the steps cool? They were concrete but stamped and stained to look like wood.

A beautiful rock waterfall in the backyard.

Here are just a couple of the buildings. In all there are 18 remaining buildings on the farm. They were all painted the traditional red & white and all had green roofs.

The family that lives here raise alpacas. If you ask me, they kind of look like a poodle on steroids. The owners said they are a very gentle animal. They were definitely unconcerned about me taking their picture. The Mrs. had alpaca yarn for sale. I've never felt anything so soft in my life. I did resist the urge to buy some as the only knitting I've ever done is a simple garter stitch scarf but it sooo really tempting. I could just imagine it wrapped around my neck this winter.

By now, it was really clouding up so thought we ought to make a run for home. So much for the sun we had earlier in the day. We didn't quite make it before the rain hit. We rode in it for the last 25 miles. It was well worth it to spend the day with my hubby on the back of our bike.


  1. Sun? You had SUN? We never saw the sun all day. I'm glad you had some in Illinois! Your rides are always so interesting. Thanks for sharing.
    be blessed,

  2. Love the picture of the barn and mostly the pic of the two of you.... Looks like you had a special day visiting the state I grew up in. Thanks for sharing.

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  3. Sounds like a fun day. I'd have to do it in a car though. Loyd has a big Honda Shadow and I've never been on it. We were Harley folk early in marriage, but I haven't ridden since I received news I was pregnant 29 years ago. My daughter rode till she married last year and sold hers. Boy, was I glad!

  4. I'm lovin that picture of you two!!! He's such a willing subject! I'm assuming it was taken pre rain!

  5. Thanks so much for the bike ride. I will say that I HATE THAT BRIDGE!!!! You have photographed the entrance that has concrete but like you've described the road bed is an open grate. The bridge is horribly narrow and the entire span is harrowing in a car, I can't imagine taking it on a bike!!!

    You are brave. Riding in the rain is not fun either. I always felt I was being pelted with needles. Having said all that, I DO miss my bike.

    - Suzanne

  6. I so love reading your stories! I love the part about just heading into Iowa! That part of the U.S. is so unknown to me that it's so cool to hear you say it! "We headed west into Iowa"!

    Alpacas!! Love them, too! When I grow up and get my farm, I'm raisin' some.

    Thanks for sharing and letting me come on your trip. :)

  7. What a beautiful ride and a beautiful farm! I actually was born in Iowa but have no memories of it.

  8. That's an awesome farm! It's nice to see one that has been well taken care of all those years.
    And I love the pic of the two of you on your bike! I might have to try taking one of us like that some day! Too bad your day had to end with rain - but that's all part of the fun isn't it?!

  9. You crossed THAT bridge on the motorcycle? I'd rather eat worms!! I can't stand it in a car.

    Way cool farmhouse! Love the stone bank and the wrap around porch. Love!!