On the Train Bridge

I heard y’all wanted more posts about living in Iowa, so… well, yesterday I rode my bike with some friends (and a whole bunch of strangers) to a bridge that was literally called Train Bridge, to watch an historical locomotive pass by.

You didn’t have to ride a bike to get there, though many of us did. There was a nearby road, and a parking lot, and people brought lawn chairs.

And this was the kind of thing that I could have done in Seattle, or Los Angeles, or anywhere else I’ve lived. But I probably wouldn’t have done it, because it would have been too far away to get to, and I’d have to be a real train enthusiast to give up an entire evening just to look at a particularly old locomotive.

I didn’t have to set aside the whole evening for this. We were there and back in under an hour, and if we’d taken our cars instead of our bikes it would have gone even faster.

I also love that the bridge was just called Train Bridge, and we didn’t have to stand in the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Train Observation Center or whatever it would have been in a city that decided to sell the naming rights.

Cedar Rapids’s official slogan is “The City of Five Seasons,” with the idea being that you get the four distinct seasons plus time to appreciate them all. Neither half of this slogan is necessarily true; climate change has blurred the four seasons into “the hot one” and “the cold one,” and it should be obvious that not everyone can take time from their other responsibilities to go hang out at a bridge and wait for a train to show up.

But if you can, it makes the whole day better.*

Which is why I’m so glad I moved here. ❤️

*And if you can’t meet up at 5 p.m. at the Train Bridge for the train thing (or if you just don’t care about trains), there are still all the free days at the art museum, and the free concerts at the community center, and the corn-themed political rallies, and everything going on with the library, and probably some sports stuff that I haven’t ever paid attention to, and… it’s just nice, you know?

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