How I Became a Swinger

This, this is one of the big things I imagined, I dreamed of, when I thought about what life would be like in retirement.


Ok, just stop it, get your brain out of the gutter. I'm not talking about THAT kind of swinging.


No, I'm talking about the gentle swaying back and forth that happens when you walk across a 262-foot suspension bridge. Just like the one they have in Columbus Junction, Iowa.

Image of suspension bridge from entrance
Lover's Leap Bridge in Columbus Junction, IA

As I approached retirement I thought about the many things I would soon be able to do thanks to having the luxury of time. I thought about long road trips around the country, of creating more art and completing a long list of projects around the house.


But right up near the top of the list was the ability to just take a day, get in the car and go see something I hadn’t seen before. I dreamed of having the time to not worry about what I wasn’t getting done if I took a day, or even two, to just go explore.


John Lennon once said, “The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time.”


While still working a job, I felt like I couldn’t just “waste” a day. There were too many things I had to get done on those two-day weekends to be able to go on a lark. Even when I did, I often had this feeling there were other things I should be doing, which didn’t allow me to truly enjoy that wasted day.


Now I don’t have to think twice about wasting a day. As Lennon said, it’s not wasting a day because I’m doing what I enjoy doing.


The college for which I worked has a satellite center in Columbus Junctiregularly saw the sign pointing to the suspension bridge during my visits to the site. I’d always wanted to find out what this suspension bridge was all about, but never felt like I could afford the time.


That changed the moment I retired and on a recent weekday, a friend and I hopped in the car and made the hour drive to check out this bridge for ourse

Image of suspension bridge looking up from beneath it.
It's worth it to take Possum Hollow Trail to get a view looking up at the bridge.**

The bridge is very well known. Do a quick Google search and you’ll discover a long list of travel sites have posted stories about it.


Known as Lover's Leap Swinging Bridge, it’s very easy to find. Just look for the signs along Second Street, the main street you’ll be on as you drive into town.


The original bridge was built in 1880 and replaced in 1922 when the first one collapsed. I wouldn’t have wanted to be on it when that happen because it is a fairly long distance, about eight stories, from the bridge to the ground.

Just a little shy of a football field in length, the current bridge does indeed swing. Though, I would say it’s more of a sway unless you have someone like, uh, umm, err, me, who helps it swing even more.


Seriously, it does catch you a bit by surprise when you first begin walking on it. Your mind subconsciously tells you it’s going to be solid like other bridges you’ve walked across but it does indeed sway back and forth, and you notice immediately upon walking onto it. The first few steps deliver a bit of an unnerving experience.


The Lovers Leap moniker comes thanks to an old tale of an Indian maiden leaping to her death from the original bridge after her love was killed in battle. The fable goes onto say she is buried at the bottom, and late upon a particularly quiet night, you can still hear her cries for her lost lover.

Image of padlocks on cables along a wooden bridge.
Many Love Locks have begun to appear along the bridge.**

Maybe because of the legend, or maybe just because it’s the thing to do, many “love locks” are now fastened to the bridge. If you’re familiar with the term, they are padlocks that couples attach to a bridge to signify their love for each other.


You can enter the bridge from the nearby street or follow Possum Hollow Trail down to the bottom beneath the bridge and then on up to the opposite entrance. There’s a sign marking the way. It’s a relatively short hike and if you’re a walker, I would encourage you to take the path.


The entire area is very well maintained and there is an obvious effort underway to make it even nicer with newly planted flowers and other vegetation. There’s a gazebo near the entrance and another shelter at the other end of the bridge.

Image of outdoor gazebo
The gazebo near the entrance looks like a fairly new addition.**

There’s also other paths in the area you can follow along if you just generally want to check out the wooded area near the bridge.


In the end, it was not a “wasted” day at all because I very much enjoyed my visit to Lover’s Leap Bridge.


As a bit of teaser, I’ll also be posting about the great Mexican meal we had after visiting the bridge. Oh, if Columbus Junction were just a little closer, I’d be heading there for lunch quite often.


**I allow use of my photos through Creative Commons License. I'm not looking to make money off this thing. I only ask that you provide me with credit for the photo by noting my blog address or a link back to this page.

post photo.jpg

Never saying,
"I wish I had"

Thanks for stopping by. Hoping you find something you enjoy in here. Click on that little Read More button right below to learn a little more about me and why I never want to say, I wish I had.

Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest