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The Far Horizon: 1940

The Far Horizon: 1940

May 1940. "County road in Western Iowa corn country. Monona County." Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Iowa's Loess Hills

Only one or two other places on Earth have this geological formation of windswept river silt from the passing of the last Ice Age. Hills that are 100-300 feet tall that formed along the banks of the Missouri River valley in Western Iowa. China is the other place on Earth with such formations. If you drive through this area in any season it's pretty cool. Great hiking too.

Second shot

It seems Vachon appreciated the beauty of the sky that day and framed his image as a vertical. My photographer's guess is he also made an horizontal image that would give us an even better feel for a non-flat Iowa.

[His only other shot was another vertical. - Dave]


I am from Iowa and the one thing it is not is flat. The amount of hills though depend on where you are at in the state.

I would be willing to be that that road is still gravel. Iowa roads are set on a grid pattern to make getting crops to market easier. It means though most of them are gravel because farm equipment doesn't care if its on pavement or gravel.

I would not have guessed Iowa

I have driven around Iowa a fair bit, and don't remember rolling hills like these. Apparently, I learned something today.

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