Settings #9 – Rickett’s Ridge: Spectacular sunsets and glorious sunrises

According to a book on local geology Ro found at the Lee’s Landing Library, the little over two-mile long “hill” in the northwestern part of the county known to locals as Rickett’s Ridge was really a long, narrow mound of gravel and boulders called as an esker left over from some long-gone glacier.

A topographic map, which she also looked up at the library, confirmed it was the highest point in the county.

And it was one of her favorite spots when on patrol.

County Road G ran north to south along the ridge’s crest; while to the west the slope was fairly gentle, to the east the nearly hundred-foot drop-off was quite sharp.

So that, depending on which shift she was patrolling, Rickett’s Ridge presented either views of spectacular sunsets to the west or glorious sunrises to the east. And during daylight hours you could see great swaths of the county’s orderly crop fields dotted with farmsteads.

But her favorite was to make a brief stop at night when she could see all the way to U.S. 68, six miles to the east, and Interstate 82, some seven miles off to her right, with their endless streams of tiny white headlights and even tinier red taillights crawling along.

However, her stops were always infrequent and brief because she didn’t want to establish too much of a pattern in her patrol routes, so that bad guys might be able to predict where she would be and contemplate some mischief elsewhere.

In 2007 she was disappointed, but not surprised, when the view to the west – thank heaven the slope to the east was too steep! – was marred by a new hundred-foot stick antenna built by the State of Iowa to facilitate radio communication with state police cars and other state vehicles in the eastern counties. Fort Armstrong County was allowed to hang its own repeater on the tower not far from the top and several cellphone providers wrapped their antennae around it as well, in fact, their rental fees turned the tower into a small profit center for the state.

Next: Fort Defiance Institute

© 2018 Dave Lager