|Pronounced “Sahb-ruh”, there’s nothing like a snack
of tasty hummus – even if you are not Jewish.
A day of Kosher eating? What’s up with that? No, I’m not Jewish… more like sort of a backslidden “Bapti-costal”. This day’s activities were influenced by my sister. She is currently studying Judaism and trying to maintain an Orthodox kosher diet. Since the plan was to visit a Jewish community, it seemed like kosher eating might be a fun thing to try on Thursday after a little more ichthyological indulgence.
Fishing a second time was too tempting to pass up. Trout are, with fins and scales, a kosher food!
Wednesday night I had slept at the Walmart in Decorah, Iowa located incredibly close to the lower end of the trout stream. It was difficult sleeping because the clock kept teasing me as each hour was ticking by slower and slower. Finally the sun came up and it was off to the favorite new park.
It did not take long for the action to start. This little guy was still on the line when the picture was taken. His life was later sacrificed for breakfast. Unfortunately, I lost the hook in him after the picture was taken.
As was expected, the holes closest to the road had been fished heavily and before long another person came by and soon moved in on where I was casting. That’s always a bit annoying and moving on seemed preferable.
The hope was not to have to venture far because I had to do so on the bike and wasn’t sure if I would make it. The rear tire on the new bike was on the verge of separating and was making worsening thumping noises.
Nonetheless, it was necessary to play a little game of leapfrog. While fishing the first hole, a boot clad, vest wearing angler walked past me, heading down the trail toward the better fishing spots. Since the best hole was a little over a half mile away and with me being a selfish a**hole, it was important that he not get there first. I took the bike off the rack on the back of van, crossing my fingers that it wouldn’t break down.
In May of 2008, the former company, Agriprocessors, was raided by immigration agents and 389 or so illegal alien workers were arrested. At the time it was the largest such raid in U.S. history. The company had been run by Sholom Rubashkin. He was subsequently convicted of 86 federal fraud violations. Rubashkin was sentenced to 27 years of federal prison time. Agriprocessors went bankrupt and closed in October of 2008.
The facility was sold and Agri Star was opened shortly thereafter. It is in operation today. They make a number of tasty products including kosher meat products under the label “Aaron’s Best.
If you click on the picture and look on the label of the hotdog package (inside the added green box) you can see the company name and city of origin. I cooked these frankfurters for dinner and they were exquisite! From now on, it’s going to be kosher hot dogs instead of the other premium brands.
Postville has a rich mix of different cultures – something unusual for such a very small town. There is a robust Mexican community, a number of Somalies, and quite a few Jewish folks. I saw several Jewish men dressed in the traditional black clothing with black hats. Much of the cultural diversity can be attributed to the workforce employed at the slaughterhouse.
Just a suggestion… One lesson learned on this trip was to carry cut up yellow, green, and red peppers in a container in the cooler. You can conveniently use them for a lot of dishes and they help keep the eating patterns healthier.
What a treasure!!! After picking up a few supplies, it was a good call to come back to check out this little camping area.
Dutton’s Cave is a small opening in a limestone bluff. Although you can walk up to the cave (near the “Picnic Area”), you cannot enter. A gate blocks the trail. If you were to become injured, authorities would not find your carcass for quite some time. It’s in a very remote area and the slippery, wet limestone crevices are treacherous to explore.
Upon returning to the camping area, I started a campfire and roasted some of the delicious kosher hot dogs made and purchased in neighboring Postville. Since it was in the 90s and nobody around, it was a blast camping in the “skivvies” with nobody but God there to witness it. Now I’m not a nudist or anything but if you have never camped in the raw (or with minimal clothing), it’s a very liberating experience and there is no other feeling like the sun warming your skin.
There are only two sites with electricity. The cost (with power) was just $8 per night – the cheapest rate I have ever seen. It was a great chance to run the A/C and cool off.
Today when returning south to Cedar Rapids, I passed through the familiar town of Oelwein and took a detour through the Amish community. Realizing that it is frowned upon to photograph the Amish, this picture was stealthfully snapped using the zoom.
The Amish children were walking to school on the shoulder of the highway. I wondered if they had any modern day worries about abduction and such but the children were mostly in groups of six or more. Even these two kids had four youngsters just ahead of them. As is typical, everyone I saw waved.
After returning to Cedar Rapids, I had to stop by the bike shop. A defective tire on the new bike had limited the riding on the trip. Thankfully it was replaced under warranty. There is always time to return to the area this fall. A second Decorah voyage is already in the planning stages for late September. Hopefully I will have more time to look for Cousin Jim this time, too!
Thanks for checking out the blog. Have a great weekend and enjoy the rest of the fall camping season.
Brad aka V.T.
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