|South of Decorah, Iowa along Highway 150|
|Taken at Dutton Cave Park at sunrise|
Someone honored me with her presence on this trip! Meet Serena, the little 14 year old tortoise shell kitty who was a birthday present in 1998. She’s got my heart. The tiny girl has an adventuresome spirit and though losing most of her sight in one eye, she has a lot of life left in her.
Usually the readers hear about Jesse James (a.k.a. “Mr. Jesse”), my tomcat. He’s a wimp. When Dad’s large, gentle neighbor dog came over to visit, Jesse ran in the house. Serena stood up to the big dog, Zoey, and slapped her!
That takes moxie. The kind a camping cat woul need to possess.
This picture was taken at Grannis Creek, a small trout stream in NE Iowa about 75 miles north of Cedar Rapids. The creek was dry. I almost gave up and turned around but then went a little farther and found some running water! Apparently a spring or ice cave recharged the creek further downstream. The pool near the van was crystal clear and friggin’ loaded with trout. In about an hour I pulled five rainbows from the same hole. The orange on their bellies told me that they had likely been in there a while. Talk about luck!
After cleaning the trout, the sun started to sink and the temperature dropped quickly. A cold front had charged through the state, the fierce winds shaking the leaves off the trees and threatening to bring an abrupt end to our “Indian Summer”.
I decided to camp at Dutton Cave park – a small campground just a few miles away. It was nice to be the only camper and only pay the $8 fee – electricity included! This time however, I didn’t go camping in my boxers like the last visit. The temperature had fallen so quickly and the winds were so fierce, dinner was cooked in the van. It was just some veggies and turkey Italian sausages… actually, quite tasty after fishing in the cold.
Serena ate and drank from little Styrofoam bowls on the kitchen counter in the van. She did not seem upset at all by the van environment. In fact, she purred most of the day and really seemed to enjoy the alone time with me. I put a little towel on the floor for her to pee on. It was a towel Dad’s cat had tinkled on so she got the message. (There were newspapers underneath). Serena seemed to acclimate very well.
Today is Friday and I am writing this post from McDonalds in Decorah, Iowa. The hillside is dotted with red, yellow, orange, brown, and green splotches that almost look like some kids with spray cans decorated the landscape. It’s beautiful and relaxing.