Talk about a fun way to end a little trek in the van! Last night I attended a concert at the Isle of Capri Casino following a fun day of hiking and exploring. There will be more band pictures a little farther into the post.
The day started out near the Minnesota border at the Otranta campground. As I headed south, there were a number of public hunting / fishing areas along Highway 218. In the last post, I mentioned one in Mitchell. There is another that is further south that is just a mile off the highway near the small town of Floyd (30 miles or so outside of Waterloo). That public area proved to be a lot of fun.
Always in search of new camping and fishing spots, I stopped in at this little pull off that was not much more than a secluded parking spot under some trees. It’s perfect for camping, parking with the date of your choice, or indulging in a few beers or that stuff the kids smoke (I’m too old for that!)
There is an incredible hiking trail that takes you down to a tiny creek. It’s about a 15 minute walk but is very scenic. Along the way I found some fresh oyster mushrooms and various critters to take pictures of. Despite the 90+ degree weather and high humidity, it was a great workout.
As I was coming back up the trail from the creek (a bit disappointed that there were no fish in the water because the stream was so shallow, I noticed the beautiful butterfly. As I tried to take its picture, it closed its wings. It is funny how a person tries to communicate with critters that cannot hear. I whispered and asked it to let me take its picture. The wings opened for a short time and I snapped a shot.
After seeing the beautiful insect, I headed back up the steep hill and encountered what appeared to be a number of oyster mushrooms. Like a dummy, I picked them before taking a picture. I believe they are edible but am going to do some further checking. One mistake and … well… you know. When time allows, a class on mushroom hunting would be a fun diversion. A liver is a terrible thing to waste on a few mushrooms.
Dinner was at the old favorite, Popeye’s, for some chicken. I ordered enough that there was meat to take home to Mr. Jesse (the tomcat) who gobbled it down like he hadn’t eaten for a month. A person (or cat) has to have priorities. He ignored me and went for the food!
From there it was on to the concert at the Isle Casino in Waterloo for the Chicago Spazmatics concert Please check out the link provided to hear some of their music. The concert started at 8:00 PM as the sun was just setting.
The crowd was predictably made up of 40 somethings. Some carried beers and were ready to party. I even danced a little (which is a rare thing). A lady motioned to alert me that the cell phone had danced out of the pocket and onto the ground. (Whew!)
The show had started with a lot of energy and held that momentum for an hour and a half. Some of the songs they played where “The Power of Love”, “Footloose”, “Jesse’s Girl”, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, “Livin’ on a Prayer”, “Come on Eileen”, and many others. It was a blast! It amazes me when one group can do a good job of reproducing hits like those from Bruce Springstein, Toto, Huey Lewis, and others we loved (and still do) from the 1980s.
Milton, the bass guitar player, was the most difficult to photograph. The helmet darkened the image. He also sang, as did all of the band members. Talk about a lot of talent!
Milton could also win the “best dressed” award. In addition of the blue shirt, he had a pair of high waisted, plaid pants that will make you remember the 1980s … and be glad you are in 2013!
Sherman, was another high energy guy. Yes, that’s white tape on his “nerd glasses.
He played the lead guitar and did vocals as well. Sherman is a heck of a singer and keeps the slow lively. Yes, Sherman is dressed up like the Karate Kid (circa 1980s, of course!)
Meet Professor Eugene. If you look closely, you will see that he is sporting a pocket protector and a “Hello, My Name Is” type sticker. Eugene looks like he came from a software conference… (I have experience speaking at those.. there ARE geeks there and I was one of them!)
Professor Eugene is an accomplished drum player and it was fun to watch him perform, often throwing the drumsticks in the air without skipping a beat! He can rap, too!
So there you have it… the Chicago Spazmatics. It was a free concert well worth seeing. I hope they perform again some time in this area because it would be fun to watch them again.
In the meantime, let’s grab a cold one, turn off the Richard Simmons VHS workout tape, and watch the Chicago Spazmatics… while sweatin’ to these oldies. It’s a fun time. Thanks Spazmatics!
Thanks for visiting, friends! —- Brad, the Van Trekker
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