Hello, once again. Wednesday’s trip was supposed to be about trout fishing and bike riding. It turned out to be entirely different. That’s the fun of traveling and camping by van. If you are a spontaneous person, this is the way to go!
I left Cedar Rapids a little late. The plan was to stop, ride the bike on a nature trail for a while, do some fishing, and let the kitty roam. Serena ended up getting sick and we had to shorten the trip. It was fairly warm and I had made a terrible mistake. I should have locked the cat in the front of the van with me because it is cool up front. Instead, she opted to stay in the back of the van where it was about 90 degrees. No harm done – it just meant a change in plans. She’s a tough old kitty. Thankfully, a stop was needed and I could check on her.
I had forgotten to bring the kringla that was made the other day. Along the way I found a little farmer’s market and picked up some of the world’s best chocolate chip cookies. They are incredibly thick yet soft and chewy. The girls selling them are Mennonite. You can’t beat old school, homemade goodies!
When stopping at the Farmer’s Market, it was then I noticed Serena was limp and panting. I gave her some water and held her as we hurried to Goeken park, just 15 minutes south of Decorah. She rested in the shade under the van.
Goeken Park, located just a few hundred feet from Highway 150, (the main road) is a new favorite. The slanted ground makes parking a big rig or even a 5th wheel camper difficult but for a van it’s perfect. (if you don’t mind sleeping downhill) With electricity, the cost was only $8 but I chose the “non electric” option for just $5. You just can’t beat the view or the value!
It was cool to have a private mini pavilion with free electricity for food preparation. I cooked up a nice evening meal (more new recipes for the cookbook effort) while the kitty watched. After eating, Serena roamed around a little. That’s when we found the toad which I nicknamed “Theodore”. He was a cute little guy but was afraid of me.
Eventually he calmed down (after purging all bodily substances in my hand). Teddy sat still long enough to take some photos.
The sun started going down. Mother Nature had changed her color palette to evening hues. The wispy white cirrus clouds atop distant thunderstorms had taken on a more fiery color. A lone toad (not Teddy) croaked. A couple of crickets chirped. Tires sang as cars drove by on the highway. Someone in the distance was mowing his or her lawn.
The lawnmower stopped as the sky darkened. Fewer cars passed by. The orchestra of insects started to play as the sky became darker. Then I realized that quite a bit of time had passed and the face and arms were bitten by numerous mosquitoes. It was time to rest. Talk about a peaceful night’s sleep! Serena was also tuckered out and snoozed by my face with her paw on the right collarbone.
It’s another beautiful day today… much more like fall. They sky is clear and so is the Upper Iowa River. Two feet and four paws are going fishing and exploring now.
Have a spectacular day and enjoy the sunsets. I don’t think there is a more effective therapy or better stress medication than observing the outdoors and giving thanks to God for the blessings we enjoy every day.
Now it’s time to give some thanks for tonight’s supper that is about to be caught. 🙂
Brad and Serena, “Van Trekking” in the hills of “Little Norway”