It’s sure been a busy week. Last Thursday was the orientation for the new job. It looks like a real winner. There should be plenty of overtime if desired and that’s most welcome right now!
Sis was in town visiting the last few days and told me to take off on Saturday and go fishing; she’d check on Dad and hang out with him. It sounded like a good plan and she didn’t have to ask twice! I didn’t want to drive the van this time though. The thought was to cover a lot of miles in a short period… The Impala was better for that and it gets twice the gas mileage!
Near West Union, Iowa, the fishing was predictably slow since trout stocking ended some time ago. I hiked along a stream for about a mile or so, catching only one fish – a medium sized brown trout. That was interesting because it was a fish that was not planted by the DNR.
On the way back to the car, I saw these beautiful mushrooms. According to the Internet, they are “turkey tail mushrooms” and have properties that help fight cancer. The pale blue coloring and delicate patterns were something to behold!
Knowing that the work future will be busy, I made the decision to continue further north and see Decorah, the favorite city, one last time for 2013.
Along the way, farmers were working in their fields. harvesting corn and bailing hay on this misty, foggy morning; a powerful fall rainstorm was looming and threatening to further delay the harvest activity.
After arriving in Decorah, it felt good to be at the second “home town”. Lunch – a variety of warm vegetarian dishes – came from the Oneota Co-op. My favorite was a sort of “southwest lasagna” made with a variety of ground mushrooms and olives.
I walked a couple of miles along Trout Run Trail, easily finishing up the limit of trout. The water was high and murky from recent rains. The fish were hungry and aggressive, making it all the more fun. That’s the best way to call it quits for the year – not like last year – traipsing through a foot of snow, falling and landing on the rotator cuff in arctic temperatures!
Before heading back to Cedar Rapids there was a pause at Dunning’s Spring to capture another picture of the waterfall that had been photographed late last summer. I do not remember the wooden walkway – it looked quite new. The steps take you safely to a point in the bluff where you can see where the spring comes out. It was one more neat thing to experience while in Decorah, a place with so many things to see and do. There are still trails and fishing areas I’ve not even begun to explore. That sounds like a plan for 2014.
It’s Sunday now. The fish (and a few from the freezer) went to the home of my friend Alothina. She and her two boys (Aries, 11 and Apollo, 9) helped fry up the trout for supper. They loved the fresh fish and begged their mom to go fishing next year. I’ve done my job – even an old, grumpy, childless, bachelor can pass along the fishing bug to the next generation. We sure had a lot of fun tonight. It was a perfect way to wrap up the best fishing season I can remember.
So what is on the horizon? A lot of hard work. But there are some weekend gaps in the training schedule at work – great opportunities to slip away for a short camping trip or two with kitty Serena. There are also some cool new camping recipe ideas to try out as well. Sleeping in the van will continue. Though I might work in an office in Dad’s house, nothing feels like “home” as much as that 3/4 ton Chevy cargo van… no matter where it is parked!
Thanks for hanging out and have a great week!
Bradford, the “Van Trekker”