A Final Fall Fishing Trip

2_Hay Hay Hay

Hay, Hay, Hay! Greetings from near West Union, Iowa!

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!

While this was 1_Turkey Tal Mushroomstypical of most of the recent trips north, it was possible to catch a few cool new pictures to share.

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!


Waterfall at Dunning Spring

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 3_New WalkwayCedar 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.


Jesse James likes the new work desk in the home office.


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”

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

4 Responses to A Final Fall Fishing Trip

  1. Pleinguy says:

    Sounds like you enjoyed the time away. Best of luck with the new job. Hope you have a nice Thanksgiving holiday. Take care.

  2. tinycamper says:

    I sure enjoyed your last fishing trip of the season, and I remember last year’s when you fell in the snow.

    Beautiful photos, as always.

    Looking forward to Serena’s future camping adventures with you. 🙂

    Brad, I am dreaming of someday doing my own build on a van. Does not being able to stand up in yours ever bother you? I think it would probably bother me a lot, especially if I was rained in.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi! Some days I wish the van had a higher ceiling. If it was occupied for more hours, a high top would definitely be needed. Most of the time I use the van for a mobile bedroom; for that it works very well! Other than a plastic chair (which is comfortable enough), it is somewhat cramped.

      Thanks for the note about Serena. She’s likely going somewhere with me this weekend – probably south of Cedar Rapids. The low will be around 8 – 10 degrees so I’m sure we’ll be huddling under the covers!