Enjoying Lunch with Stan

Turkey River Frollicking

People enjoying the Turkey River in Fayette County

Hello and thanks for visiting!  I’ve had the last few days off from work and ended up in northern Iowa at a couple of trout streams.  The DNR was stocking rainbow and brook trout at Glover’s Creek.   I had a chance to talk with Aaron from the Big Springs Hatchery, asking about how “Woody” the hatchery dog is doing, etc.  It’s always fun conversing with the DNR folks…  Working in the outdoors and with fish would be a dream job!

The fishing was good.  I explored an area where I’d not fished before.  That’s always exciting.  The catch was very nice – 3 large rainbows and 2 decent sized brook trout.  I wanted to do something special with these lovely fish.

StanleyFast forward to today… This morning it was necessary to visit Cedar Rapids for some business.  I texted my buddy Stanley and said trout was on the way.

Stan is from northeast Iowa and is very familiar with many of the trout fishing streams up that way.  For the last couple of years we’ve talked about how much we both miss the Decorah area.  For Stan it’s been years since he left; for me a week or so.  But the urge to return to the region is the same.

I cooked lunch for us today at a park in Cedar Rapids.  It was nothing elaborate – just fried rainbow trout fillets using a commercial cornmeal breading mix (Louisana Fish Fry).  We also had hash browns (with peppers, onions and cheese)  and cole slaw.  The food was flavorful and Stan kept commenting about how he hadn’t had rainbow trout that tasted like that in the last 30 years.  He’s “nuts about trout” too!

Trout_YUM!So who is Stan?  Stan and I have gotten to be good friends over the last couple of years.  His wife died at a very young age just before Dad started getting sick.  We are both familiar with loss, sadness, and being alone.

It was fun hanging out and catching up on times.  Sadly, it makes me wonder when I get moved if it will be possible to meet more friends like Stan.  Time will tell.

As we ate, I also thought about how Jesus attended a group meal and ended up multiplying the fish and bread to feed many.  There were no divine actions involved with our little fish fry but you can’t beat a good meal and the fellowship that accompanies it.  Sharing the trout with friends is every bit as much fun as catching it!

Bear Bear2There is still a bit of fish left to share with my little travel companion.  Serena is still doing great on the farm.  She prowls around during the day and has even been contributing toward the food supply.  She left a dead mouse by a van tire and was so kind as to place a bird by the bed pillow.  I didn’t see it until practically face-to-face with it.

The barn cat, “Bear Bear” is spending a lot of time with us and is helping eat the leftover cat food that Serena wastes.  When Ree-Ree  gets fed, Bear Bear climbs on top of the van and peers inside (like you see in the picture), crying until I give her something, too.  There’s never a dull moment at our little “Green Acres” barnyard home base.  Sometimes it makes a person feel like “Doctor Doolittle” with all the critters hanging around.

Take care and thanks for stopping by.

Bradford and Serena, the “farm van dwellers” in Eastern Iowa





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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"

2 Responses to Enjoying Lunch with Stan

  1. Jo says:

    That fish sure looks good. The meal seems to have went well with your friend. Sometimes good friend are far and few in between.

    Bear Bear looking through the fan is funny.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks for stopping by! Bear Bear is smart. If her presence is unwanted, I just flip the fan on reverse at high speed. The exhaust air keeps her at bay. She’s a sweet little farm cat who wants to domesticated as much as Serena wants to roam! There’s plenty of love and food for both. 🙂

      I agree – Good friends are hard to find!