Door Knobs to Dorchester

Waterloo Creek

Waterloo Creek near Dorchester, Iowa

Hello and welcome to the blog.  It’s been a fun four day weekend.  Sis has been in town the last few days and had a chance to see the new trailer.  She really liked it and was impressed with the size and comfort.  Jesse James enjoyed having someone else to hold him.  Serena kept to herself most of the time.

Sis bought me a couple of new deadbolt locks for the exterior doors; she was concerned about safety.   Oh well… It’s Iowa… and still pretty quiet around here.  I remember Aunt Jo and Uncle Grover leaving their house unlocked all the time and the TV running.  You’d just go in, make coffee, and have some pie while waiting for them to come home… Oh, the good old days!

But nonetheless, a deadbolt on each door is not a bad idea.  Using a template and a 2+1/8″ hole saw, marking the hole and drilling it was a piece of cake.  It looks like a pro did it.  It was fun having success at a project I’d been afraid to tackle in the past!






The last door lock was installed on Monday.  Today is Tuesday and Sis said it would be good to get away for a bit and go fishing.  The best chance for success (and nice sized fish) was in extreme NE Iowa near the town of Dorchester.  Waterloo Creek has quickly become a favorite haunt.  Stocked by the Decorah hatchery, the remote stream has provided terrific fish and plenty of peace and quiet!  Today was no exception.

CowsAs the sun started to rise in the foggy valley (the temp was 37 degrees and below the dew point), the cows gathered on the hill, presumably to warm themselves.  As I continued to fish the stream they approached the embankment and started to mouth off a bit – sort of a long, angry “moo” (more like “move your butt”). The black and white cow on the left was particularly vocal.  The cows blocked my path back to the car so it was necessary to bypass them a bit.  But they continued to advance close enough that it was enough to make one a little nervous.

One thing bovine do not like is a cattle prod.  I used the fly rod and brandished it, all the while acting confident and telling them to get back.  (though I was about to pee my pants)  Turning to cross the stream to get back to the car, the three cows did follow for a few yards but then lost interest.  Suffice it to say I was relieved.  Having fished for many years, I’m not used to heifers becoming unfriendly!  Usually they just ignore you but if there is a calf nearby, they will become protective.

Right now a few of the trout are soaking in a light brine.  In the morning, I’m delivering some fried trout and a shitake mushroom / wild rice pilaf for Sis to enjoy for breakfast.  Jesse will have some Parmesan encrusted fish as well.

So what is on the horizon?  In the next week, I plan to do some van camping to a new destination.  Serena will be going along, too.  I miss the freedom of camping in the van but at the same time it feels good to have a home base again, a warm bed, and long, hot showers.  Enjoying the best of both worlds is a real blessing!

Take care and thanks for visiting!

Bradford, the “Van Trekker” in Jones County, 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"

6 Responses to Door Knobs to Dorchester

  1. Jo says:

    I bet it was nice having your sis come to see your new home. The dead bolts are a good idea. I also remember the days of unlocked doors and feeling so safe. Now I lock everything. It’s sad.

    Fishing seems to have gone well. Sure sounds like good eating to me.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks for commenting, Jo. I agree – things used to be a lot safer than they are now. Thankfully there are still parts of the country that are still pretty laid back and without worry. When at the trout streams in extreme NE Iowa, it’s just God and the person him or her self. Frequent visits really make a difference! A balance between hard work and plenty of outdoor time makes for so much happiness!

      I stopped in to McDonalds after visiting Sis at a nearby hotel. I brought breakfast – parmesan encrusted rainbow trout on a bed of mixed rice with shitake mushrooms, sliced scallions, and garlic. She liked it… Jesse had the same fish for breakfast, too! You can’t beat fresh fish… Great stuff!

      Thanks for continuing to visit! How is everything going for you with the vehicle?

  2. Jo says:

    I finally found someone to install the deep cycle battery without putting me in the poor house. I tested it with my little heater from Harbor Freight and it worked great. Now if it will just stop raining and cool down I am ready to give it a good work out on a camping trip. Thanks for asking. 🙂

  3. Jim Kellogg says:

    I ran across your most excellent write up about servicing the eu2000. Great work. So easy to clean that gunk out with your help. Thanks