One Hale of a Day

Central Park 1

Nearby lake and future camping destination at Central Park in Jones County.

Hello and welcome to the blog today!  It was a rough day on Thursday… After returning from fishing, I found Serena to be very sick… Serena was so ill that she was unable to eat or go to the bathroom. Because “Ree Ree” is an elderly cat with weakening kidneys, it was necessary to contemplate euthanizing her.  I’d even started writing a memorial blog post.

Thankfully, it was not necessary.  That old cat has 99 lives, not just the customary 9!

Ree Ree Better

She’a tough old cat… This morning she howled but not out of sickness… She wanted to play outdoors.

There is a terrific vet clinic just two miles down the road from home.  It combines modern technology, kind and compassionate service, and great prices.  Dr. Brian, the owner, is Serena’s new veterinarian.

I was so tired and stressed out after seeing my little princess so sick that it was difficult keep my composure.  This little girl means the world to me.  Thankfully, they were able to give her some long acting antibiotics and steroids.  The little kitty is doing great for her age.  There’s no guarantee how long she will keep going but for now Serena is enjoying life… and will be camping again soon!

With all the commotion, camping was not possible last night.  We’re planning to visit Central Park – a beautiful county facility just down the road a dozen or so miles.  But at least I could go to a favorite dining spot… “Hale”  It had been one heckuva day… and I needed a HALE of a good dinner.


Farming, fishing, hunting, history, politics… and more. There is a vast amount of experience and wisdom among the patrons at the Hale Tap and Supper Club. Sometimes we even agree on things!

There is a great eating place not far from home.  In rural Iowa some of the towns are so small that everyone knows what you’re talking about using the town name.  I.E. “I had to go to ‘Monti’ for groceries.”  (to the only grocery store in the town of Monticello).  It’s assumed a person is from the area!

“Hale” is a supper club / small town pub known for counties around for its tasty food, great prices, friendly service, and large portions.  The official name is the Hale Tap and Supper Club.
Hale Village is a tiny little unincorporated community, meaning that it is under county control.  Located close to the Wapsipinicon River near the town of Olin, Hale consists of a few houses… and this awesome eatery.  I’ve dined here several times for various specials including the Friday special of all-you-can-eat Walleye fish and sides.  Thursday is a favorite – Mexican night.  They make an enormous taco salad for just $6.75.

2_HaleYou’ll always see some locals there and are likely to know a person or two… or more.  There is a collective wealth of knowledge… and many diverse opinions.  Sort of a dying breed, there are still a few of those “old school” supper clubs around in the rural areas and you will usually find delicious food… and some icy cold beer!

Last night Serena was back to eating and by this morning has been feeling well.  She even played outside for a while.  We’ll be camping again one of these days!  I love this little girl so much that each day she’s still around is a blessing.

Thanks for stopping by.  Some time next week Serena and I are going camping again.  She’s on intrepid little tortoise shell colored kitty.

Take care and happy travels!

Brad, Serena, and Jesse James
Jones County, Iowa

PS – Here’s another tortoise shell cat from the
Star Trek episode “Assignment Earth”  Did you
know that virtually all “tortoise shell” cats are




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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 One Hale of a Day

  1. Sunday says:

    Very happy Serena is feeling better. I feel the same love for my dog. Pets add so much to our lives!!
    God is good!!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks Sunday. Serena is back to her crabby self. She woke me up with howling and we did our customary, “What is it?” It wasn’t food, water, or litter. She parked her narrow behind by the front door and wanted to play outside. Serena is a character. Thanks for the kind thoughts. 🙂