Whitewater Canyon Revisited

Serena at Doctor's officeHello and welcome to the blog.  It’s started out to be a tough week.  Serena had to go back to the vet again for another round of anti-biotics.  She’s sluggish… and seems to be fading.  I’ve let her play in the yard to her heart’s content.  While she knows me and seems to enjoy certain things, she’s just not herself.

All camping plans are on hold for now until her condition changes for better or for worse.  In the meantime, I’ve been up to something else.


Whitewater Canyon3This afternoon was a good opportunity to do some hiking.  Sis gave me that new pair of Columbia hiking boots a few days back.  They saved my butt today.

The drone photo on the right was taken at Whitewater Canyon Park near Cascade, Iowa.  I hiked there a few weeks ago and was anxious to try one remaining trail — the one with access to the stream.  The hope was to fly the drone around the bluffs and record some videos.  Sadly, the access was limited and it was not possible to reach the desired area.

White Water Canyon4The trail led downhill for a full mile.  At the bottom was a beautiful stream that made the walk worthwhile.  A clearing offered a great place to fly the drone.

Unfortunately, a sudden gust of wind spun the quadcopter around, causing the joystick controls to only make matters worse.  I was able to put the Syma down on the other side of the creek at the bottom of a steep bank.  The water was shallow near the sandy area and it was possible to cross  But upstream the banks were treacherous and difficult to descend safely.

Whitewater CanyonSometimes things are not as they appear.  As I towered over the drone, the embankment suddenly collapsed – the earth was apparently made of soft clay.  A single root remained in the air and helped me keep from taking a twelve foot fall and a sudden swim.  Retrieving the drone and climbing out was not easy but it ended up being a good workout.

Long story short, the drone was recovered undamaged.  On the way back, I suddenly lost my footing and dropped a few feet downward, stressing an ankle.  Without the help of the new hiking boots, I’d likely have ended up with a sprain or broken ankle; the extra support prevented injury.  Thank you, Sis!

The hike back was uneventful, thankfully.  I had a lot of time to think about work and the worries about my camping cat.  She’s had a great home and a lot of love for many years.  Each day going forward is something special because there seems to be a finite amount of time left.

In closing, thank you for the kind thoughts regarding Serena.  Pets add so much to our lives.  The thought of losing one or seeing one decline is tough.  Keeping busy helps… and I’ve got a Friday project that should take a full day to complete.  It’s something that I think would please Dad.  More about that later this week!

Take care and thanks for visiting!  Happy and safe travels always!

Brad, Serena, and Jesse James
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"

3 Responses to Whitewater Canyon Revisited

  1. Ken says:

    I feel for you and Serena. I had an Augaphyle cat(sp) that separated ways many years ago. I miss Fatso and if there is a heaven hookup between pets and people I’m there. The first wife not so much, Fatso I’m there.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks Ken. I understand about missing the cat and not the first wife. I felt kind of alone seeing the cat sick tonight but the other cat, Jesse James, has been pretty upset and seems to know something is up. He’s beeen unusually affectionate. We’re best buddies and that seems to help. He thinks the world of Serena, too. Take care and thanks for commenting. We do get attached to our four footed friends.

  2. Ah cats, they enter your life in mysterious ways and they take your hearts whenever and regardless of how or when they chose to leave.
    Just enjoy everyday. You do take good care of them.
    (We still daily take turns acting out the part of the cat who left us over two years ago: http://onevikinggirl.blogspot.se/2015/03/cats.html but I do not recommend it!)