Sometimes Ya Gotta Quit The Quitting

Breakfast with Woody
This was Woody’s plate at the Big Spring Trout Hatchery

Hello and welcome to the blog today.  It’s been an interesting week with plenty of developments.  On the last post, I’d indicated that there was a job change in the works.  Well, there sort of is… but not as expected.

After conversing with Management, I’ve accepted a parallel transfer to a less physically demanding job at the same employer.  It will mean about the same hours and pay,… and the opportunity to work with the same friends.  The icing on the cake is that my job continues to be just 1/2 mile from home.

Resonating through my mind most of the night (and as I retire) is a manager’s words “I don’t want to lose one of my good people.”  I hope to never forget those words and how much they meant to me tonight.

Serena Cross
Serena’s little solar cross at our favorite campground in NE Iowa

Earlier in the week I had a couple of days off and was kind of distressed while applying for work, the intention being to change jobs.  That did not go so well.  None of the jobs around here pay as well.  There would be a commute… and the nature of the work was not as appealing.  That’s why I headed north to relax a bit and rest the mind.  My two week notice was counting down all too fast.

The first stop was at Dutton’s Cave.  The sun was going down and the gnats were fierce.  I had to look at my little pal Serena’s memorial and was happy to see the solar cross was functioning perfectly.  It’s a special place… Everyone needs a location to reflex / relax / cry / meditate.  I’d planned to sleep here but unfortunately, I saw some evidence of recent drug activity and decided to camp elsewhere.

Camping at Big Springs
Campground at Big Spring Hatchery
A short drive away was the Big Spring Hatchery and campground.  This is a favorite place to fish and rest.  The primitive campground is just $5 and has a spectacular view of the Turkey River… On the next visit I plan to fish the river for bass and walleye.
Krampus Clown
A killer clown from the movie Krampus
I’d arrived at the Big Spring campground as the sun went down.  Setup with the van is basically non-existent.  Within a couple of minutes, I was sitting in the easy chair, sipping a cocktail, and watching the scary movie “Krampus”.  While this evil, double-jawed clown was killing, a twig fell on the van and scared the crap out of me!  Nonetheless, the sleep that night was peaceful… While isolated, this campground is one of the quietest and safest places on earth.
Turkey River Breakfast
There’s nothing like a good outdoor hearty breakfast
The next morning I went fishing in the Turkey River.  The trout were not biting worth a darn but the gnats sure were.  Around 7 AM, the appetite took over and I took a break to cook a terrific breakfast of bacon, hashbrowns, farm fresh brown eggs, and pancakes.  It sure hit the spot!  Knowing the mascot dog Woody was sure to make an appearance, I fixed a second plate… He devoured it in 15 seconds.
Hatchery 1
Big Springs Hatchery Building and Raceways
The drone picture above was taken near the river, looking back at the hatchery.  Water runs from a huge spring through each one of these concrete raceways.  Hundreds of thousands of trout are raised in these structures.  Trout are sensitive and require clean water.  With fresh spring water constantly flowing, the many fish flourish under optimal conditions.  The DNR staff feed them every morning.  As the water exits the fenced-in raceways, the flows are combined and dump into the Turkey River.  Multiple times per week, stocking trucks load up fish and deposit them in various area streams.
The Turkey River (below the hatchery)
The limit of 5 trout was caught well before lunch time and it was necessary to return home to check on the cats.  I hope to roast some fish the next time when camping, perhaps with Jesse or Jennifer along.  The ones from Tuesday will go into the smoker Wednesday morning.
It was fun to get away on Monday and Tuesday.  A person needs to rest and sometimes step back just a bit.  It’s good not to have to change jobs… and to break the cycle of walking away from jobs… Sooner or later a person just has to quit the quitting.  I’m lucky to work with a great group of people doing work I enjoy… and know they value my efforts.
That’s about it for now.  On Friday, I’ll be in a neighboring town at a cool 80s rock concert.  More about that will be coming up toward the weekend.
Take care and thanks for visiting!
Brad, Jesse James, and Jennifer
Jones County, Iowa


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