Hello and thanks for visiting the blog today! On Friday and Saturday I took a brief camping trip with the two cats, Jennifer and Jesse to do some fishing and sightseeing. We had a blast.
I’ve not been to the Decorah area much this year. After hearing of the flood damage, particularly of record high crests near Dorchester, I needed to return and see for myself. Waterloo Creek, which passes through Dorchester, had become a favorite place to fish with its crystal clear streams, fresh air, beautiful scenery, and hungry trout. I’d worried that the landscape had been damaged but all was much the same as before.
In addition to the rolling hills and the emerald carpet of grasses and prairie flowers, the cattle were leisurely grazing… and as I soon found out, they were in a nasty mood.
Though usually the cattle are distant, on Friday they were sharing the same space where I was fishing… and were not too happy about the company. Several animals approached me (within 10 feet and closing) and the old trick of shaking the fishing pole like a cattle prod was not effective. One of the bovine even snorted. I didn’t even notice a calf on the right until looking at the picture. That explains the protective behavior!
One of the bulls was particularly aggressive and that worried me. I carry a 9mm pistol and contemplated firing a warning shot or two but it was not necessary. Just pointing it at the animal and cussing at him caused them all to back up… thankfully!
In talking with one of the old guys who was already fishing the same area, he said one time a bull actually came up from behind and nudged him with its nose. That would be pretty frightening.
The fishing was great even with having to watch over my shoulder for bovine visitors! The water level was a whisker higher than normal, but the clarity was acceptable and the fish were pretty hungry. It did not take long to catch five. All the while, Jesse and Serena occupied the van. The outside temperaure was 72 and with the roof vent running, it was comfortable inside.
After fishing, we headed a county to the west to the city of Decorah. I scoped out the streams but the water levels were still elevated and it appeared that the terrain had changed quite a bit. We camped there but I decided to fish elsewhere for Saturday’s limit of trout. There will always be time to go back to Decorah this fall and see what Mother Nature has carved out.
Lunch was eaten at a place I’d longed to try but had never got around to visiting – Old Armory BBQ . So often I hit the trout streams early and leave right away before lunch. Friday there was time to sit down and have a nice meal. What a treat it turned out to be!
Friday night the cats and I ended up camping in Decorah at the Pulpit Rock Campground. On the driver’s side of the van was a yellow caution tape. Beyond that is the Upper Iowa River which had flooded badly about 10 days ago. Things are returning to normal.
Friday night’s camping supper was simple and diabetic friendly. I’ve recently started using these Brownberry brand “Sandwich Thins”. They are small pieces of soft, high fiber bread cut thin… and only 1.5 diabetic exchanges. It is still possible to enjoy steak sandwiches without the guilt or high blood sugar!
The stir-fried dish for Friday night’s supper is a favorite. It’s pretty healthy and something eaten almost every day at home… and it’s super easy for camping. For $2.49 for two servings, you can’t beat Mann’s Power Blend, a shredded mixture of Brussels sprouts, Napa cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, carrots, and broccoli. I stir fry 1/2 bag of it with a dab of olive oil, adding 2T of spicy Szechuan stir-fry sauce and 1T of crunchy peanut butter. The dish is heavenly! By the way, the steak on the left was a 5 oz ribeye – Jesse enjoyed some of the meat, too.
After a peaceful night’s sleep, it was back to the streams. With the water still up a bit in the Decorah area, I decided to go for a “bird in the hand” by returning to Waterloo Creek. Being a holiday weekend, the creeks were sure to be busy with anglers. I got in and out by 8:15 AM and happily headed home with five nice fish to smoke on Sunday.
It was a fun little fishing trip with the cats. Both were surprisingly well behaved and seemed to like the “family outing”. All three of us came home and zonked out.
Thanks for riding along. I’m sure there will be one more camping trip before the new job starts.
Take care! Safe and happy travels!
Brad, Jesse James, and Jennifer
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