Massillon to Lost Nation

Hello and welcome to the blog today.  On Wednesday I decided to do something a little different – visit a new place to camp, and even switch species of fish for angling.  Supper was made with a reader’s suggestion.  On the next trip north in two weeks I’ll be using some tempting ideas from TerreandFrank.

Instead of heading north to trout country, this time the fishing took place in the Wapsipinicon River in Cedar County – about 25 miles to the east and south of the home base in Jones County.

Wapsi River at the town of Massillion.

The fishing was fun.  The catfish nibbled at the bait on just about every cast.  But that was the problem, too.  They nibbled through 3 dozen worms and I was only able to get one unlucky fish.  He was about 14 inches and will be Thursday night’s supper.  But the experience of being outdoors was relaxing and the hearing became attuned to the natural sounds.

A close-up shot of a very curious dragonfly. Isn’t the coloring beautiful?

Through the use of the zoom lens I could see that it was the human the dragonfly was watching.  What a remarkable little creature.

This water snake was happily minding his own business and so was I.  Supposedly there are few poisonous snakes in Iowa but I’m not going to test that out.  His almost dinosaur-looking face/ mouth was kind of creepy.

Here’s how to cook a chicken breast when you leave the skillet at home!

Later in the afternoon I decided to make the evening meal – a salad suggested by reader Jo from the blog Moms Little Runaway.  The meat is chicken with a marinade of lemon juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, basil, oregano, parsley, pepper, salt … lots of flavors!  Part of the marinade was kept separate to use as dressing.  The salad had cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, red onions, and avocado.  It was both healthy and heavenly!  Thanks for the suggestion, Jo!

Preparing the dinner salad. Avocadoes are yummy!

After a good meal it was time to think about retiring for the night.  I had already filleted out the catfish and put him on ice.  Now it was decision time.  Some young kids had entered Massillon park and started playing obnoxious rap music at a high level.  I had been listening to some oldies 80s music all day wasn’t in the mood for noisy urban tunes!  Besides, who wants to pay for camping if there is a free spot a few miles away with peace and quiet?

Sorry about the fuzzy picture… The sun was setting to the west. You can still see for many miles.

I headed east to a place mentioned before on the blog – the Lost Nation hunting area.   This large public hunting venue features a nice sized parking lot that is out of sight from the road.  I hooked up the TV antenna and picked up 55 stations.  Many were duplicates but it was nice to have plenty of viewing choices – more than at home!

Camping spot… On the back of the van is the bicycle rack with the “big man’s” style camping chair strapped on top.  Later I’d backed up a little further to be incognito… hitting the railing, of course!   🙂  🙂 

This what the van looked like to anyone passing by. If you look very closely you can see a wheel well and the nose of the van.

The night’s sleep was uninterrupted and blissful.  And there was no rap music out there either… just crickets and coyotes.  You can’t beat the view, either!

Even though this outing was just an overnight trip, it was a lot of a fun … and that’s why the van exists.  You just can’t beat free camping and cheap entertainment…  I left with $20 for the trip and (not counting gas) still had $11 left – the only expenses being worms and a diet coke!  Next week I’ll be visiting another spot along the Wapsi River closer to home… and hopefully catching a few catfish there, too.

So what’s happening next?  In late August I’ll likely be heading back to trout country again and doing some more free camping.  As the weather cools in September, Jenny will be back to camping.  She’s trained on the least / harness now and will really enjoy the scenery.

Safe and happy travels!

Brad and Jenny
“Saving our pennies for the next trip”
Jones County, Iowa