Some Rain on the Parade is a Good Thing… ?

Hello and welcome to the blog!  It could have been a rough week but sometimes a person just has to make the best of things and not let stuff get to you.  Occasionally it’s a matter of picking up the pieces after the storm…   It was a stormy start to this last week.  That’s for certain!

Getting Benched

Getting “benched” is not always a bad thing… Jesse knew that.

Originally the plan was to go camping this weekend but it’s kind of fun to say, “No… I’ll go when I feel up to it.”   (if that makes any sense)

Last weekend was difficult, particularly Sunday.  It was a “perfect storm.”  I had worked my butt off and was feeling some serious pain in the legs and ankles.  At one point the legs kept collapsing without warning as I tried to run most everything alone.  An unrelenting customer then pushed me a little too far.  The result was an anxiety attack and I had acted unprofessionally.  It was necessary to go home early.  Thankfully, Monday was a day off.

Upon returning on Tuesday, I got an adult “time out” for the rest of the day.  Some people might sit home and be sad about the loss of earnings and the co-workers knowing of the bad behavior.  But stuff happens.  Instead of being gloomy, I was happy to depart; a favorite trout stream was set to be stocked and I could hardly restrain the enthusiasm.  Outdoor activity is the very best medicine!

Shiba Inu

This breed of dog greeted me and hung out at the trout stream…

Upon reaching a favorite spot in Clayton  County, some 90 miles from home, I hopped out of the car only to discover the numerous jars of trout bait were still on the kitchen counter at the home base.  While bent over digging under seats for any rogue containers of bait, a dog jumped on my back and I just about went into orbit.  From what I can tell, it was a Shiba Inu and a very beautiful dog at that – evidently a resident of a nearby house.  She accompanied me to the trout stream which was down a long, steep hill.

Bloody Run2

We played a lot… The dog licked my face and I talked to her.  She was a great listener.  While preparing the poles to cast them into the fishing hole, along came two of the guys from the nearby DNR hatchery; they were stocking the fish for the first time this season… Best yet, there were no other anglers at that end of the park!  One might think this occasionally grumpy fisherman had died and gone to heaven!

The dog grabbed my first fish as it was pulled out of the water.  I detached it from the hook and kept fishing.  The beautiful canine bit the head off the fish and dined on it as the rest of the limit of trout was caught.  The fish were a little slow to bite but there was no rush!

Fish 2

His day was a little tougher than mine!  He got filled with prepared Stove Top stuffing, dusted with fish coating, and then baked.

The fishing conditions were a perfect storm but in a good way.  The water was at an ideal level, though a wee bit murky from recent showers.  The outside temperature was 62 with a gentle breeze.  The trees whispered and murmured indistinguishably but soothingly.  Time seemed to stop.  I relished every feeling, sound, smell, and texture.  It was a tremendous relief from stress and a gentle mood booster.  While reflecting, I resolved to never, ever feel guilty or ashamed for being human and to try and never let a customer get to me like that again.

On Wednesday morning the gang at work joked with me about going fishing and I laughed right back.  Nobody begrudges a man (or woman) a day of angling.  Like I tell people  “When it rains on my parade you’ll find me in the streets picking up worms.”  

I ate the trout you saw in the picture.  As for the others, they were gifted to some friends here in town a little while ago.  There are no more fish left in the freezer… for now!

Front wheel drive bearing 2

Today was supposed to be used for camping.  That didn’t happen.  While fishing up north the other day, the Cobalt’s left front hub bearing started howling pretty badly… bad enough to have to let it cool down about every 30 miles.  I changed the hub today and while in there, replaced the front brake pads.  The car went for a little test drive but as you can see, we didn’t make it past the Hale Tap and Supper Club.  (The car was working fine though!)


Hale Tenderloin

A giant breaded tenderloin. It’s the best Iowa comfort food!

It was a fun day – even without camping.  There’s always next time.  It was actually nice to stay home.

Next weekend is Easter – a day when my employer will be closed.  I’ll be off on Saturday evening and plan to head north.  If the usual Monday off is scheduled, the trip will be longer.  The thought is to camp Saturday night, cook a great Easter breakfast, and do some fishing near Decorah.  The weather is expected to be decent, too.  Jenny is coming along on this next trip.  It will be fun and a special time.

Thanks for stopping by today!  Safe and happy travels always!

Brad and Jennifer
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"

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