Note: This post is in reverse order. Toward the end are the camping details of the night before the parade.
Hello and welcome! Today was the Trek Fest celebration in Riverside, Iowa. For those new to following the blog, this is almost a religious thing for me… The “Trekker” part of “VanTrekker” has to do with the love for Star Trek (we’re called Trekkers, not Trekkies)… “Trekker” also refers to the van trips (or treks) that have been going on for over 6 years now.
Riverside is a small town about 40 miles south of Cedar Rapids… a dozen or so miles south of Iowa City. This yearly celebration is one about a future life, that of character “Captain James T. Kirk” (previously played by William Shatner and now played by Chris Pine.) Captain Kirk will supposedly be born on March 22, 2228. In the movie Star Trek IV, William Shatner said, “I am from Iowa, I only work in outer space.” The town of Riverside asked and was granted the honor of being Kirk’s birthplace. The town motto is now “Where the trek begins.” In the 2009 movie, the new starship “Enterprise” was constructed at the fictional Riverside shipyard. What an honor!
The parade was a blast, as always. Like last year, I was positioned at the front and gathered as much candy as possible, darting into the street. Nearly all of the candy was given to the children around me. Their parents were grateful that the kids didn’t have to risk injury. I did manage to eat a few pieces, of course! Two “Smarties” candy rolls were saved for Jennifer. She loves chewing on the rolls and making faces from the sour candy – a strange cat!)
Following the parade, there was a swap meet with about every kind of memorabilia imaginable. I was able to resist temptation and didn’t bring home any new toys. (but still had tons of fun). Cash is tight right now. According to the Star Trek legend there is no money in the 23rd century. Well, in the 21st century things we still use money and with some frugal practices (such as free camping below), a person can still enjoy events like this.
I had to work the Friday night before the parade. Around 10:30 PM, I arrived at Riverside. Just a few miles away is a nice campground but who wants to pay $10 for a spot with no electricity? For free I slept at the casino until the alarm went off at 4:30, signalling it was time to do a little fishing.
A few miles to the east is River Junction park. The last time I fished here was a few years ago when Serena was alive. She loved this park and it bothered me a little – I still miss her. But it was a great place to cook breakfast and the view was amazing. Jennifer will get to see River Junction one day… perhaps this fall as the weather cools.
While I fished, the breakfast was cooked. It consisted of a skillet full of shrimp, kielbasa sausage, onions, green and red peppers, and summer squash. I also cooked some hash browns with cheese. The meal turned out very satisfying! The best part is that most of it was odds and ends of stuff.
Sadly, the fish were not biting too well and the muddy water looked like the chocolate river in Willy Wonka’s factory. (We’ve had recent heavy storms) I did have a very strong hit on the light duty pole and fought the fish for a while until he busted the line. Whatever was on there was a nice one! But nothing else would take the bait… and it was time to head to the parade. There will be other chances to fish this week… It’s perfect weather right now!
Well, that’s all. I’ve got Monday and Wednesday off this next week. There will surely be at least one camping outing. Hopefully it can be done on-the-cheap like this last trip! Who wants to pay camping fees at a noisy campground when a person doesn’t have to?
Take care. Safe and happy travels!
Brad and Jennifer
Jones County, Iowa