Thanks-living during Thanksgiving

Little Paint Creek in Allamakee County

Hello and welcome to the blog today.  Thank you to one of the friends who mentioned “Thanks-living” – that state of mind when you are thankful for the many blessings we receive.  Everyone in this country is blessed in many ways.  Some have more than others but the true happiness lies in being grateful for what we do have.  It seems despair comes in wanting more, more, more.  I’ve experienced both.  “Less is more” makes a lot of sense!

Well Thanksgiving was a fun day.  I went to the casino in Marquette for their holiday buffet.  Unfortunately it was pretty terrible.  I was there early and most of the dishes were stone cold.  Oh well, there’s a silver lining.  I didn’t eat much.  🙂  🙂   It’s too bad I wasted $21  They must have been having a bad day.

The far upper end of Paint Creek

After the meal I headed about 20 minutes away and did some walking at the Yellow River Forest.  Actually, it was a lot of walking as I followed the trout stream as far as possible into the woods.  There was a cool beaver dam and a large pool.  The water exited the pool and trickled to the south, eventually widening into a nice stream.  Oh, there were some fantastic holes up that way and I’ll surely return in the spring.

The “big boy” is supper tonight.  He will be stuffed with an herb, oyster, mushroom, and wild rice stuffing tonight.

The catch of fish was worth the long walk.  The face changed from grumpy to grinning… and thankful… despite falling on my butt several times.  (later ending up with a bruised hip)  This will likely be the last time I do the long walking thing this year.  It’s just getting too cold.   There will be more camping and less fishing for a while but the fun will be year ’round.

Once I got back to town on Thanksgiving, things were hopping at the golden arches and I ended up working a few hours… still wearing fishing clothes and shoes that were muddy and full of thorny  cockle-burs.  Unlike most Thanksgiving evenings, it was extremely busy.  When a person likes his co-workers, you jump in and help.  It was fun!

The best thing I had to eat on Thanksgiving was some food given to me by Tabi, one of the favorite bosses.  She gave me some leftover meat from her aunt’s gathering.  I warmed it up and put it on a brioche bun with some mayo and cheddar cheese… Darn, that tasted like heaven on earth and it didn’t cost a thing.  🙂 🙂

Dear Secret Santa…. PLEASE!


I put in a long day yesterday starting at 5 AM.  The group at work is doing a Secret Santa gift exchange.  I put a note on Facebook for all the co-workers to read saying that this trout bait (available at the farm store across the parking lot from work) is only $5 and would be very well received.  Hopefully whoever draws my name buys some.  If so, I’ll put his/her name on the jar(s) and show fish pictures on Facebook.  That would be kind of fun for people to see their gift in action next spring!

Well, that’s about all that’s new… other than driveway camping.  Friday it was a record setting 73 in town.  Normal is around 40 degrees.  It was so warm in fact that I slept in the van at home with the infra-red heater running rather than.  All of the aches and pains went away during the night.  That heater works great for the arthritis!

Monday and Tuesday look like good weather days.  There might be a little camping trip nearby…  There is a new recipe to try.   🙂

Take care, stay thankful and have a great holiday season.

Brad and Jenny
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"

One Response to Thanks-living during Thanksgiving

  1. Jo says:

    Nice size trout you have there! I’m so happy you are getting in so many camping trips. I have fun reading them and wishing I was going somewhere too. I shouldn’t wish I should just get out there and do it.