The Winter Weather Roller Coaster

Mr. F in the foreground and son Spencer F. down below… with the river coming up fast.

Hello and welcome to the blog today.  Monday I went fishing with a couple of buddies.  It was a great deal of fun despite the fact that only one fish came back between three people!

About the only place to trout fish without cutting holes in the ice  during the winter is the Turkey River near the hatchery.   There was good fishing two weeks ago but we had some warm weather and an unusual winter rainstorm.  The water immediately ran off the frozen ground; the fickle river quickly rose to flood stage.  Nothing would bite in the muddy mess.

Unable to do any good in the river, the friends and I went to the hatchery’s pond and fished in the drenching, cold weather.  It was 33 degrees with a constant 20 mile per hour wind.  We were on the north side of the storm and encountered rain, sleet, and even snow.  Just a county away it was 51 degrees!


I caught five fish – all too small to consider bringing home.  My boss’ dad caught one keeper.  Spencer, the boss’ younger brother, did not catch anything at all.  After three hours we were all pretty chilled and my hands suddenly started to shake violently.  We all agreed to hastily vacate.  After a delicious lunch at a small town cafe the three of us headed home and vowed to return for a fishing rematch.

Woody joining us for a snack.

Woody was out and about at the hatchery but not as early as normal.  I’d made him a sandwich with fried chicken tenders and cheese on a biscuit.  But he was nowhere to be seen until 10:30 or so….  and I ate his breakfast.  Woody was not disappointed.  He enjoyed eating the rest of my Trader Joe’s trail mix.  It was still a fun day spent with good friends – both  of the two and four footed variety.

The weather has been up and down lately.  At the start of January it was -24 degrees.  On Friday the 26th it it was 58 degrees above!  No wonder everyone is getting sick!  It’s a good time to be indoors with the kitty.

Jenny testing out the latest project – a cat frisbee

Sis sent me a pattern for this cat frisbee.  It’s crocheted with an “F” sized hook.  The throwable doily uses a rolled and sewed lip for strength and it flies very well.  Jenny loved testing it.  I had three of them to mail out for Sis’ cats.  Jenny will eventually get one of her own.  This project was a nice way to pass the time during the cold.

With the weather on a “roller coaster”  there won’t be any fishing trips for a while – perhaps not till April.  The Turkey River will be a muddy mess for a long time… and the ups and downs in the weather have ruined any chances of fishing through the ice at my buddy’s farm pond.  Though the ice might be a foot thick, when it partially thaws and refreezes it is kind of like putting a glass of Kool-aid in the freezer.  It might look frozen on top but that’s no guarantee as to what’s below the crust!  Fishing will have to wait.

A little meat in the crockpot and a bottle of simmer sauce makes a great tasting meal.

But there is always something in the works in terms of camping.  Thursday I cooked some goat meat in the crockpot and halfway through, added a jar of Madras Curry simmering sauce… later serving it over basmati rice.  Great stuff!  I can’t wait to have this dish  with some naan bread and chutney while enjoying a cool spring day.

So what is on the horizon?  On Monday the boss is taking me to Iowa City and buying us lunch.  We plan to stop at a meat locker as well as the Halal butcher.  Trask’s Alaskan husky (Koshmarik) eats a raw food diet and will be dining on some goat meat and other fine proteins.  There might be some lamb or goat coming home to experiment with for my own kitchen.  It should be  a good time.  Like Mom, I always carry a camera to record any adventures.  We’ll have to see what transpires on Monday.

Take care and thanks for visiting today.  Safe and happy travels always!

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"

4 Responses to The Winter Weather Roller Coaster

  1. my_vantasy says:

    We’re on that same Winter Weather Roller Coaster in Ohio. I’m just glad the snow and ice are gone. No fishing until April?! Can you go that long? Have you ever gone that long between fishing trips? But you’re still going to go camping before April, I hope. Your next outing sounds fun. It will be interesting to see what you find and get into. 🙂

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi! We’re rid of the snow and ice as well. I’ll likely slack off the fishing for a while. The van’s been leaking antifreeze a bit so I’m trying to diagnose and fix it… and minimize the driving. But it’s very likely that there will be some camping trips in the coming weeks… For now I have to keep it close to home. Once the weather warms up I’ve got some fun places in mind that aren’t too far away. Take care. Hopefully the rest of the winter is peaceful!

  2. Jo says:

    Before I forget again I love your header picture.

    You 3 guys are brave souls out there fishing in that weather to bad you weren’t able to catch a few more fish.

    While not as cold here as you have had it is still nasty here and for us anything below 50 is a really big deal of cold. Some days have warmed up to the mid 70’s which for me is perfect weather.

    Hope yo enjoy your trip to those great sounding stores. I have tasted those meats before and it just wasn’t my thing.

    Take care and stay warm

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! Goat is different. It cooked up kind of chewy like a cheap piece of pork steak. But then I added the sauce and let it simmer a while. Once the meat was chopped up and sauced, it really tasted good. But it’s all about a person’s tastes. I was kind of excited about a simple three ingredient meal for camping. 🙂

      Take care and stay warm. 🙂