Vacation Postponed… But Got Some Trout!

The new federal courthouse in Cedar Rapids. They have barriers in place to enhance security… No white vans allowed in front! (Yep, that’s the Trekker Van in the angle parking)

Hello and welcome to the blog.  It’s been a crazy start to the new week.  First, I’ve had to postpone the spring trout fishing trip.  The Decorah area is receiving about 6 inches of snow.  In fact, most every trout stream is forecast to get another round of nasty weather.  No big loss.  Right now Iowa is experiencing record low temperatures.   I’m going to wait a couple weeks and go when it’s warmer.  Lots of food was packed – nothing wasted though – it will get eaten at home.

Prairie Park Fishery in Cedar Rapids… It was once an old Martin Marietta quarry.

Monday morning was spent in Cedar Rapids at the Federal Courthouse.  No biggie – it was just a routine legal matter — no free food or housing offered.  But afterwards I remembered that just two miles away there had recently been a bunch of trout stocked in the old quarry.  I fished it unsuccessfully for an hour and froze my butt off.  But the damage was done. The trout bug had bitten!

One of the tenants at the old quarry.

I returned Monday night and was brooding just a bit.  A few days off from work had been scheduled but as the time approached, the trip plans dissolved.  This week the temperature should have been in the 50s.  It’s in the thirties with a lot of wind, sleet, and snow.  Yuck!

A nice deep hole in the Little Turkey River near Colesburg, Iowa

This morning about 5:00 AM, I woke up and listened to the radio about the approaching storm.  An announcer was discussing the weather in Northeast Iowa and mentioned the town of Colesburg.  I jumped up and said “They stocked Little Turkey yesterday!”  This trout stream is one of the closest to home and offers beautiful scenery… and for a few hours it would possible to get some fish today before conditions worsened.  Jenny rolled over and looked at me like “So what?”

The cat watched as socks and shoes flew on in record time.  I grabbed her and the laptop in my arms and put them in the van, starting to head north at 5:30 AM.  It was misting at this point.  Neither one of us had breakfast yet!  Serendipity is the siracha of life to this fishing nut.

The trout stream was in pretty good shape, although a little low.  By this time the mist turned to spits of rain and the temperature was dropping.  Jenny didn’t even get to play outside but she didn’t seem to mind.  I held her before and after fishing and she purred, just enjoying a little time away from home and in Daddy’s arms.

I walked about three miles to catch 3 fish.  In fact, I never saw any tracks indicating that the stream had been stocked.  One might assume these were holdover fish from last fall’s October planting.  They were few and far between but that makes it all the more fun.  I only caught three but am grateful for each.  It was a really enjoyable time… and after not having caught a dang thing since the first of the year, I’m grateful.  There is another reason this fisherman is also relieved.

Only in Iowa… and only when cold outside. I forgot to bring a cooler for this fish. 🙂

For the last month or so I’ve had some breathing problems.  It seems to be just bronchitis / asthma type stuff but for several nights it was difficult to sleep.  While trying to awaken one morning – kind of in the twilight state – I dreamed that a voice said, “You’ve caught your last trout.”  It shook me up a lot the last couple of weeks.  Thank goodness that the “curse” is broken… and now there are some lovely fillets in the fridge.  Some time dreams seem so real.

Work has been busy as heck as we’re adapting to a few staffing changes.  Buddy Brandon decided to stay on and train as General Manager – a big relief!  He is “fishing friendly.”  While I’d taken some time off for this week it is easy to get the hours back… and then some.  More time is scheduled off two weeks from now when the weather is forecast to be much warmer and the fish stocking schedule is nearly the same.  The camping trip might be scaled back just a bit but will be enjoyed all the more by both Van Trekkers!

That’s about it for now.  There are still going to be new dishes cooked up on the next outing – whenever the weather wants to behave.

Thanks for visiting and happy spring camping!

Brad and Jenny
Jones County, Iowa

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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9 Responses to Vacation Postponed… But Got Some Trout!

  1. Jo says:

    WOW more snow! Sorry about the trip not working out but at least you did get some fishing in and brought 3 home. My cousins on the east cost are sick of the snow too and I guess they got 4″ again over the weekend. Here the temps are on the rise way to soon.
    And I have had to run the A/C in the late afternoon.

    I haven’t started to empty our the camper yet so I can once again move things around.

    Hope the weather wasn’t to bad this time around.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! Thanks for the note. I’m looking forward to some fried fish for supper tonight. We did not get much in this area but are looking at some coming up on Friday again… ugggg…. Wow, to have to run the A/C sounds so good right now! Hopefully you will get to go camping soon. I’m kind of happy to have to option to delay the trip. We’ll still have fun. I was surprised how laid back Jenny was during the drive up on the bumpy gravel roads. She seems to just enjoy the adventure.

  2. Onevikinggirl says:

    “Serendipity is the siracha of life”; such a good way to look at life. Take the chances as they float past on a stream. I miss fishing. Happy camping and I hope your breathing gets better.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Vikinggirl! I’m not sure where the siracha thought came from – even it was serendipitous! The breathing is better – I’m back down to very little use on the asthma inhaler… One thing they don’t tell you is that it balloons the blood sugar readings! There will be a nice little trip coming up in a bit over a week. We’re all looking forward to spring… but there’s 2-4 more inches of snow tomorrow. 🙁 Jenny’s getting antsy! Well have a great weekend and thanks for visiting! VT

  3. Kathy says:

    Hello, Sorry about the fishing trip. We are still getting snow here also, but just a dusting to 1″.
    I haven’t been around for awhile. I’ve finally closed down my store and have started preparing my van for travel. Yesterday I purchased a twin size mattress. That should leave enough room in the minivan for camping items needed.
    Hoping fishing weather comes along quickly.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Kathy! It just won’t warm up. We got a few more inches of snow last night but it’s gone already. The sun peeked through and it got warm for a few minutes. Good deal about the mattress. Comfort in sleeping makes all the difference! I hope you get to travel soon. I’ll be gone for 3-4 days next week. The weather will be better – no snow! Take care! — Brad and Jenny

  4. my_vantasy says:

    I had to cancel my first campout, too. I ended up staying in an Airbnb room, which was actually cheaper than the RV Park where we usually stay. Looking forward to your next trip and especially the yummy food I know you will have!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi! Sorry to hear about the trip getting canceled. I’m going to try again next week. We’ll see how it all goes. The weather has been nuts lately. Today it’s going to push 70 in Iowa and then there is a chance of snow over the weekend. We had a few inches the other day and it was melted off in a few hours. Crazy! But we’re getting closer to spring-like weather.