A Little Breath of Fresh Air

Volga Lake in Fayette County, Iowa


Hi and welcome to the blog.  There’s been a little down time… which actually started before the bluegrass festival in the last post.  For some time I’ve been having breathing problems.  The family doctor had pretty much dismissed it.

Last Friday I was up north for a fishing trip and had an asthma attack in Fayette County near “trout country”.  The lungs cleared a little with the inhaler.  By the way, the streams were so low I decided not to go after any trout.  The water was very clear and shallow.  The destination changed to 30 miles west at a larger water body.

Some time later while fishing at Volga Lake in neighboring Fayette County, the breathing problem hit again and I had to stop at the hospital in Oelwein.  That’s where Grandma had died almost exactly 30 years ago.  It kind of creeped me out.  They helped me get going again… The next day (Saturday) I felt kind of sluggish and short of breath during the bluegrass concert.


Nature center at Fontana Park in Buchanan County, Iowa


On the way home I headed south through Buchanan County passing through the town of Hazleton.  Sis and I spent many summers there with Grandma and Grandpa.  South of town there is a little park called Fontana.  I’ve camped there just once but vowed to do it again.  They have a cool nature center that opened in 1994.  Touring it had never worked out before but this time the opportunity presented itself.  There were some really fascinating exhibits and beautiful nature exhibits.


Reminds me of kitty Jenny when she’s hungry in the morning… usually around 4:13 AM.


So then came the bluegrass festival.  On Monday the 5th I worked the first shift after returning to the Golden Arches.  By Tuesday morning the breathing got really bad again and doing nothing was not an option.  (I’ve learned to bypass the family physician and go directly to the nurse practitioner at Urgent Care)  They took a chest x-ray and sure enough, I had pneumonia in the lower left lung… and likely have had for some time.


A non poisonous bull snake… It kind of reminded me of the one boss I worked for a few weeks ago – full of “bull” and as friendly as a “snake”. (more like a rattlesnake though)


Things are getting better.  The sense of humor and mental acuity (and downright sarcasm) is returning after having felt like I’ve been living in a fog due to low oxygen.  There’s still some work to do to get back to normal – four breathing treatments per day and lots of antibiotics… as well as laughter and doing what the body says is the right thing to do.


Just outside Hazleton, Iowa where a tornado destroyed some buildings a few years ago… and some of it still looks like it.


Even under the weather it’s been possible to work and it’s been fun being back at the Golden Arches.  Though it can be faster paced, being with the McFamily has been a good prescription for stress relief.  In 37 years of doing many different things, working in fast food has consistently been the most fun.  I’m lovin’ it.   🙂  🙂

Without a doubt there will be a camping trip very soon, likely over the coming weekend.  A breath of fresh air is just what the nurse practitioner would order.  I’m already working on an idea for something healthy and easy to make… but with some flavor.

For now, take care!  Safe and happy camping!

Brad and Jenny and Duke
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"

2 Responses to A Little Breath of Fresh Air

  1. Jo Harmon says:

    OH MY Brad, I’m glad you went to someone else about this problem. And now you are on the mend so that makes me happy and I’m sure it does you also.

    Didn’t know you did go back to golden arches I know you mentioned it.

    Hope you get a trip in for the fresh air.
    Take care of yourself

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! I wish the recovery would go a little quicker. The plan is to go camping soon again. I’ve been prepping some food for tomorrow. Take care!