A Happy Memorial Day 2020


Hi and welcome to the blog!  First, I wanted to say thank you to the many members of the military:  those at rest, living veterans, and those currently serving. We have seen how freedom came with sacrifice and it will endure with our continued diligence and patriotism.  Through these strange times, the United States remains an amazing place in which to live and thrive!  (Okay, “Live long and prosper”)


Sometimes you don’t have to look for the rainbow. This time it passed right by me when I needed a reminder that everything will be fine.


Even so, a lot of us have been stressed lately.  I’ve had occasional feelings of despair, too.  The constant barrage of mask and virus related commercials, frequent Covid-19 updates on the radio, snarky people on both sides of the mask/ social distancing debate, the frequent Facebook trolls, etc. can all wear you down. Add in some work fatigue and I was ready to say “screw it” and just write off a beautiful couple of days off and mope at home.  Almost.

On Sunday the weather was perfect for 🐟 🐟 🐟 fishing however there was little desire.  But then something just clicked. A person has to forge ahead during tough times or one risks reinforcing his or her own unhappiness…if that makes any sense. We Midwesterners are pretty tough folks.  I decided to fish, even if I didn’t feel like it… but at least there was a quiet and beautiful place to go.


The tree in the water is habitat for some lovely fish!


A few weeks back I ran into a friend who let me visit his pond two summers ago.  The elderly farmer said to come and take home some fish.  It was the perfect time; right now the bluegills are spawning. To me, they are the best tasting fresh water fish of all.


For those who can consume adult beverages, a slushy drink and a shot of Cuervo can cure just about anything!


After pulling into the parking area for the pond, a tasty was enjoyed.  The fast food place where I work has delicious slushies. Add in a shot of tequila and oh… What a treat!  It was refreshing since the humidity was high and the temperature felt quite summer-like.


My paws are XL size and he was a handful. Bluegills can get much larger than this.


Reality sunk in after a bit following that blue raspberry Margarita.  The bugs were ferocious with gnats swarming. The fishing action stopped for a time after I’d caught this chubby bluegill in the photo above.  As the sun went down one could see clouds on the horizon – nature’s luminaries – lit up by the distant flickers of lightning.  Grandma called it “heat lightning” although there really is no such thing.  As the sun went down, the bluegill action heated up and several more beauties went on the stringer.

The redneck fish bucket got a workout on Sunday night.  Though I only had four fish, they will make one very large meal with leftovers.  It was an enjoyable outing.  And to think the time was almost spent at home.


With its bubbling water and jets, this bucket makes cleaning fish much easier and cleaner.


Monday was a day off from work and almost a carbon copy of Sunday.  A text arrived at 6:30 AM asking if I could work.   While stopping in for breakfast, I advised the manager in charge that I was suffering from “Acquired Icthyo-Deficiency Syndrome”.  The young manager fell for the prank asked if it meant I needed to bring a doctor’s note before working.  I explained with an S.E.G.  (shi* eating grin) that the fancy language means a “shortage of fish” ’cause I only got 4 last night….and had to go back out today.  Time off is time off… If you give it up, it’s gone forever.  🙂

Monday evening was spent back at the pond.  We had storms roll through and that’s when the rainbow picture was taken.  Two more large bluegills and a really nice largemouth bass saw the fish cleaning bucket a few minutes ago.  Memorial Day was social distancing at its finest.

It’s hard to say when camping will happen next.  There were all kids of people at the parks this weekend and I wanted to stay under the radar.  Hopefully one of these days it will be possible to spend a night away.  But for now, life is very good.  Thanks for visiting!


Jenny checking out one of new flower pots hung up at home for the warmer months.


Happy and safe camping to all the camping pals!

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"

4 Responses to A Happy Memorial Day 2020

  1. Jo Harmon says:

    Seems you did quite well fishing. Enjoy the meals you get from the fish.
    Love you hanging basket of flowers

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! Thanks – I’ve been having fun putting our flour and sprucing the place up. Jenny is driving me nuts to go for walks all the time. I just bought a cat stroller for her and Duke. Looks like the weather for Monday might be favorable for camping… Take care! VT

  2. my_vantasy says:

    The picture of the rainbow is absolutely gorgeous. Going to have to remember the slushie plus alcohol treat! I’m right there with you feeling depressed with all of the maskers v. unmaskers and social distancers v. nondistancers. It got even worse this week with protests for racial justice turning into riots. Yesterday, Columbus declared a state of emergency downtown, closing the streets and enacting a 10pm curfew. I love your blog because you keep it real–admitting you, too, struggle–but you always end on hope and recovery. I needed to hear that today.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi! Thank you. Nature is so awesome! It’s definitely gotten a lot crazier in the world the last few days. We did have some graffiti – likely the little thuggish – white kids. We are such a small community that if rioting or looting started here, many of us would grab various items and send the rioters running. But sadly, there have been issued in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, and other large towns.

      On the upside, there have been many communities with peaceful demonstrations.

      Gotta run for now. Buddy Steve and I are meeting up to go fishing. BTW, I have been cooking succotash and will share the recipe. It’s vegan! Take care!