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May 20, 2008

Perpetual Camping

Fresh Morel Mushrooms












     What is it like being full-time motor homers and living the life of “perpetual campers”?  I can tell you in just two words, but first let me describe the past couple of weeks.

     We headed back to the familiar territory of the mid-west to take care of business (medical appointments and check ups) from having spent an absolute fabulous winter and spring with new found friends in Mexico and the south-west.   First was a visit in the Des Moines Iowa area with friends and family members.  Then a bee-line to Sunshine Acres RV Park, Jim and Alyce’s country estate near Waukon Iowa (Kathleen’s brother).  Our parking pad overlooking the lush farm fields and the hours spent dining and visiting with Jim and Alyce are and will become an annual highlight.  Attending the 1st birthday party of our grand nephew Jake, seeing how our grand niece Jaylin has grown, and visiting all three May Boy’s homes, scattered across Iowa was awesome.  Visiting Kathleen’s two Aunts, Goldie and Emerald in the Care Center in Waukon is always an important stop for me.  These are two of the classiest ladies you could ever have the privilege to meet.

     The most important person next to Kathleen of course is my mom and we have spent many days traveling the short distance from wherever we are to visit with her in the Garnavillo Assisted Living Center and take her for rides through the country side.

     We have moved now from the Sun Shine Acres RV Park and are “camped” within feet of our beloved Mississippi River at Blackhawk Park.  We go to sleep with the sounds of a tow with its barges making its way up or down the channel, a freight train passing in the distance, or the splash of a fish chasing whatever as it feeds.  We get up to a hearty breakfast and once it warms a bit we can each pursue something we enjoy.  Lets see, yesterday I grabbed my favorite rod, walked to the bank 50 feet behind the coach and caught two small mouth bass 14 to 15 inches in length.  A short time later I joined my brother near his small horse farm and went morel mushroom hunting.  Then last night Kathleen and I sat down to bass fillets and mushrooms before settling in for the evening of computing or reading.  Today I went fishing again from the bank, caught and released several nice bass, but kept a nice 16” walleye for a future supper.

     We are busy trying to make contact with as many of our friends in this area as we can because all too soon our visit here will end and we will be off on other adventures.

     Now, what is it like living the life of “perpetual campers”??  In just two words---- It’s Wonderful.





Blackhawk Park Site
















Wide open Spaces at Blackhawk Park
















Another View
























































May 01, 2008

Buck Creek

Buck Creek















     We had an opportunity to take a step back in time today and it was amazing to discover, not a lot has changed.

     Just south of the town, (Garnavillo, Iowa) approximately two miles down a gravel road is a meandering creek, (Buck Creek).  The access to this pristine hidden gem at the end of a dead end road was a pleasant surprise to us both as we discovered very little change from what we experienced years and years ago.

     I was a young lad in the 1950’s when I would leave the house, many times alone, on my bike with my fish pole early in the morning to fish for trout.  When the sun climbed high in the sky and it warmed, I took every chance to head for the deepest hole and cool off by swimming.  I recall many hours spent just laying on my back letting my mind wander as I contemplated the future.

     When Kathleen and I started dating in high school I introduced her to the solitude and beauty of this little valley and the creek meandering through it.  We dreamed and discussed back then a desire to buy this little corner of Iowa one day and perhaps settle there, but that never came to pass.

     Our return there to walk the banks of the creek and to see that the two building (the old mill) and an old brick house still exist and in fact have been somewhat restored and are now some lucky family’s week-end retreat.  We also learned that the private land that runs throughout the valley is still in the care of the same family descendants that owned it years ago.  Cattle still graze the grass, trout fisherman still climb the stile to access the creek and if for just a moment you let your mind wander you can almost feel yourself going back to a less complicated time.

The Old Mill















Happy Cows
















Kathleen at the Stile
















Me and many Memories













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