Vanse’s First Camping Trip

1_Van Van

He loves the bed.

Hello and welcome to the blog today.   On Friday I took Vanse (“Van-Van”) to Marquette, Iowa to go fishing with me.  He did pretty well.  Though we limited out on trout right away, there was a large storm approaching that meant most of the camping time was spent in the van.

One of our stops was in Prairie DuChien, Wisconsin at Pete’s Hamburgers – a carnival trailer sized carry-out place that’s been around since 1909.  Their burgers are cooked on a grill that has a lip around it.. and the meat simmers in onion juices and water while a huge mound of onions cooks down.  Vanse liked his portion of one of the burgers.

Below are some pictures which I have captioned.  Most of the trip was spent in the van, other than slipping out to grill dinner (a steak) on the camping stove.  I’d been planning something more elaborate for supper but the weather was so bad that we had to make do with stale bread and a big old ribeye from the Lindley’s Locker in Center Junction, Iowa.  It’s amazing how good anything tastes when you’re outdoors!

There will likely be another short trip this week – hopefully with better weather.  We saw 6 to 8 inches of rain in the area during this last weekend!  It rained for about fifteen hours.  Nonetheless, Van-Van seemed to have a good tine as we stayed in the van and watched old episodes of “Hart to Hart” and the movie “Queen of Mean”.  He’s going to be a good camping kitty.

Note:  You’ll see a lot of red meat in these pictures… It sure felt good to enjoy some veggies tonight after getting home!   Hopefully the next trip will have more colorful, healthy food…  like “veggie fajitas” or something…   😀



Pete’s Hamburgers in Prairie DuChien, Wisconsin


An onion lover's paradise

An onion lover’s paradise



He liked the burgers

6_me too

Ribeye steak looks better than catfood any day!


A side of beef hanging around at Lindley’s Meat Locker (about 10 miles from where I live). I named this one “Carl” … You cannot get meat any fresher!

That’s about it for now.  The little trip was fun despite the rain.  With lots of time off coming up (I’ve had to cut my work hours to keep from losing health insurance) there are some things “on the back burner” such as meal ideas and places to camp on-the-cheap.  Stay tuned.  Thanks for visiting!

Happy and safe travels always from your camping buddies in Grant Wood country!

Brad, Jesse James, and Vanse
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 Vanse’s First Camping Trip

  1. Jo says:

    Good for Van Van to cut the mustard for camping. Such a little guy. Even with the rain you seemed to have a good time.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks Jo. Van-Van did pretty well overall. I’m pretty optimistic that he’ll be a good camping kitty. He’s a fun kitten and very good for Jesse’s mood, too. The three of us make quite a team… We were all munching on salmon and trout yesterday.

      BTW, I’ve got a fun little outing planned for this weekend but the cats will have to stay home due to the extreme heat (90 degrees and high humidity on Saturday). If things work out, I’m going to do some camping, fishing, and then visit a corn maze. It should be a lot of fun (though pretty hot!) wandering around the 4 acre field. Hopefully it will be possible to get some good drone videos, too.

      Take care! — VT