Hickory Creek Trip Park One

Goeken Park from Big Drone

Goeken Park overlooking ElDorado, Iowa

Good morning and welcome to the blog today!  At the moment I’m in Decorah, Iowa.  That was not exactly the plan… but who needs plans?

On Friday the kitties remained at home while I headed north.  The intention was to do a little trout fishing and visit a corn maze (a corn field cut into a maze shape; one is entertained / tormented by navigating him or her self out of the puzzle).  Fishing was planned for Friday and the corn maze for Saturday. Unfortunately, once I got north into “Clay-ette County”  (intersection of Clayton and Fayette counties”), the creeks were still flooded a bit from last week… and the fishing was positively crappy.

No fisherman (or woman) wants to get skunked – especially when there are many other options…   Determined to enjoy the day, I decided to take a little chance and visit a creek near Monona, Iowa.  It was suggested by the man and woman who sold me the trailer last year.  What a cool place!


Hickory CreekThe stream is very small and is situated along the left side of the picture (between the trees and the corn).  But seeing the geography, it makes me ask if Hickory Creek was once much larger, perhaps because of glaciers?  In any case, it is a beautiful, peaceful area.  I plan to return this fall and take some leaf pictures with the drone.  It should be fun!

Hickory Creek is one of those streams that the DNR occasionally stocks but does not announce their visits in order to maintain a better fish population.  Even though the weather was very hot (90 degrees) and the water was quite shallow (two feet deep), the trout were very hungry.  They were so skiddish it was necessary to stand downstream and cast upstream ahead of the fish.  It didn’t take to long to catch five.  Three were decent sized; two were very nice.  The kitties will be happy!

Teriyaki Salmon 4 at Goeken Park

This is better than I eat at home…

Last night I camped at Goeken Park near West Union.  It was peaceful despite some neighbors who apparently came in after dark, camped near the van, and started a wood fire.  I ended up with ashes being sucked through the roof vent and covering the laptop…  Perhaps they wanted to the pavilion for the holiday. No harm done… but I wasn’t terribly motivated to be quiet when leaving this morning!

Supper last night (Teriyaki Salmon) was one of the fanciest camping meals I’ve cooked yet… and one of the easiest to make.  Walmart had this salmon marked down to $3.13 for a 10 ounce piece.  (I watch the clearance stuff like a hawk at work!)  The fish was cooked (skin side down, the whole time) on the Coleman Fold -n- Go propane grill using non-stick foil to keep the teriyaki sauce from running.  The veggies were the “steamer” pack type… as was the pre-cooked brown rice.  The onions cost just 36 cents at the store and were roasted in foil while the fish cooked.  The smoothie was mixed and frozen before I left home… and then blended up as dinner was cooking.


Camping… and some new neighbors!

Today is the Saturday preceding Labor Day.  I’ve got to kill a few hours before visiting the corn maze in Elgin, Iowa.  Hopefully it is open — we’ve had dangerously hot weather — but we’ll see what the day holds in store.  The best camping trips seem to have at least three or four activities:  cooking great food, fishing, hiking, drone flying, or other stuff.  It’s always good to plan too much to do in case Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate… and the creeks flood.

For now it’s off to some favorite Decorah places where the plan is to do some more testing on the larger Syma X8C drone (with wi-fi camera) and then on to points beyond.  This has been a very enjoyable trip so far and amazingly restorative.  Life is good!

Thanks for visiting today.   In a few hours the corn maze will open and I’m hoping for some really fun pictures.  Take care and enjoy the fine late summer weekend!

Bradfor, 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"

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