Hello and welcome! This post was started on Easter Sunday and finished on Monday. Jenny and I headed north after work Saturday night. Our destination was to be Decorah but we were delayed a bit. Work had been very busy all day and it took a lot of extra time and a great team effort to get it all wrapped up – but the bosses were appreciative and that means a lot.
While loading the last bags of manure at work, the sky was darkening. A line of severe thunderstorms with large hail had developed about an hour west of town. After work I gathered up Jenny and we headed north dodging the storms. Just minutes later two tornadoes were spotted in the areas we had just passed through. I saw one of the funnel clouds. Scary stuff. UPDATE — According to our local news that same storm spawned a tornado that touched down about 5 minutes from home in Jones County.
It was time to park and get some rest. I had read about Gouldsburg Park in Fayette County. This new-to-us park is a few miles to the west and north of West Union. The campground is along two tributaries, Crane Creek and the Little Turkey River. At $15 per night, the park is not the cheapest out there but it is very clean and safe. Jenny did well with the drive, ate like a horse, and slept better than myself. She’s a great little camping pal!
In the morning we two trekkers headed to Decorah which was about a half hour to the north. Thanks to a gift from Sis, it was possible to eat a wonderful spread at the restaurant at the historic Hotel Winneshiek.
The tasty meal consisted of breaded pork medallions, grilled asparagus, and a rich risotto dish. The best part was a cupcake buffet after the brunch. I chose a white cupcake with a lingonberry filling. Known as “mountain cranberries”, lingonberries are a Norwegian favorite.
After filling the belly, it was time to go fishing. There was a place I’d wanted to fish for some time. South Bear and North Bear trout streams are popular in this area. Actually, they are the #1 and #2 streams in Iowa. Somehow I’ve missed fishing them … until now!
The picture above was taken about 2.5 miles south of Minnesota in Highlandville. This little town is a wonderful vacation destination with cabins for rent, a general store, campgrounds, etc… But truthfully, it’s not for me! Even on a quiet Easter Sunday, there were cars or trucks at every pull-off at every fishing hole. I only caught one fish and nearly sprained an ankle doing so.
All was not lost. Upon returning, Jenny was sitting patiently in the van waiting for me to return. She got to play outside a little before we moved on.
Thanks to a wrong turn, instead of visiting North Bear creek we ended up on a road leading to a favorite trout stream, Waterloo Creek in Allamakee County (Al-uh-muh-key). Leading to a small gravel parking lot there is a pull-off so washed out and steep that I hesitated taking it. We parked and after a 2 mile round trip walk, I came back with the last four nice fish needed for the daily limit. A car on the road above slowed as the driver saw me with fish… then he re-evaluated because the washed out drive could have really torn up his little sedan! No problem with the van though. By carefully positioning the van’s right side drive wheel we got out safely… although in retrospect it was a kind of a dumb idea to park there!
The kitty and I headed back to Decorah and cleaned the fish at Twin Springs Park on the north end of town.
Twin Springs trout stream is shallow; the water and the bank are at nearly the same level, making it much safer to squat down and work. Jenny had a chance to play here and chase butterflies and roll in the grass. She seemed to enjoy herself.
Later in the afternoon we headed south to Dutton’s Cave park. Of all the places we saw, the kitty seemed to enjoy that park the most. I visited the little tree where there is a memorial for previous camping buddy, Serena. It was gratifying to see a new kitty enjoy the park just as much! We will visit this place again.
By the evening the two of us were pretty tuckered out… We both zonked out and regrouped the next day. On Monday, there was more fun and, of course, more pictures to share … likely by mid-week.
For now it’s back to the usual grind… but I do have next Saturday and Sunday off. There might be some more camping somewhere. We’ll have to see how it all works out.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope everyone has had a terrific Easter weekend.
Bradford and Jennifer
Jones County, Iowa