Day 2 – Dutton’s Cave to Home


Dutton’s Cave Park

Hello and welcome to the blog.  After the great fishing on Sunday, Jenny and I started to head toward home.  After recent rains the creeks had risen and it was uncertain whether or not we’d get another five fish. It didn’t matter – we were having a good time.

Whippy Dip

Some of the best decadence in the Decorah area. For less than $3, a butter pecan sundae was enough to sedate a person.

On Sunday evening, we headed over to Dutton’s Cave Park in Fayette County.  Exhausted (more like knocked out from too much suger at the Whippy Dip), the kitty and I fell asleep without eating supper!  The next morning was a different story.  We had a most unusual breakfast that was tasty.


Morning skyline at Dutton’s Cave park

It was a meal of leftovers… and more supper-like than breakfast.  Sis had gifted some very expensive cans of sockeye salmon fish… somewhere around $12.50 for a catfood sized tin!  Before departing on this trip, I’d mixed up some salmon patties using breadcrumbs, egg, onions, garlic, etc.  The mixture had been frozen then kept cold.  I had also brought along a batch of homemade au gratin potatoes to which ham and asparagus were added.  The veggies were one of those little steamer packs.  Everything was warmed using the little Coleman griddle.

Salmon patties

The blue plastic potato chip container holds clean plastic utensils.

After breakfast, kitty Jen-Jen wanted to play so she got some time in the leaves.  The van was packed up while a plan was devised to hit some fishing spots on the way home.  Some of the factors included which areas received the most recent rains, when they were stocked with fish, and the likelihood there would be good fishing after the holiday weekend.  In any case, much walking would have to occur.

Otter Creek near West Union

Drone shot of Glover’s Creek area.


The first attempt at fishing was here at Glover’s Creek.  The creek was bloated and very muddy.  The fish would not bite.  All was not lost; it was perfect drone flying weather.  Using an old chip (in case it was lost), I flew this battered old drone as high as possible until signal was lost.  Before starting to go out of control, I captured this video.  As the drone fell, I was able to regain lock and  bring it back to earth safely.  Of all the quadcopter pics taken over the last few years, the picture of the silo is the favorite.



Sny Magill park

After leaving Glover’s Creek, we made our way east looking for creeks that were not flooded.  Remembering the recent rains and the storm track, this part of the county had seen less precipitation than areas thirty miles to the south.  Sny Magill trout stream was in perfect shape – slightly higher flows but very clear.  Once again fishing by myself, the conditions (air temperature of 68 degrees, sunny, a gentle breeze, etc.) were ideal for stress relief.  I would have loved to have had a lawn chair and just laid down next to the babbling water!  (maybe next time)

All the while Jenny was sitting in the van patiently.  The kitty had a chance to play in the grass at the stream and she was appreciative.  The little girl travels very well and truly enjoys the outdoors.  Having her along adds to the fun and a pet companion enhances the feeling of being at home… anywhere!

Spring is in full swing now.  Temps are in the 70s and the nights are so comfortable that no heating is required.  It is a perfect time to camp.  There probably won’t be any fishing this coming weekend but surely Jenny and her dad might be out somewhere under the stars.

Just a note about the camping meals… There are more foods to cook in the coming days including some homemade tortillas and fresh guacamole.  Hopefully the meal ideas are not annoying or too boring.  Facebook can get tiresome with everyone saying “I made fried chicken and potatoes.”  The reason food pics are posted here is to help others think about fun new things to cook to make camping even more special and convenient.

Thanks for visiting today and have an enjoyable week!  Safe and happy travels!

Bradford and Jennifer
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 Day 2 – Dutton’s Cave to Home

  1. my_vantasy says:

    So glad Jenny is a happy camper cat. Pets are absolutely the best camping buddies! And please keep talking about and posting pictures of your meals. Too many people think hot dogs and baked beans are all you eat when camping. I like to take nontraditional camping food, too. 🙂

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks for the note! I’ll keep doing just that – posting some of the fun and unusual meals. I just got back today. It’s been a rough week. I was in a neighboring town today at a job interview. Just got back with 5 nice fish. 🙂 We’ll have to see what I can do different with some fillets.

  2. Jo says:

    Another nice camping trip. Such a lovely place, green grass and green trees.

    By all means continue to show your wonderful meals. You really cook up some great meals. And that blue container is great for keeping plastic ware.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! Thanks for the note! I’m going to send you a quick email. Thanks for the comment about the blue Lays potato chip container. I love it. It’s great for plastic utensils and a few salt / pepper packets, a wet napkin thingy, etc. It’s funny how we spot things and see the potential in them. 🙂