Jenny and I on Wednesday with Scenery Pics

NE of Decorah, “Old Rossville Road”

Hello and welcome back!  Wednesday was one of the most enjoyable days I can remember camping, traveling, and exploring.  Kitty Jennifer helped make it that way.  Despite her vomiting on the way up on Monday, she did very well the rest of the trip and seemed fascinated with all the sights and smells.

We took off on Wednesday morning, driving east on old Highway 9 to Patterson Creek trout stream.  I had a couple hours to explore the stream from one end to the other.  It is beautiful – one of the prettiest in Iowa – the creek gently meandering through many acres of quiet, lightly grazed pasture land.

Lower end of Patterson Creek and the iron bridge on Patterson Creek Road

The weather was cool Wednesday morning and I felt slightly chilled until the sun peeked over the horizon and warmed things up a bit.  The cows lazily grazed and the well maintained pasture looked like a soft and inviting, grassy carpet.  The only problem was that I didn’t watch the ground and slipped and fell in some cow pies…  If you hear someone say something is “Slicker than cow shit” then trust me – it’s like wheel bearing grease.  I wore it on trousers the rest of the day.

Patterson Creek with a loaded walnut tree.

Another shot of the loaded walnut tree. There are a bazillion of these things in NE Iowa. Dad used to gather the nuts and use them in baked goods.

Nope, this wasn’t a protest movement or anything… Just some wandering black angus bovine.

Sadly, on Wednesday the fishing at this stream was terrible.  Patterson is a popular venue and is stocked weekly.  There were no indications that the stream had been visited by the DNR so Jenny and I left.  I’d thrown back the only small fish caught.

From there the next stop was Waukon to visit the creamery and take a selfie with “Anna” the mascot for the WW Homestead Creamery.

The “purple cow” ice cream featured on the right is a mellow raspberry flavored recipe combined with chunks of dark chocolate.

I also bought a bag of cheese curds.    For those who are unfamiliar, cheese curds are fresh cheddar cheese that is not yet shaped into blocks or wheels.  The random shaped nuggets are a bit rubbery and squeak when you bite into them.  They are delicious!

After the creamery Jenny and I stopped at an Amish store just to the east of Waukon and bought some bulk items really cheap:  stick cinnamon and dried vegetable flakes.  The Amish proprietor advised that Paint Creek (a half mile to the east) had been stocked with trout two days ago.

Amish store (left) and residence along Paint Creek in central Allamakee County

By this time I was pretty excited.  Knowing that the stream had been stocked and how wicked the slope is, it was likely there would be some lovely fish in search of a frying pan.  I carefully descended and got the limit of plump rainbow trout in short order.

“Allamakee Farm 55” park, a favorite of myself and friend Steve as well as Jenny.

A few miles down the road, we stopped to make a home cooked lunch.  In addition to fresh fried trout, I’d also prepped some green and yellow squash, carrots, and onions.  The veggies were grilled with olive oil and spices.  The potatoes were cooked at home – tender baby potatoes with onions and garlic.  The “Whiskey Beans” were from Dollar Tree and they were darned tasty!  The fish fillets were cooked with “Louisiana Fish Fry All Natural” coating.  It contained only 5 MG of sodium.  What a wonderful product!   (So was the Smirnoff Green Apple beverage!)

Jenny exploring the playground equipment at the park.

Climbing the apple tree

The little kitty got to play to her heart’s content in the park, climbing the tree and the jungle gym.  She prowled and sniffed until some other people arrived and she decided it was time to go back to the van.

After lunch it was off to Lansing to a new park.  By the way, it looks like someone used the sign for target practice!

 

View to the north of the Mississippi River

Once arriving in Lansing, we climbed a very steep hill with the van and looked out over the Mississippi River from Mount Hosmer park.  The view is breathtaking and peaceful.  One can only imagine the happiness experienced by the native Americans many years prior as they lived in this region, referred to as the “driftless area”.

Driftless Area Education and Visitor’s Center

The driftless area is a part of Northeast Iowa that was not affected by the glaciers.  The land has high bluffs, deep valleys, and sparkling clear streams.  This new visitor’s center has many exhibits that detail aspects of the fishing and button making industries over the years.  Many years ago they did a lot of logging of white pine trees.  At one point there were over a hundred sawmills up and down the Mississippi.

A very old ice fishing shanty that was pulled like a sled to where a fisherman could sit in shelter while angling. It was fully collapsible!

The new visitor center had many neat exhibits, mainly geared toward the younger crowd but it was still fascinating to kids of all ages.

Giant turtle statue outside the visitor’s center.

Jenny and I made one more stop… at the Mohn Fish Market on the Great River Road south of Lansing.  This place has been around for 35 years.  There were at least four cats on the premises and all were eager to assist in consuming anything given to them.  We split a piece of smoked sturgeon.  I can only imagine how much they love their home near all that tasty seafood!  RIP, tomcat Jesse James.  He would have loved being there!

After that it was back to the home base.  Jenny was tuckered out and so was Daddy.  We covered a lot of territory and both had a great time.  I’m not sure when or where the next trip will be but have a few ideas already.

Thanks for riding along with us!

Safe and happy journeys!

Brad and Jennifer
Jones County, Iowa

Fresh homemade cow pies from your
friendly neighborhood black angus
cattle…

 

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