Camping at Bennett with Jenny

Just east of Bennett, Iowa in Cedar County… 1/2 mile west of Scott County

Hello and welcome to the blog.  Monday evening was a perfect chance to get kitty Jennifer outside for a night of camping.  I wanted to choose a simple place with lots of grass, little traffic, and a relatively quiet environment.  On Monday I’d tried to walk her in the parking lot at the Anamosa McDonald’s.  She was terrified by the traffic noises.  One of the drive-thru customers told employee Brittany that he’d seen a guy in a Hawaiian shirt walking a cat on a leash outside.  (It was tie dye, not Hawaiian!).  Britt knew exactly who the customer was referring to!

The sun going down over Cedar County, Iowa

The Bennett campground, about 35 miles southeast of home, offered grassy areas and quiet surroundings.  It was a perfect choice.

Sloppy Joes, beans, and beer. Not the best combination right before bed time!

Supper was far from fancy.  I made some homemade sloppy Joe sandwiches using ground beef, tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, onion, garlic, salt, and coarse-ground black pepper.  The canned Sloppy Joe mix tastes like metal so I always make them from scratch. The kids at work love these sandwiches.  The filling is perfect for cooking or just warming up in the van’s crock pot.

The bread was premium rolls we recently discarded (expires 11/17) from work.  I had a manager’s blessing and loaded the freezer at home.  The rolls are like a brioche bun (egg dough, slightly sweet, nice brown finish on the top).  They should prove lots of fun.  I also scrounge a lot of other things from work like sauces and napkins that people leave behind.   🙂

Jenny enjoying her time outdoors.

Jenny did amazingly well and really seemed to enjoy herself.  She’s now used to this harness and only wandered too far once;  all that was needed was to send the drone her way.  Jen returned quickly after getting buzzed by the small quadcopter.  Overall she has been very well behaved and it means more chances to enjoy the outdoors.

We slept very well last night.  Sadly, the price for camping with electricity went from $10 to $15 so I opted to sleep without a heater.  The low was 54 last night and the van stayed comfortable.  Jenny was content to snooze in the green easy chair.

If you notice, Jenny cat is a little dot on the far right of the park bench.

The morning breakfast was not very creative.  At work we have a special on breakfast burritos and with my discount, I can get them for 88 cents apiece after tax.  Two were warmed up using skewers and holding them over the propane burner.

It was a fun little outing with Jenny.  Having her around eliminates the homesick feeling.  In two weeks we will be fishing around Decorah and I think this little fur buddy will do just fine.


Thanks for visiting!  Have a great rest of the week!

Brad and Jenny
Jones County, Iowa

Somebody got a present today. The birds sit on top of the shepherd’s hook outside and taunt her eye-to-eye.

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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6 Responses to Camping at Bennett with Jenny

  1. Pam in Louisiana says:

    That’s such a sweet picture of Jenny sitting on the table facing the camera. The biggest joy of all is getting a new scratching/climbing post! Your McD’s breakfast is a good deal and it’s something I bring along when we go fishing, too. If not bought when we go out then I make homemade breakfast burritos heated in the microwave before leaving home then wrapped in foil. If you go off for a short day trip and you have a big Yeti type glass/cup they hold the heat for a while, warm enough to eat them without re-heating. Those sloppy joes, beans and beer look pretty darn good too! Good idea about the drone to keep track of Jenny. And it looks like a nice place to camp, too. Looking forward to your and Jennys’ next adventure!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Pam! Thanks for the note. I tell her she’s “photo-JEN-ic”. I don’t let her go too far – maybe 150 feet or so and she cannot run well in that pink harness. It seems to work well. If it was dark she would have to stay on a leash.

      I like the idea you hd about the homemade burritos made and held in a Yeti style cup. I’m already thinking about making a burrito filling with some spicy chorizo sausage.

      The next outing will be in less two weeks (I might go fishing before then!). We’ll be out for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. She’s a fantastic companion and like her predecessor (Serena) I’m going to take her to a kids’ playground to check out the equipment.

  2. Jo says:

    Nice little camp out. Your food looks good as always and the burro’s is a great idea too. It’s nice Jen enjoys going with you that is a bonus. Hopefully in about 2 weeks I can go back up to Madera but to camp this time. The Casita was great but spending that kind of money was a real treat and can’t happen more than once in a very long time.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! I understand about the spending money part and all. There’s a plastic “jar” on the counter at home that gets money thrown into it for various reasons. It is the only money I’m able to save right now and is only used for camping. Somehow it’s almost sacred and is even sparingly. I think there’s $112 and some coins in there. It sure is nice to have an emergency “sunny day” fund.

      You’ll get to camp again one of these times when the weather cools off. We’re waiting for a break here, too. It’s not supposed to be 90 degrees in mid-September… and a drought here, too!

      I hope you get to go back to Madera soon!

  3. my_vantasy says:

    Fantastic looking dinner! I went camping last weekend and opted for non-electric. I saw a camping hack online and it worked great–filling a clear plastic gallon jug with water and attaching a headlamp facing the jug. It lit up the whole tent. Looking forward to your next outing!

    • VanTrekker says:

      That’s a cool camping hack! The camping dinner this last week was kind of silly but I wanted to do something easy – just eat and have a cold one. 🙂

      A week from Monday will be a lot longer trip with lots of good food and 2-3 days with Jenny. Take care!