Jenny and I Up North on Tuesday

A young stray kitty at the Decorah McDonald’s. Jenny shared her Blue Buffalo food with this pretty feline friend.

Hello and welcome to the blog.  Jenny and I fished on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Decorah / Waukon area in far northern and eastern Iowa.  Tuesday was a gloomy, misty mess.  Five fish were caught but nearly all of the fun and action happened on Wednesday as we headed east.  There are a lot of pictures from the last half of the trip so Tuesday and Wednesday will be separate posts.

The “Cookies and Cream” bar was delicious but doesn’t it look like something Fido would make?

On Tuesday much of the day was rainy.   Armed with this peculiar looking snack, I struck out in search of five trout.  They eventually ended up on the stringer.  While cleaning the fish, I cut the left index finger – necessary for crocheting – with the fillet knife.  There was no crocheting on this trip!

Sis sent me two gift certificates, one for Mabe’s Pizza and one for the restaurant at the Hotel Winneshiek.  Mabe’s is a Decorah legend.  For lunch I had a large Caesar salad and an amazing taco pizza.  The leftovers were packed for munching.


Best pizza in Decorah!

For supper I went to the restaurant at the hotel.  It was delicious!  I opted for the New York Strip Steak with garlic mashed potatoes, mixed grilled veggies, and a big bowl of French Onion soup.  The warm food tasted pretty darned good.  So did the cocktail which had cranberry juice, lemon-lime soda, vodka, and Triple Sec liquor.  Unfortunately, the picture of that meal did not turn out so well.  It was the camera… I wasn’t drunk.  🙂 🙂

Jenny did not get a lot of outdoors time on Tuesday.  But later in the evening we did visit Dunning Spring waterfall.  She wriggled out of the harness and it took about twenty minutes to get her back from under the van.  Two well-intentioned ladies added to her fear by trying to assist.  Finally I gave up calling her and opened the van door.  She strutted back up and inside, opting to look out through the tinted back windows.  She seems to really like that arrangement.

Tuesday night was spent getting some deep sleep.  After not feeling well on Monday, due in part to helping a friend whose car broke down twice in the heat, I had ended up getting a late start.  Buddy Steve felt bad about his car causing the late departure but I told him, “I can fish any time.  But I’d much rather help a friend!”

Going our for a 3AM around the Walmart “campground”

We spent Tuesday night at the Walmart … by choice!  I love the city-run campground in Decorah but prefer saving the money for other things!  Seriously, the body could sleep anywhere, why pay for the privilege?  Jenny and I rested after going to bed early.  Around 3AM she wanted to go for a walk outside and seemed to enjoy looking around.

The somewhat silly picture above was taken in the “Family Restroom” at Walmart.  I purchased a cheap towel and tiny bottle of Axe body wash.  Since there was nobody around at 3AM, I locked the door and did a full clean-up job from head to toe… and then tidied up a few minor messes other people had made.   Camping and washing up at the big box retailer saved money over paying a $22 camping fee!  Feeling refreshed, around 6AM  I ate some cold taco pizza and we headed out for a full day of beautiful weather and fun…  More about that in a couple of days.

As we’ll see on the next post, Wednesday was full of scenery, fishing, food, and Jenny enjoying herself.  New places were visited, too.  Please watch for that post on Saturday night.  As mundane as Monday and Tuesday were, Wednesday more than made up for it as Jenny and I wound our way through the driftless area of Allamakee County.

Here’s a preview of the scenery in Allamakee County, north of Waterville – some of the most beautiful land in Iowa.

That’s about it for the time being.  Jenny is driving me nuts now that we’re home.  I was worried that she might get sick or stressed from the trip.  The only side-effect is she wants to be outdoors even more.  There’s nothing wrong with that!  Daddy feels the same way!

Take care and thanks for riding along with us.  Safe and happy travels.

Brad 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"

7 Responses to Jenny and I Up North on Tuesday

  1. my_vantasy says:

    I am loving this trip through your eyes. The Walmart wash up is something I will keep in mind. And you say your next post is even better –no way! Can’t wait for the big finish!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks for the note! It’s fun living as sort of a subculture type camper – on the cheap – but I’ll bet it’s as much or more fun that way. 🙂 Pinching the dollars is definitely a good thing! 🙂 Take care!

  2. Jo says:

    Sure turned out to be a good trip for you and Jenny. Cleaning up in the Walmart bathroom sounds like a great idea when out for a few days . How nice of your sister to gift you with gift cards to places for places to eat. That pizza looks crazy.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! Thanks for the comments. It was sure a lot of fun. I’ve been working on the last post for the trip. There was so much beautiful scenery. We had a lot of fun along the way. She’s pretty much converted to a “campin’ kitty”. Hopefully we can go out soon one of these days. Take care!

  3. Gonut says:

    I read your posts but don’t usually reply.
    your adventures look like fun for you.
    I recently for the very first time traveled though Iowa on a trip from the Mid-Atlantic States to Lincoln, Nebraska. I previously visited all of the states we traveled though excepting Iowa and Nebraska, they are new to me. I was surprised that Iowa was not as flat as imagined. Iowa looks like a great place to live if you don’t want to see mountains. But then again the mountains, the Appalachians, were described to me as foothills by western folks more used to the the greatness of the Rockies insulting me!
    Whatever I have a much better perspective of the geographic area you reside, travel and fish in.
    I could relate that in my over 70 years on this earth, I am convinced the only fish are in the salt waters of the Atlantic and there are no fish anywhere in fresh water. I base this on the fact that I have never, ever caught a fish in fresh water, therefore any story of fish in fresh water has to be bogus! I’m sure those beautiful lines of trout came from a supermarket!
    I do enjoy your posts.
    Thanks for posting them.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Gonut and thanks for the note! I do buy some fish at the supermarket – mainly salt water type that are frozen. But it’s so much easier to catch your own freshwater fish. Some of the trout in this post just published tonight went from creek to skillet in under an hour. Fresh is good!

      It sounds like you’ve had some amazing travel adventures. Do you have a blog? Take care Gonut!