Camping with Buddy Steve – Day 2

Hello and welcome to the blog.  We had a really fun day fishing on Tuesday.   Monday night Steve slept in his blue Oldsmobile with an electric heater.  He said it got so hot at times he had to start the car and roll the electric windows down just a bit.  But it was still possible to rest.  In the Trekker Van, I was knocked out for many hours of blissful slumber.

Breakfast had to be eaten in the van with the motor running… but it hit the spot!

Tuesday’s breakfast was tasty.  I cooked up pancakes, eggs, and sausage patties for us using an electric griddle inside the van (due to 21 degree weather!).  We had to eat in our cars due to wind.  Steve had plain pancakes with tons of butter and syrup.  I opted for pancakes with a 4-berry blend of frozen fruit, whipped cream, and the other items.  We ate like kings!  That’s always going to happen on one of these treks.

This was actually taken the day before….. Mother Nature is confused!

The first destination was the Yellow River Forest, located about 20 miles to the north and west.  We walked close to 2 miles and only caught one fish.  I caught a “holdover” fish from last fall located a lengthy walk from the vehicles.  Holdover fish are fun to catch because they usually have a stronger flavor.  The cheeks of the trout were a very bright reddish pink and the rainbow coloration was much darker.  (Friday note: It WAS a delicious fish!)

Melting snow dripping off the boulders

Steve was getting irritated that the fishing action was slow.  I convinced him that we needed to go to another park, hoping that the roads would not be too snowy.  About 20 minutes to the south we went to the lower end of Bloody Run park in hopes of catching some nice fish.  We were not disappointed!

A robin looking for a little food in the snow at the Yellow River Forest.  Within a few hours all of this snow would melt under the warm April sun.

I fell on the bank and could not get back up without using the knees to dig into the mud for traction.  It wasn’t long and Steve fell on his arse, too.  We both laughed.   Some teenagers approached our location and started talking loudly, fishing with a spinner right next to us, and generally being a pain in the butt.  One of them mentioned not having a trout stamp.  I started talking about friends who worked for the DNR and that the stocking truck would be back any minute.  The bratty kids quickly departed.

Lower Bloody Run park. You can barely make out the van on the right. This boulder and deep hole is a great place to fish!

Steve was fishing a big hole near a large boulder but wasn’t having much luck.  I headed downstream to this old train bridge and limited out on rainbow trout.  He joined me and finished up his quota for the day.  Success!


The Canadian-Pacific railroad bridge over Bloody Run Creek

Later in the afternoon we cooked up a simple meal of fried fish and hash brown potatoes with onions and lots of cheese.  The snow had melted but the temperature was dropping as yet another potent storm was approaching.  We retired early decided to head back early if the weather looked bad in the morning.

Dark clouds meant dangerous driving…

The next morning we got up about 6AM and were greeted with bad news.  An ice storm was approaching from south… and we had to head into the mess.  About 20 miles from home the freezing rain / hail came down quickly and glazed the roads.  It was white knuckle driving but we made it back okay!

For a two night camping trip, this was well worth the wait.  We had it all – great fishing, friendship, relaxation, good food.  The van ran perfectly and brought a lot of joy.  Buddy Steve and I plan to do it again some time.

So camping season is finally here.  Before long Jenny will be riding along and we’ll have some good times to share.  I’m contemplating a little overnight trip very soon!

Take care and thanks for riding along!

Brad and Jenny
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 Camping with Buddy Steve – Day 2

  1. my_vantasy says:

    What a great trip, although it sounds like your weather is more unpredictable than ours in Ohio. I’m not really a fan of pancakes, but dress them up like you did…now that’s a yummy breakfast! It will be awhile before I get out–work gets in the way, but I need the income right now, so I will just have to be patient and camp vicariously through you! Haha

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi. I agree about the pancakes. It seemed like some fruit was needed and this was a good way to work it in. 🙂 I hear you about work. It’s tough to balance it all. I’m in the same boat – needing income – but the weather is so tempting. The boss has agreed to let me keep working a split shift from 7AM – 10AM and 5PM – 8PM… That leaves some time to visit the park and fish or go to some farm ponds and and/or day camp. 🙂

      Take care! — VT

  2. Jo says:

    Very good trip you and Steve had. Great fishing even if it was cold and muddy.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! It was nice to get out. The weather is rapidly improving here. How is it there? We are looking at 80 on Monday. I might have to take Jenny out.