A Relaxing Trip North

Jenny is exploring… She quickly realized the bench is not something one climbs through!

Hello and welcome to the blog today.  It’s Wednesday and time to work in a few hours.  Jenny and I went fishing and camping on Monday and part of Tuesday.  We were both ready to go outside and play a bit.  The plan was originally to visit a place that required hiking and crawling over a train trestle but with a passenger I decided to hold off till next time.  Rather, we went to some cat-friendly places.

This won’t be a verbose post – just a lot of pictures with captions.  I didn’t even put in a lot of fish pictures or food pictures this time… just to change it up a little.

Caution, slow moving vehicle on highway 128. Spring is here!

A funny sign on a business in Garnavvillo, Iowa


An electric fence ruined the fishing chances at Lower Buck Creek. Apparently it was leftover from winter and will come down soon, according to the DNR

The electric fence was a “shock” (just kidding)  but it meant not being able to fish at a favorite place.  On the upside, I went to the other segment of the stream and nailed five very nice fish in short order.  Jennifer got to play on the leash for a bit.  Then it was time to head over to the hatchery (20 minutes away) where we would spend the rest of the day.

Two sandwiches were brought along for lunch…  Mine had turkey, ham, cheddar, avocado, and a side of garlic aioli sauce (just like we serve at work – LOL)

Lunch at the Turkey River…

“Woody”, the hatchery dog,  having lunch (similar sandwich) at the Turkey River location.


Taking a rest break along the river at the campground

A little rest break for Daddy after lunch!

Our little camping spot… Right by the porta-potty. Ironically, we didn’t need it, of course!

Much of the post-lunch time was spent observing plants and wildlife.  I marveled at this beautiful tree as its branches swayed.  Looking at the amount of deflection in the outer reaches, I realized that all the parts had to work together in unison because without their cooperation the amount of stress put on the trunk connection would have been astronomical.

Peaceful and hypnotic… and 73 .degree weather with a strong breeze



Busy as a beaver.


Nesting time.

As I relaxed a beaver swam up and down the muddy river, checking out piles of weeds and sticks.  All of a sudden I heard quite a commotion.  The beaver had come up to where these geese were nesting.  Beavers are vegetarians but nonetheless the geese were not happy and were honking like a Manhattan taxi cab!

For hours I listened to various sounds of birds, insects, distant vehicles.  It was very relaxing for both Jenny and I.  As the sun went she slumbered in the van while Daddy watched a couple episodes of the TV show “Bonanza” on the netbook… all the while the river was flowing by.

Lorne Green on “Bonanza”

We slept peacefully as the temperature dropped to about 50.  Jennifer was purring and seemed to enjoy the little diversion.  In the morning we returned to Buck Creek and gathered another limit of trout before heading home.

Re purposed BBQ grill makes a good fish cleaning table.

Upon returning, the fish were filleted out using this defunct barbecue grill.  The trailer court manager did not like my old fish cleaning table because of its appearance.  I lucked out – someone threw out this old grill.  I can hide my cleaning board, knives, and such inside…. and it’s parked right by the water outlet.  🙂   Stealth is a good thing!

Giant tubes used to store round hay bales. This is along Big Spring Road on the way to the trout hatchery.

Well, it’s time to head back to work again.  They upgraded the wi-fi at work and it’s now lightning fast.   But as short as the relaxing little fishing trip was, it was well worth the drive to Clayton County, this very special place in Iowa.

When you can’t see the forest for the trees…

What’s next?  I’ve got more plans in the works close to home and new places to visit.  Take care and thanks for visiting!

Jenny and Brad
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 A Relaxing Trip North

  1. Jo says:

    What a wonderful and peaceful looking place to camp. And Jen seemed to enjoy it to. So cute with her little head between the seat and back support of the bench.

  2. my_vantasy says:

    What a great trip. I feel relaxed just looking at your pictures and reading your description of your surroundings. The sign pointing to Canada and Mexico made me laugh!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi. I kind of chuckled when I saw the sign. Things like that are amusing no what a person’s political beliefs are. LOL. Have a great rest of the spring!