Spring Decorah Trip – 2nd Day and Food Ideas

Hello and welcome to the blog.  On the second day of the trip I focused on fishing.  Monday night had been spent at the Decorah Wal-mart.  This has consistently been the best Wal-Mart I’ve camped at in terms of friendliness and feeling safe!

During the night we had rain which eventually changed over to snow.  The clammy weather gave a person a chance to do some thinking.  With a new job starting next week and a bit of cold weather on the way again, the heater is definitely going back in the van for another few weeks!  Despite the cold it was nice to have FREE camping.



The following morning I stopped at the convenience store near Wally World.  At first I didn’t look that closely at this sign in the men’s room.  It’s a given that most public restrooms don’t want you flushing diapers and miscellaneous stuff…  Then I re-read it and saw the addition of the word (“poop”) and had a good laugh.  The pic went on my Facebook page.


A favorite hole in the middle of the stream just above the pedestrian bridge

The pedestrian bridge and some yummy fish


When I arrived at the favorite fishing hole (a mile away) on Tuesday morning, the sky was a little foggy following the rain and snow.  The water was still murky and the fish were slow to bite; eventually 5 ended up on the stringer.  The total for the both days was nine.  Not bad for the first big trip of the season.  🙂


Stuffed papaya and pork sliders


Lunch was cooked at the hatchery pavilion, a half mile up the road.  I was starving by this time and wanted to try a couple of ideas.  The papaya, after removing the seeds, had lime juice squeezed over it.  The cream cheese (low salt version) was added and had a bit cinnamon sprinkled on top.  This was a Martha Stewart idea and was tasty.  Just a side note – the seeds of the papaya can be eaten.  They are quite spicy and will burn the tongue a wee bit.  I ate a few tablespoons of the seeds because they are good for a person’s digestion and are helpful in combating intestinal parasites.

The little sliders turned out pretty good too.  They were on tiny dinner rolls.  The pork was tenderized loin slices, seasoned and grilled.  Having had a quantity of sweet peppers on hand, I cut a couple open and grilled them with olive oil until softened.  Some muenster cheese slices were added.  The little sandwiches were a cheap and tasty meal.  The best part is no mayo or other spreads were needed.


That kind of sums it up…


The next stop was at the Decorah Goodwill.  I found this cute cat sign and bought one for myself and buddy Johnnie (aka “Little Brother”).  Johnnie’s black cat “Boo Boo” and Duke look like twins.  From the Goodwill it was on to Goeken Park, about 20 minutes south of Decorah.  Because of the cold predicted, I’d decided to camp with electric heat.


Overlooking Eldorado from Goeken Park. This is a familiar place to blog readers.


Once I arrived at the campground, to my chagrin there were no envelopes for registration.  I called the county conservation commission but never reached anyone.  In the meantime, after getting set up, a peaceful nap felt good.  Despite being unable to register, I camped anyway.


Roasted trout, skewers with mushrooms and sweet peppers.


It was very windy on Tuesday night – about 25 miles per hour.  It took a lot of charcoal to cook dinner.

The picture above is self-explanatory.  I’m a big fan of the little sweet peppers and decided to use them on skewers.  The flavor, especially when grilled, is pleasant.  I can see a future trip involving using the peppers in kabobs with mushrooms, pieces of meat, onion slices, etc. and soaked in Italian dressing.   They would be fantastic roasted.



The fish were grilled until charred.  The skin was crispy and flavorful.  I’d brought along some compound butter to baste them with before, during, and after the cooking process.  Friend Tony (a chef) taught me about mixing a stick of butter, fresh cilantro, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and salt.  Not only is it fantastic for basting, one could use the flavored butter to make delightful garlic bread.  (Sounds like something to make for the next outing or perhaps when one of the blog friends visits Iowa!)

Wednesday morning meant heading for home.  Once I got back home, the conservation commission called; the person was very gracious on the phone, offering to waive the camping fees.  That was incredibly kind, especially since I’m not working right now… It was such a relaxing, fun, and memorable trip… and no money was spent to sleep.

Friday I baked up the last of the trout over a bed of buttered cous-cous.  Duke was definitely a fan and opted for a second portion.

We’ll have to see what the next trip brings for healthy food.  I’m going to try and start incorporating more fruits and vegetables.  It might be a “spring thing” but lighter fare is desirable.

Thanks for visiting!  Safe and happy camping!  Have a wonderful spring season!

Brad and Jenny and Duke
Jones County, Iowa