Some Camping Plus Some Fishing Equals FUN!

Central Park lake in Jones County


Hi and welcome to the blog.  This last week brought 3 nights of sleeping in the van.  Oh, was it fun!  On Friday and Saturday nights I slept in the driveway at home and enjoyed 55 degree weather.  It was so relaxing!  It just made a person all the more anxious to go camping on Sunday.


Site 42… It’s a tiny spot perfect for a single guy…

Sunday was a busy day at work.  Afterwards I called up buddy Steve and he met me at nearby Central Park.  I’d made a couple of mini hamburger-bacon casseroles using foil pie pans.  The idea worked great but the food burned because of me being a dork.  The grill was too far above the ring and charcoal, necessitating the pans be put closer to the coals.  The idea would have worked great with one of those smaller, upright charcoal grills like you see next to a pavilion, etc…. I plan to revisit the idea later.


A burnt meal camping is better than eating alone at home!


The meal was still tasty despite the casserole being a little bit crispy.  I plan to give it another shot on a future trip.  As the sun set, Steve and I talked about fishing on Monday, as well as politics, riots, Wal-mart self-checkouts and other things to complain about.  It was a fun time!


A peaceful afternoon to fish at a nearby pond.  Besides two grumpy old fishermen, the bullfrogs croaked a lot.


On Monday we met up at Wal-Mart to get worms and head out to a pond to do some fishing.  Steve hadn’t done so well on the last visit.  His luck was about to change.



The small bluegills were biting aggressively.  I was rapidly winding the line to outrun the little fish as they nipped at my nightcrawler.  Sure enough, a nice fat bass hit the pole… He was my only keeper of the day.  This largemouth was closing on 16 inches.



Steve was also catching a lot of “dinkers” (tiny ones).  They were consuming all of our worms.  Suddenly his pole became airborne and nearly went into the water.  Steve was yelling and fought a very nice catfish into the tall weeds.  I showed him how to lift the fish straight up to avoid breaking the line.  We’re still talking about those two fish!  We both cooked up our respective fish on Wednesday and have vowed to go back out angling soon.


Rhubarb custard pie like Grandma used to make… and I still do!


It’s Friday now.  I got up at 5AM to make a rhubarb pie to take to work.  Sadly, nobody wanted to try any!  Silly kids, it was their loss.  Word has it that nightshift is attacking the dessert now.  In any case, more “pie plant” will be harvested this weekend and frozen for winter.  It’s good stuff!

That’s about all for now.  The plan is to try and get some camping in on Sunday or Monday depending on the weather.  In any case, the driveway is often the best site and it doesn’t cost a cent… The shower and toilet facilities are the finest.  🙂

Take care and thanks for visiting!  Safe and happy camping!  We all know that there’s no better way to social distance!



Brad and Jenny and Mister Duke
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"

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