A Fun Camping and Fishing Trip with Miss Jenny

Jenny looking out at something that has piqued her interest, The stroller gives her a sense of security.


Hi and welcome to the blog.  What a fun outing we had on Monday and Tuesday!  Miss Jenny and I went up to northern Iowa to try our luck again at the Mississippi… and luck was on our side!

Our journey involved a trip up the Mississippi River through two of farthest east and north counties of Iowa, Clayton and Allamakee.  I had decided to visit the barge (at Guttenberg) again and try a different kind of hook to see if it was possible to catch more fish.  The new hooks worked pretty well and I caught a decent sized walleye while dancing a worm off the bottom.   The fish was over 15″ and under the maximum of 20″ as required by Iowa law.  It looks bigger in the selfie.  I had to hold it away because it would flop and that fin was scraping my chin!



All this time Jenny was in the van sleeping.  It was about 74 outside and I had the roof vent going.  She was very comfortable.  Also fishing on the the barge were some Amish folks.  Back in the day you could not take pictures but that has been relaxing among some groups.  These guys were pretty cool.


That net came in handy a few times… especially with that walleye.


This is the shuttle that brings us to the barge. The Amish guys decided to fish that shore to the right of the red dam gates. It looks narrow but is wide enough to be safe.


By the time the fish stopped biting it was around 2:00.  I’d already had some lunch I’d packed… but was hankering for an ice cream cone from the shop next to the river.  Good stuff!


She didn’t like the dock too much… I guess it rocked more than she was comfortable with!

As Jenny and I headed north, we stopped at Buck Creek but the trout weren’t biting.  It was 3:45 or so and I decided to take us farther north to a place to camp.  The Yellow River forest is cheap, clean, and safe.  I knew she’d like it.  Once we arrived, the charcoal was started and I walked her on the leash in the forest under the pine trees.   Jennifer loved the smell of the pines… It was so soothing.



Supper was pretty cheap!  The veggies below were donated by First Baptist Church in Anamosa.  They were giving away boxes of produce to help anyone that wanted some.  The fruit was paid for with EBT and earned an equal amount of free food bucks coupons to use next time.  The ribs were quite inexpensive as well, thanks to the Pork Producers coupon.  I had seasoned and wrapped the ribs in foil, baked them at home for 3 hours at 275 degrees, and finished them over the coals at the campground.  They turned out amazing!  The veggies were yummy too.



After the meal, there was plenty of the veggie mixture (potatoes, corn, celery, onion, carrots, olive oil) leftover.  That had also been baked at home and then warmed over the coals with some cheese.  After dinner, I added some eggs into the leftover vegetables and scrambled up a great breakfast dish… which was enjoyed in the morning with an avocado.  It hit the spot.  What an economical trip!

After supper, Jenny and I toured the campground with her stroller.  She and I turned in for the night and hunkered down.  By morning the temperature was in the mid-40s.  Exhausted from work and fishing, Daddy slept for 10 hours!



Jennifer was kind of antsy in the morning.  I took her fishing to another place and we only got one trout… and plenty of small ones  That’s not bad.  I had a catch of ten (1 walleye, 8 sheephead, and one rainbow trout) during this trip.  There is plenty to eat on from this visit!



On the way home, Jennifer was meowing so we stopped at the stone church outside of Guttenberg.  It was built in 1858 and was known as St. Peter’s United Evangelical Lutheran Church.  It was a perfect place to stop and have a lemonade and let her do her thing.  Jenny opted to walk along the picnic tables in the nearby pavilion, sniffing, scratching on the support posts, etc.  I let her play to her heart’s content.

It’s good to be home now.  Jennifer and I both zonked out.  Duke, the black tomcat, is going try walleye tomorrow night.  He’s in for quite a treat.  I might get him camping out there again this year but he’s much happier at home, it seems.

69.9 cents per gallon…. $14 for a two day, 200+ mile trip!

**  A special thank you to my sister who bought groceries at HyVee
and added Fuel Saver points to my account! **

I’m not sure what the next trip will be, when, or where but with the weather cooling off, it will be close to home.  There is a pond yet to be tried where the bass are supposed to be….  well, we shall see soon!

Thanks for visiting and following along!  These are truly happy days and I thank God for being able to enjoy every day..  Take care and happy camping!


Yellow River access area north of Luana, Iowa


Brad and Jenny and 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"

4 Responses to A Fun Camping and Fishing Trip with Miss Jenny

  1. Jo Harmon says:

    What fabulous temps your having for camping. Food looked good some good fishing and Jenny enjoying a free ride in her stroller.
    Maybe someday the heat here will decided to move on.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! Jenny had some fun times. She loves the stroller and climbs on top of it at home when we are supposed to go outside. She’s a handful but a great companion. It’s really getting cool here so the plan is to get in some more camping and fishing time soon! I hope you can get in some outdoor fun as well! Take care! — VT

  2. my_vantasy says:

    Yay for Jenny to go camping! It’s so nice to have a furry camping buddy. They are great company and are usually pretty agreeable with whatever you have planned. As always, your food looks delicious. Staring at those BBQ ribs made me miss meat there for a minute. LOL. I know some people say autumn camping is the best. I hope you can get out a few more times and share your adventures with us mouse potatoes!

    • VanTrekker says:

      HI! I agree that fall camping is the best. The cool, crisp air is so refreshing! (Except for the arthritis pain though.) It would be nice to get the other kitty, Duke, to go with me. He’d love the camping meals! Instead, he is happy to have me come home and share a plain McDouble with him. That cat LOVES cheeseburgers (no surprise living in this house!) Take care and happy camping days! I’ll be out for sure more often as things cool off 🙂

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