Bike Camping at Pleasant Creek

Bike camping at Pleasant Creek Recreation Area near Palo, Iowa.

With spring in the air and the end to a long winter of being cooped up indoors, it was time to go on the first bike camping adventure of the year. Brian and I packed up our panniers and headed out on a Friday after work to the Pleasant Creek Recreation Area near Palo, Iowa.

Our first stop on our way out of town was to the local grocery store for some campfire food. They had a sale on brats, five for $5, so we chose one of each flavor including a pineapple brat. We also grabbed a bottle of wine and were on our way.

Riding by Pleasant Creek Lake.

It was a great feeling to be on the bike again. The air had a slight chill to it and the forecast threatened rain but we set out on our trip with much enthusiasm.

Two hours of pedaling got us to our destination at Pleasant Creek. As we rode through the campground we couldn’t help feeling a sense of pride as we pedaled self-sustained using only the power of our legs to propel us. On our way to the tent camping sites we passed the only other campers in the park, all of which had brought giant RVs with their water hook ups, cable TVs and all the amenities of home. Can you even call that camping? They gave us a curious look; we waved a friendly hello and were on our way to find our campsite.

We were the only tent campers in the park, the other campers had gigantic RVs.

After finding a good spot away from the RV campers, we quickly set up our tents as the daylight faded. Our next order of business was to start the campfire and reap our reward of wine, brats and an enjoyable evening by the fire. (FYI: Pineapple brats are like a sweet dessert with sausage, we weren’t a big fan of them.)

In the morning I awoke to chirping birds and a heavy fog. My sleeping bag was keeping me toasty warm, so instead of getting out of my tent I unzipped the door and stayed snuggled in my sleeping bag while I brewed a cup of coffee and enjoyed the view.

It was a foggy morning at Pleasant Creek campground.
The view from my tent in the morning. I stayed warm in my sleeping bag, made a cup of coffee and enjoyed the scenery.

After a breakfast of oatmeal and an orange we packed up and headed home. This was a great little getaway and I can’t wait for the next bike camping trip.

– MICHELLE

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