Town ‘n’ Country Vandwelling Happenings

2_milesHello and thanks for stopping by!  The picture at the left is a view from the farm.  The closest town is about two miles.

The last couple of days were spent camping.  It was a spontaneous trip and Serena patiently rode with me as we enjoyed a couple of days off from work.

The first stop was in Cedar Rapids on Sunday.  I stopped to meet with Stan, Jeff, and other folks who hang out at the local Hy-Vee grocery store.  We still stay in touch though the frequency of visits has diminished a bit since I’ve moved.  So what do we all have in common?  Most of our group is retired or disabled and nearly all have lived in vehicles… One guy currently resides in a storage garage.  My buddy Jeff loves to tell the story about how he was in jail many years ago and the judge asked his address.  Jeff said “53… Ford Panel Van”  and the judge let him out on his own recognizance.  I guess that makes my address “2007 Chevy Express”…

Sunday night was spent camping at a Cedar Rapids Walmart next to Anytime Fitness.  You can’t beat an asphalt campground with a “shower house” nearby!  I met a 60-something vandweller with whom there is much in common.  We both agreed that for our issues, vandwelling works well.

On Monday, Serena and I headed for the Hills campground, 35 miles south of Cedar Rapids.  The van was stinking pretty bad and I spent the afternoon scrubbing it down on the inside.  The flies from the farm have done some damage and the whole inside is speckled with fly residue.  The van’s interior is going to get a paint job and color change in August.  More about that later.


Cats are like kids… They are all so cute when they are young!

Serena and I returned to the farm on Tuesday.  “Mama Cat” had a litter of kittens about six weeks ago and they were released to the outdoors last night.  My friend’s daughter named the black one “Blueberry” and I called the little tiger striped one “Tigger”.  The wobbling little kittens played for hours, frollicking around the tines of an old rake.  They were excited and enjoyed their first experience outdoors.


4 Bear DashBear Bear is still being the charming little barn cat.  While on the farm, I keep a van window open for the cats to jump in and out of.  At night the top half of the split bulkhead door is locked to keep Serena inside with me.  Bear Bear patiently sleeps on the dashboard of the van.  After Serena eats her breakfast, I unlock the little door and Bear Bear gets fed.  The two get along reasonably well.

Last night the weather was beautiful and all of the cats played outside.  Serena wears herself out and curls up next to me, contently sleeping and purring until morning.  In the morning, the ritual starts again.

6_Stuck in a rut

Talk about being “stuck in a rut” – Serena likes the cool earth of the van’s tire tracks.

Life has been pretty peaceful in the country since we moved here nearly two months ago. The time has gone by quickly.  Simultaneously, things are winding down on finalizing Dad’s matters and soon it will be time to look at moving.  But in the meantime, the farm is a nice place to relax and let life’s issues work out.

How peaceful is it in the country?  Last night I was at the house and heard a knock.  A young man was standing there holding a warm apple pie.  He had purchased a neighboring farm and wanted to say hi.  That’s the kind of friendliness we have in Iowa.  It’s like no other place on earth, in my opinion.

As always, thank you for stopping by.  Take care!

Bradford and Serena, vandwelling in “Grant Wood” country


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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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