Nailed it….

snoopyHello and welcome to the blog!

It’s been a good week so far.  I’m doing a “Snoopy dance” today.  (feel free to click on this PEANUTS THEME link to play that cool song in the background.)

I’ve had two recent job interviews, both offering the same amount of money… and it’s a nice increase over the previous gig.  The job selected will start in two weeks and it’s a great fit with previous experience.  For now, there is a little time to do some camping and play with the drone.  As you can see in the photo, I’ve been having some fun this morning with the HD camera on the quadcopter…

Hospital and Fawn Creek

Hospital and Fawn Creek Trailer Park — taken from the Anamosa Walmart.

This good employment news came at a terrific time – especially after going through a difficult case of the winter blahs and plenty of self-doubting; not having a job will play tricks on a person’s mind.

Recently I had been thinking a lot about whether or not the investment in the trailer house had been a good idea.  A few friends said I should dump the mobile home and go on the road.  With everything going on I was half thinking about packing up… but have since found clarity and hope.  Some things – including a permanent dwelling – really are worth keeping.  A home base provides a lot of stability, motivation, and plenty of opportunities to work on enjoyable projects like the one below.

Before and AfterAbout a week ago we had one heck of a windstorm and it tore some shingles from the northwest corner of the roof of the trailer. On Monday (the 16th) the temperature was a balmy 20 degrees but with yet another strong arctic cold front approaching, it was time to fix it now or never.  The repeated blasts of 45+ mph Canadian air would have surely caused more damage.

The neighbor was kind enough to loan a ladder so I could get up and replace the missing shingles, nailing and tarring them down.  Despite a very slight variation in the shades of grey (no, not the movie!), the repair looks pretty nice!  As they age, the new shingles will match even closer.

While freezing my a$$ off on the roof, it was then I realized that it doesn’t matter if you’re fishing, hiking, mowing a lawn or repairing a roof –  there’s nothing like being outside and getting a little fresh air in the process.  This place really IS home…  and I enjoy taking care of it.  There’s all the peace and quiet one could ever want, the cost of living is relatively low, and it’s safe… (if you don’t mind freezing your butt off part of the year)

Walmart parking lot dronne

The Walmart in Anamosa, Iowa as seen by the quadcopter. It’s a great place to dry camp!

With the new job starting in a couple weeks, I’m already planning to do a little camping some time in the next week or so.  Stay tuned!

Take care and thank you for stopping by!

Brad, Serena, and Jesse James
in 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"

7 Responses to Nailed it….

  1. Pleinguy says:

    Congratulations on the new job. Hope it provides opportunity for continuing your camping and fishing.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks Pleinguy! The new guys are pretty cool and enjoy talking about fishing. (a real plus!) My old boss at McDonalds gave me an awesome reference and helped me get the job. It should be fun. I’ll email you a few details…

  2. Northern Transplant says:

    Glad to see you’re back. Yes, it is good to have a home base; I think you’re wise to maintain it. And those long northern winters (this one has been “special”!) can do a number on the mind and spirit. Be of good cheer; nothing lasts forever, even a hard winter.

    Looking forward to your next adventures. And congrats on your new job.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thank you most kindly. It’s been quite the winter… It’s 10.0 degrees outside now (normal is 36). Depending on the weather, I’d sure like to take the van for a spin this week and do a little camping. Even at this time of the year there are fun things to see and do. 🙂

      Thanks for the kind words about the new job. It has much potential…

      As far as the travels go, there are plenty of places to go in the coming days. It’s going to be a great year!

  3. Jo says:

    Brad I seemed to have missed something along the way about your not working. I’m happy to hear you have found another job. Keeping a home base is a very good idea.. You know what it was like to live in the camper already and you realized that just wasn’t easy.
    Good Luck to you on your new adventure

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! Great to have you stop by! 🙂 I’ve been off since 1/18. I’d fallen a couple of times at work; the last incident caused me to bash my elbow and break a piece out of the bone. A little over a week ago, I told the doc how bad the arm was still hurting – apparently, I’d damaged tendons, too, and have to wear a brace. Work made it very difficult and pretty much forced me to quit. In retrospect, I should have filed workman’s comp but the conscience got in the way.

      No biggie – with the shortage of labor for the slow winter season, it meant doing 2-5 people’s jobs and I was utterly exhausted. In retrospect, I probably should have done workman’s comp but on the upside, conscience is crystal clear!

      To celebrate a little, I’m taking a camping trip very soon. You’re right, a person has to decide what’s best for he or she. As campers, we can be as judgmental and opinionated as some of the outsiders. Hitting the road isn’t the best solution for everyone. I took a look at photos of Quartzsite and thought to myself that so many RVs all around looks like total hell! Everyone has different needs and dreams… It seems I’ve been blessed enough to have a happy place to stay and two healthy cats to share it with.

      Take care and happy travels this year!

  4. Jo says:

    I do remember you hurting your elbow but didn’t realize it was not healing well. Place like that always seem to be short staffed and the others are forced to work far to many hours. I know you really enjoyed the job for the most part.

    Received an e-mail today from a friend and they stated that Q was emptying out some. But there still are lots of people there. I’m not big on those kinds of crowds either. Enjoy your camping trip