For the last few years, I’ve been buying tie dye shirts from Dyed Happy, a shop in Lone Tree, Iowa (just south and east of Iowa City). Mary, the owner, is a friend of the blog and an awesome tie dye artist. Visiting her booth at the Iowa City Farmer’s Market (during the warm months) is always a blast… but on Wednesday a trip to her physical shop and outlet sounded like a fun diversion.
The forecast was not favorable and I’d canceled my plans at one time. We were expecting 6 inches of snow – not a good thing for a two wheel drive van. Thankfully, the timing was such that it was possible to dodge the storm a bit.
It was a really enjoyable visit. Mary is a creative, intelligent person with tons of gifted insight and lots of positive vibes. I know we talked at least an hour and a half – one could tell by the snow accumulation. If you visit the Farmer’s Market in Iowa City or are in the area and can see Mary’s store, I’m sure you’ll be impressed! Please tell her that Brad or the “Van Trekker” recommended her products!
Unfortunately, by this time the roads were degrading quickly and I needed to get underway. A quick stop at a local convenience store yielded an interesting find – a 55 inch walking stick for $12.99. It claimed to be hand-carved although the core itself appeared to be hollow. The walking stick seems sturdy enough although there are no plans to do any pole vaulting with it!
Dinner was at a familiar haunt. The nearby casino in Riverside had mailed a free buffet coupon since I hadn’t gambled there for a while. It was “crab night” and old Kitty Jesse would have loved to have been there.
With the crappy roads, I camped right in the casino parking lot, waking up to five new inches of snow. The propane heater did a perfect job of keeping the van comfy. Using a little metal “school bus fan” mounted from the ceiling, the air circulated and stayed at 68-69 degrees all night… and that was with the Mr. Heater on the low setting. The outside temp was just 5 frosty degrees.
By morning the roads were fine and it was nice to come back and see the cats; it’s hard being away from them. Though this was a short little trip, at this time of the year being able to get out breathe some fresh air really helps. We’re still in the “deep freeze” in Iowa. Temperatures will hit a record low near -15 again tonight. At least a little camping trip like this helps to break up the winter doldrums! We’re used to this in Iowa… but I feel for the friends down south who are not!
Take care and thanks for stopping by!
Brad, Serena, and Jesse James
Jones County, Iowa
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