What’s New and Some Storm Pictures

Eating at Home

It starts with a finger sniff… Then a lick. Then he gets a rib. Jesse doesn’t mind eating home cooking.

Hello and welcome to the blog.  It’s been a pretty quiet week or so.  The work schedule has been busy.  Though only working 25 or so hours per week, they’re spread out over 5 days.  That works!   Yesterday was the one year employment anniversary at Wally World.  It’s the best paying and closest job to the homebase.  That has a lot to do with staying put!
Eye nastyUnfortunately, it’s not been possible to do any camping or fishing this week.  Somehow I’ve developed a nasty infection on top of my left ear and near the left eye.  They didn’t know exactly what it was at the Urgent Care clinic and speculated about poison ivy or a bacterial infection.  The physician’s assistant offered two treatments including antibiotic cream and steroids.

My instinct is to say it is from plant life.  A bunch of weeds were growing in my tomatoes and I weeded the area by hand.  In any case, the rashes are ugly, itchy, draining, and uncomfortable.  I’d had tickets to the Donald Trump rally in Cedar Rapids and wanted to go but just didn’t feel up to it.  Thank goodness for Internet feeds.  🙂


It sucks not being able to do much outside right now!  Well, it wasn’t a great week for fishing anyway.  The Wapsipinicon River flooded near where I live.   Some people like to fish for catfish during high water times… but I’m not one of them.  Being clumsy and often fishing in remote places, I didn’t want to take a dip in the water… at least not a muddy, raging river.


The Iowa weather has been all over the map.  Last weekend we had some severe thunderstorms and several tornadoes spawned over the area.  Having been a storm chaser for the Cedar Valley Amateur Radio Club many moons ago, old habits are hard to break.  I took a couple of fun photos as I traipsed around looking for a couple elusive (and short lived) funnels.  I didn’t see any but had a fun drive!

Shelf cloud

Shelf cloud at the leading edge of a tornadic thunderstorm. Winds gusted to around 70 MPH


Lightning Picture 2

Lightning near Wyoming, Iowa

With the infections and the crappy fishing conditions, I’ve stayed put this week.  There is also another reason to stay around home a bit more.  The furnace at the homebase started failing last winter and needs replaced.  That means saving a big chunk out of each paycheck.  Eating out is at a minimum (Jesse has NO complaints about Daddy cooking smoked ribs for him).   The new furnace is already half paid for.  Woo hoo!

The weather doesn’t look too thrilling for this upcoming week either.  It’s hotter than the devil’s dining room and very humid thanks to evapotransdispiration…. a big word meaning at this time the many acres of corn releases tremendous amounts of water back into the air turning Iowa into a steam sauna.   🙂

But as the week goes by and river levels are returning to normal, I’m feeling the urge to travel a bit and do some fishing at a new, scenic place.  I’m hoping to share some terrrific photos and stories.  That should be later in the next week.

Take care and thanks for visiting.  One last thing —  I did see the new movie, “StarTrek – Beyond”.  I thought it was very good… not my favorite but definitely very good!  Sis bought me a new Star Trek Beyond  t-shirt.  Click the image below to watch a cool 5 second video…

Shirt Pic_click


That’s about it for now.  Once this infection issue gets cleared up, I plan to get out and catch up on the fresh air a bit.  It should be a blast.  For now, it’s a good time to stay home and rest up a bit.  Thanks for visiting!

Safe and happy travels always!

Vantrekker Brad, Jesse James, and Jennifer
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 What’s New and Some Storm Pictures

  1. Bob in LA says:

    Oh, no! I just begged my friend from Los Angeles (who is moving to Chicago) to look westward. I urged him to visit Galena and what will be the Driftswood area and Decorah and Duboque, Iowa. These scenes will scare him into staying back into his inside safety zone. He’s a Hollywood Bowl kind of guy.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Not to worry – storms this intense don’t happen too often! The driftless area – basically the NE corner of Iowa is usually peaceful and always beautiful.

  2. Jo Harmon says:

    Sorry about that eye problem hope it clears up soon. getting that lightening strike is fantastic, wish i could catch one some day.
    Love how you shirt brought you into a photo what fun

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks Jo… The eye and ear are doing a little better. I’m thinking more and more that it’s related to plants. It was much like the encounter a few years aago with poison parsnips. I’m going to start trying to get more lightning pics… Fun stuff. Take care!