Latest Happenings


The Super Moon from last week.. I took this picture from home and it was featured on KGAN TV’s website.

Hello and welcome to the blog today.  It is the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving.  Things have been very busy at the farm store where I’m working.  A weekend break was nice.  Believe it or not, sometimes a person is too tired to even fish!  (Hopefully that will pass)

Last week was hectic at work.  With Black Friday coming we had an extra truck come in.  I helped with this effort and am learning more duties each day including how to drive a forklift – a great skill to have.

I was not the only one busy… Our town’s new grocery store just opened a week ago and it is doing a huge volume right now… It’s really putting a dent in Walmart’s grocery business.


Fareway is a midwest chain of stores that is very popular because of their outstanding, old school customer service as well as produce and meat quality.  I used to have to drive 11 miles to the town of Monticello to buy quality protein.  Even though I live 1/2 mile from Walmart, I won’t buy their pre-packaged beef, pork, or chicken.  Fareway uses a different supplier and has the old fashioned type meat counter where you can pick out the steak, have meat cut to order, etc.  It’s just better!  Virtually every time you see an animal product on this blog, it was purchased from Fareway.


Sorry, I got off the track a little bit.  Last week was very busy but the weekend was scheduled off.  I went camping along the Miississippi River at Fairport, near Muscatine.  Being cold (20 degrees at night), the campground only had three vehicles in it, my van being one of them.


Rabbit Korma over basmati rice

The camping supper was the dish pictured above.  Rabbits are plentiful in this area and farmers often sell them.  This was a farm raised rabbit.  I butchered it and sauteed the pieces in a stick of butter (the butter gets discarded).  The meat was picked off the bones and put in some chicken broth.  To that I added a jar of Indian korma sauce (it has coconut, curry, etc.) and some carrots and mushrooms.  I added lots more curry powder and let the dish simmer all afternoon in the van’s crock pot.  It was a tasty belly warmer!


A beautiful sunrise to wake up to…

The night’s sleep was peaceful and relaxing.  No cats came along this time so the only interruptions to slumber were the occasional passing trains behind the campground.


The sun just beginning to peak over the Mississippi River

I’m not sure about the destination for the next camping trip.  With the holidays approaching, work is extra busy  Some time in early December I hope to go out for another overnight drive and maybe visit a new and different place.  For now it’s back to work this morning and getting the displays ready for Black Friday.  From the Black Friday specials at work, I’ve got a new kitchen appliance in mind – one that might just going along for the next camping trip.

Happy Thanksgiving later this week!  Take care and be safe this holiday season!

Brad, Jesse, 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 Latest Happenings

  1. Jo says:

    Oh to just get away for a few days. I bet it was nice even if no fishing was done. These next few weeks will be very busy for you in the store. Your meal looks really good.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Brad

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo. It is always nice to get some fresh air.

      One of the bosses invited me to her house for Thanksgiving. I’m going to head over there shortly. Our store is closed today but we were working like heck getting ready for Black Friday. It was fun raising the boss in a bucket with the forklift so he could change the lettering on the outdoor marquis sign. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  2. my_vantasy says:

    The sunrise pictures are gorgeous! I am often so amazed by the beauty in nature. Hope you and the kitties have a joyful, peaceful Thanksgiving!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks for the note! I hope your Thanksgiving is enjoyable as well. I’m going to head to a boss friend’s house for dinner… The plan tomorrow is to avoid the early Black Friday shopping but I am thinking about taking a drone picture over Walmart tomorrow for fun!

      Take care! — VT