Labor Day Camping Visit

Hello and welcome to the blog.  Hopefully everyone had a terrific Labor Day!

Today is Wednesday and I’m between shifts (working 11-2 and 5-8).  The weather is fantastic and the weekend (starting Monday) was enjoyable.

Muscatine, Iowa

On Monday I went to Muscatine, Iowa and visited my buddy Johnnie.  It was fun to just sit around and shoot the breeze.  He made amazing Reuben sandwiches… and I surely will do the same on a future camping trip though mine probably won’t be quite as delicious.  A thick warm sandwich and a frosty beer sounds delightful!

I camped overnight in the street in front of Johnnie’s house.  A cold front blew through and the temperature dropped to 50 outside.  The sleep was blissful until about 3 AM.  Something hit my roof vent lid and I thought it sounded like a car drove away quickly.  I was out of it – very sleepy – and did not go out until the sun came up.  Something smelled foul but I was not certain as to what it was.

When the sun came up, I found a bag of some kind or organic matter next to the van.  The substance could have been feces or even catfish stink bait.  Apparently it was lobbed to hit the vent but had fallen.  To be a good citizen I donned gloves and placed the bag into a scented trash can liner.  I’m just grateful that the person did not vandalize the van.  It was crazy, nonetheless!

The start of a tasty breakfast.

I cooked breakfast for Johnnie and his pal John.  We had hash brown potatoes with chopped peppers, sweet corn, onions and garlic, eggs, kielbasa, and cheese.  The grub was prepared over the high temp burner used for camping.

Though brief, Monday was a fun opportunity to see Johnnie.  I’d not visited for months and promised it won’t be so long until the next time.  Life is too short not to stay in touch with friends / loved ones.


Upon returning home, I checked the latest pay stub online, finding good news.  For our location, when someone does the McDonalds online survey and mentions an employee by name the team member gets a $20 bonus.  This is the seventh I’ve received.   I always put a $20 bill in the “fishing bucket”.  Twenty dollars may not seem like much but on a frugal trip it would buy four nights of camping fees at the trout hatchery campground.  You can buy a lot of propane with it.  Heck, an Iowa yearly fishing license is only $19.  Yes, a twenty is definitely precious!

Visitors on the plants outside the home base… They are the “American Painted Lady” butterflies – much smaller than a monarch.

This last trip Jenny did not get to go along due to the forecasted 80 degree weather.  With fall quickly approaching, I am planning to take her out very soon – perhaps on Monday night to a park close to home.  In the meantime the kitty has been a handful.  A number of butterflies showed up today and somehow two got into the trailer.  Jennifer, the feline-based home defense system, intercepted each in mid-air.  There were no survivors.  That cat!

That’s about it for now.  Take care and thanks for visiting.  Safe and happy travels.

Brad and Jenny
Jones County, Iowa

 

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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4 Responses to Labor Day Camping Visit

  1. Pam in Louisiana says:

    Sorry to not leave a comment on each of your posts, but I do read each one. That was wonderful to hear about the surveys and that you get twenty dollars for each one where they mention you as a special worker! Congratulations to you for that! And yes, that twenty dollars helps out a lot, doesn’t it? Of course we are the type of persons who pick up a penny (or more) if we see it on the ground! We actually love to stroll around parks, etc. looking for them. ha.. I hated to read about what happened during the night to your van, and I’m glad you weren’t harmed, or the van. Things like this seem to be just about anywhere now. Consider yourself one very blessed man, because you have wonderful friends to visit, good food to cook, a sweet little traveling butterfly catcher to ride along with and a pretty darn good job that you are extremely good at! Again, I may not comment for every post, but I’ll keep on reading each one!
    P.S. I love the pictures you put on here, I’ve never been to your part of the country! And $20 would buy Jenny a lot of cat food too!! ha..

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Pam! Thanks for the comments. I just got back in the house with Jenny. Even though it’s dark she still takes me for a walk in the evening… and even supervised as I hung up the laundry and took it down today. We’ll have some enjoyment next Monday. Thank you for the kind words. To look from one perspective, the world might think of this life as untapped potential and little net worth. But being able to enjoy little things in life, be thankful for them, laugh with friends, hear a cat purr, and experience nature any time are blessings many never enjoy. Take care. I sure hope the weather didn’t harm things in your area! — Brad and Jenny

  2. Jo says:

    Some people are just plain bad, why would they want to do such a thing as to throw that unpleasant smelly thing and try to break it through the vent cap. Doesn’t say much for their personality.
    But sounds like you visit with Johnnie, went well and of course what you were cooking looks good.
    And of I’m so happy that you had another great report and another $20. bonus. You bet that can go a long way when it comes to camping.

    I know it did me a world of good.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo. There are some goofy people in this world. I didn’t examine the matter too closely but it was poop of some kind. Ick! I am glad you had a good time. Camping is always relaxing. I’m about 90% certain that Jenny will get to go out this next Monday. Oh, is she in for a blast. Thanks for visiting and keep camping. 🙂

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