Just in Time — It’s Running

Snow on the rooftop of Jenny’s favorite reality show — the bird feeder

Hello and greetings from the Anamosa Public Library.  I’ve started working on blog posts here.  It’s clean, quiet, the Internet is jet-fast, and the computer time is free.  Not having wi-fi at home saves about $50 / month!

Things are going reasonably well.  Last week I was having to ride a bike to work and occasionally beg rides from co-workers.  No more!  I got a temporary fix in place for the van.  So far it’s holding… but there will need to be more work done in a week or so.

Now the only problem is anxiety.  I about had a meltdown this morning when I saw a puddle under the engine… then realized it was snow and slush dripping off.  (Thank goodness!)  Life has been stressful lately and a person doesn’t need any more problems!   🙂

Monday’s snow

Here was the problem.  The lower radiator hose is a quick disconnect type and it likes to disconnect itself, slowly inching backwards under pressure – it is missing a needed wire clip that locks it from movement.  I’ve got a new hose ordered but for the time being a compression clamp and duct tape are holding things together.  The van will get a more permanent fix next week!

The patch job on Saturday was in the nick of time with a storm fast approaching.  There was a limited amount of time to work on it during my break between split work shifts.  This time I’d had the battery and battery tray out and was ready to perform some “outpatient surgery”.  As soon as things were buttoned up and the coolant added, the wind picked up.  It started to rain, then sleet, and it had eventually turned to snow around 4PM.  That was a close one!

Drone picture of north-east Anamosa.

Our latest 4″ of snow came on Monday – right on time; February is an active weather month most years.  This one surely will be.  Between now (Tuesday) and Monday the 12th, we are looking at up to 11 more inches of snow.  Ugggg… There are no plans to do any camping until March or so… It’s time to enjoy more hibernation time.

But somebody else was apparently camping.  This van was parked at the Anamosa Walmart Tuesday morning.  I had to chuckle.  They have all the comforts of home on board, including the barbecue grill.

Not much else is going on here other than restocking food.  A quick visit to the local food pantry yielded a lot of goodies including frozen steak, chicken, and $15 in vouchers to buy hamburger and cheese from the local grocery store.  I marked the hamburger packages and froze them all.  Some of the burger meat will be going on fishing/camping trips this coming spring!

That’s about it for now.  Take care and safe and happy travels!

Brad and Jenny
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 Just in Time — It’s Running

  1. Shadowmoss says:

    Glad the van is running. Also glad I live in Arizona and don’t have to deal with that kind of weather.

  2. Jo says:

    Yes we are lucky Shadowmoss.

    So happy the repair is holding up for you. And good thing you are stocking up for this long haul of snowy weather.

    Take a couple slow deep breaths and stay calm, getting stressed won’t fix the problems only make them worse. Hand in there Brad, you know I’m an e-mail away

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo. I was thrilled that the new part arrived on Tuesday after just ordering it Monday. The van goes into the shop today and I’m going to have them give the whole cooling system a good check-up. It will be a relief to have it operational…

      Thanks for the kind words! I popped in to work this morning to help shovel at 4:45 AM… More snow on the way later this week…

      Take care!

  3. Pam in Louisiana says:

    All I can say is brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. It’s 44 degrees and raining here in Louisiana and I’m freezing. ha.. It’s so nice to get something fixed, even if it is temporary. Looks like you had a good time fishing while I was away from my computer. Great idea on using the library for your internet needs. It’s good to know that you and Jenny are okay, and things are finally going in a good way for you. Stay warm.

    • Bradford Harris says:

      Hi and thanks for the note! Just got the van back from the mechanic and it’s got a permanent fix now. There aren’t any plans to go camping for a bit due to some really bad weather coming… Jenny and I are doing great despite a few bumps along the way. Adversity has taught me how to live comfortably and a very small budget..

      There are going to be some longer and fun trips this spring / summer.

      Take care! 44 degrees would be so nice! — VT

  4. my_vantasy says:

    Yay!! So happy to hear that the van is fixed. We had an ice storm overnight and I understand we may get more snow this weekend. Keep safe and warm. And if you start feeling anxious, go talk to and pet Jenny. Pets make great therapists!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi and thanks for the note! Jenny is a great therapy cat, for sure. She’s gotten to be an attention hog at times and that’s a good thing! Sorry to har about that darned ice storm. We’ve missed out on most of that stuff but sure got a lot of snow! — VT