Happy Spring from Iowa

Hello and welcome to the blog today!  It’s finally Spring!  (well at least according to the calendar).  The last few weeks have brought erratic weather and the asthma has been terrible.  The inhaler was doing nothing to help the lungs… but then I realized it had expired in May 2016.  Suffice to say [one pharmacy lecture later] I ended up getting a new one… and it works.   🙂

On Monday I decided to do a little angling down by the cemetery in town to see if anything was biting.  The fish weren’t  too lively and nibbled but did not want to run with the bait.  I had fished down the hill from artist Grant Wood’s tomb.

Artist Grant Wood’s tombstone is light one between the trees at the top of the hill.


One of the projects on Monday was to work on the drones.  The last one fell in the river and is now only good for spare parts.  This poor devil was put together from several different defunct quadcopters, even stealing the black camera off a different brand… but it works and might get some good photos this year.  Finding four undamaged propeller blades took some searching; Jenny loves to gnaw on them, ruining the flight characteristics.

cobbled together but should get some good pics!

testing the drone… It’s kind of difficult to fly backwards!

Any camping yet?  Well, eventually.  There is still a 3-4 day fishing vacation planned in early April as trout stocking commences and the weather improves.  The long range forecasts look great and the trout planting schedule lines up perfectly with the desired places to visit.

“Here she comes, just a walkin’ down the street…”

Even little Jennifer was ready for the season change which started today (Tuesday). This recent photo had 120+ “likes” on Facebook.  As a blog reader suggested, Jenny is going to do a “guest post” during our little vacation… as best as I can translate her actions, emotions, and sounds into words.

The van itself is doing well.  So far so good – no antifreeze leaks.  It’s getting some more maintenance and will be ready for the upcoming trip in a couple of weeks.  The homebase has also seen a transformation… some much needed cleaning.  There continue to be upgrades as the low income energy assistance program does its thing; yesterday brought a furnace tune-up and a new thermostat!

As a foodie I usually post something yummy looking.  This taco pizza was made earlier in the week using homemade pizza dough and leftover taco meat that was about to be discarded.  One of the meals I’m thinking about making on the trip is a homemade pizza like this using a dry packet of  Brad’s homemade pizza dough ingredients to be mixed up at the campsite.  Leftovers?  You can’t beat having taco pizza for breakfast!  Perhaps I can kick it up a notch and use chorizo sausage this time.

Taco Pizza is an Iowa favorite.  It was first served in Iowa in 1974 by “Happy Joe” Whitty, founder of “Happy Joe’s Pizza” …  It’s spread like wildfire.

Not much else is going on, just more spring cleaning inside and outside.  For now, it’s back to working on the house and dreaming of more things to see and do in the coming weeks.  I’m hoping to have lots of drone, fish, cat, and scenery pictures… and perhaps visit some place new.

Take care and happy spring camping to all the friends!

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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6 Responses to Happy Spring from Iowa

  1. Cynthia says:

    that taco pizza looks WONDERFUL! I’d love a blog post on how you did it? never had a taco pizza before (am gluten-free)

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Cynthia! I will do blog post on it for sure. My crust has gluten but one could substitute a non-gluten crust and it would taste just fine. I’m seriously thinking about making one at the campground. It’s fun to cook unusual things while outside. Take care!

  2. Pleinguy says:

    Yes, that taco pizza looks delicious. Out here in the southwest they have what is called a Navajo pizza; kind of like yours but on Indian frybread. I suppose a Mexican pizza would be closer. Although, here that means with jalapeños or Hatch chiles. All are good to a pizza lover like me.

    • VanTrekker says:

      That sure sounds good, Pleinguy! I love hot peppers… well, up to the ghost pepper range. That’s too hot for me. But raw jalapenos are worth the burn. I like the idea of the Indian fry bread. Yum! Take care!

  3. Jo says:

    It’s great that you are having some free work done on your home base even those little repairs and tune ups can cost big time.

    And yes Happy Spring!

    Boy that pizza looks good but the peppers would make me cry ahaha.

    Hope you get to go camping soon and the little girl gets to go too.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! Thanks for the note. The peppers were for decoration although I did slip a few of the them under the cheese. 🙂 Jenny is going to have a lot of tun on our next outing. She loves the outdoors. Spring is slow coming but we’re looking forward. 🙂