From Spring to Winter to Spring…

The yard light across the street had a “stocking cap” that was pointing to the east…. the direction the snow was coming from.  The grey you see in the air is blinding snow.


Hello and welcome to the blog.  On Saturday I mentioned that we had a “high impact” weather system coming. One of the local meteorologists was spot on with his forecast. The other station wimped out and only called for about half the amount of snow.  But still it was good to have an action plan.

We got 12 inches.

One saving grace was the temperature and timing.  Anamosa missed out on the freezing rain.  There was no structural damage or power outage at the home base.  Some towns like Iowa City and Waterloo lost power in spots.

Jenny watching over the folding extension ladder. She likes it so much it’s going to be stored in her bedroom from now on!

I took Saturday morning off – the labor percentage was high and business was slow. Unfortunately, when I did venture out, there was a problem. The trailer court was lax in snow plowing (often the case) and it was difficult to get up the hill to the main highway.  The van slid backwards and a wheel went into the mud.  Of course, the street was plowed after I got stuck.  *$&% !!!    🙂

Thank you to State Farm’s emergency road service!  The 20 foot tow job was completed with no out-of-pocket expense!  For about $5 per month, why not have towing insurance, especially with all the traveling the van does to some remote places?

Monday and Tuesday are days off this week.  I’ve been working around home doing some spring cleaning and shoveling the “heart attack snow” at a couple of addresses.  (“Heart attack snow” is the nickname for the slushy, heavy, late-season slop we are dealing with right now because it is freaking heavy as heck!).

Not all luck has been badly lately.  Last Friday I found this $20 bill that someone had dropped.  I reported it to the boss and since the money was not claimed, it went into the fishing fund.  Something special will be done with it… I’m not sure what yet but what a lucky find!  Those of us who camp know that $20 is almost a fortune if used for the right things!

Well, it’s just a few more days till the spring outing and I’ve been cooking up a storm (I shudder at that word!), trying new things like this skillet lasagna using an unusual ingredient.  The pan is a CorningWare skillet / casserole dish found for $1 at a thrift store.  Instead of lasagna noodles, I used cheese ravioli and layered it like lasagna with sausage and pepperoni.  The tiny little dish should fit in the toaster oven and might be handy for baking this kind of thing on camping trips… hmmm…. or perhaps a pasta dish with seafood and white wine?  The CorningWare works for both range and oven cooking.  How useful!

A super easy, six inch round lasagna that can be made in the toaster oven…

There is one more picture to share.  For those who like to put fun stuff on their cars, try making a custom bumper sticker at  For just $2.24 including shipping, I made this one online.  A buddy of mine from the McDonald’s coffee crowd likes to tease me about catch-and-release fishing.  I don’t throw ’em back if they’re a decent size.  He spends all day “cherry picking” them. is a fun website! You can inexpensively let your opinion be known!

That’s all for now.  I’m off till Wednesday and there is much to get done.  Take care, happy camping, and thanks for visiting!  It’s going to be a fun spring season… if we ever get there.

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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2 Responses to From Spring to Winter to Spring…

  1. Jo says:

    You sure did have one heck of a storm WOW. But the twenty dollar find was a great bonus not for the person who lost it but for you.

    Your lasagna looks good but that hot pepper would kill me lol.

    I think I am going to leave tomorrow for a local camping trip it isn’t the place I wanted to go but at least I’m going! Of course all I have ready so far is a 1/2 gl of frozen water and 3 frozen water bottles, and my coffee grounds. I thinks it’s going to be a late night so I can cook up some spinach, zucchini boats and some Sprouted grains made by Sams choice I get them at Walmart they have some really good flavors of couscous ones too.

    Love you sign that’s a good one.
    Hope your weather clears and lets you get in some camping fishing.

  2. Bradford Harris says:

    Hi Jo! The hot pepper was just for decoration. 🙂 But man, did the lasagna cause burps!

    I sure hope the camping trip goes well for you! We know that feeling too well – just willing to camp about anywhere to get some time out in the wilderness. Have a terrific time. Like you, I carry clean water too. We don’t have to in Iowa but it’s better to made sure and have good water quality. 🙂