Visiting Central Park with Jenny

Hi and welcome to the blog.  First of all. let me say REST IN PEACE, Mollie Tibbetts.  Sadly, her disappearance from Brooklyn, Iowa recently put the small community (in central Iowa) into the spotlight.  We even had a “missing poster” at the McDonald’s where I work.  The suspect who allegedly abducted and murdered her led the police to a nearby cornfield where her body was placed under some cornstalks.  Molly, a University of Iowa student, was stalked and taken while jogging.  Please join the kind men and women of Iowa in a moment of reflection and perhaps say a prayer for the Tibbetts family as we mourn the loss of one of our own.


The lake at Central Park. It’s starting to fill after extensive upgrades.

Well, it’s been a busy time with the summer activities winding down and the new job starting soon.  I had a job orientation on Friday and am excited about the new role beginning on the 27th of August.  More money and getting paid weekly are a good thing!  To celebrate, I decided to take a quiet little camping trip to Central Park, located about 15 minutes from home.  Incidentally, the blue tubes you see on the bottom right are for tiny fish to use as habitat while they are growing.

This bridge is a “Bowstring” type dating back to 1873 and built by the Massillon [Ohio] Iron Bridge Company.  It was originally over the Maquoketa River in Monticello Iowa.  In 1930 it was moved to NW of Anamosa near the small community of Fremont where it crossed Buffalo Creek.  In 1985 the old bridge was relocated to this park NE of Anamosa.  According to the placard, this is possibly the only bowstring bridge remaining in Iowa.

From there I walked over to the registration kiosk and paid the $10 to camp overnight.  On the way back I took this trail as a shortcut.  While about to enter the clearing, I was startled by a very large black dog which I later identified as a mastiff.  He barked so extremely loud that I panicked and reached for my pistol, only to remember the gun was in the van.  I avoided looking the dog in the eye – avoiding what he might take as a challenge.  The dog retreated back to the camping area but later on as Jenny walked with me on a leash, I kept the pistol handy.  When people let their dogs run loose in the park like that it pisses me off.  I’m glad for everyone’s sake that no harm was done to the dog or myself.

Jenny was interested in the new camping chair.  The old one (which I’d repaired) is in the living room at home and she now claims it.   We went for a stroll and she seemed to really enjoy the lush grass.  By now the stomach was growling.

Super easy to use with recipes – I love this stuff! It tastes well and is so convenient!  Just add a couple tablespoons or oil or water to warm it up with.

Supper was made with the little two serving pouch of penne pasta and some alfredo sauce.  The other night I inherited a few grilled chicken breasts from work at closing time.  They were sliced and added to the mixture, along with a few veggies and some Parmesan cheese.  The pasta dish was really tasty!

Buddy Steve enjoying some of the pasta.

I’d been conversing with buddy Steve throughout the day and he came out to the park and enjoyed some of the food.  We talked for a couple of hours and enjoyed hanging out.  As he departed Jenny and I retired for the evening and enjoyed sleeping in the 52 degree weather.

Though just an overnighter, the little trip was relaxing and gave me a chance to slow the mind down.  There have been a lot of changes in my life and a lot of stresses / staffing changes at work.  Well, one thing about working in fast food – you get to meet a lot of new people…  just about every day any more!  Though I’m moving to greener pastures, the thought is to remain an unscheduled employee at the Golden Arches.  They are happy to have the old guy ready to jump in and help if needed!

One more update…  Last Tuesday (the 14th) got a little crazy again.  I went fishing at Fred’s pond one final time for the season and landed a 9 pound catfish.  It was 28 inches long and put up a heck of a fight.  Proud as heck, I stopped and visited Miss Lavern, the vivacious lady from work.  She was cleaning the garage and when she saw the fish and it flapped, she yelled.  Then “Big Mama” said, “Mr. Bedford, will you PLEASE bring me a piece of that catfish?”  I smoked it up and Miss Lavern sure enjoyed her share of the lunker.

Big Mama yelling “OMG!”

Well, that’s about it for now.  The next posting will be after the new job starts.  Between now and then it’s time to get some things done at the home base and ready the van for new adventures.

Take care and thanks for visiting!

Brad and Jenny
Jones County, Iowa

It’s supposed to be a fold down table but she likes her cat dishes on it while we are stationary.

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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 Visiting Central Park with Jenny

  1. Jo says:

    Another camping trip under your belt and another neat idea for food. food pouches work really good for camping. Everything looks so nice and green in your area. And Jenny sure looks happy sitting in her camping chair.

    I hate people who allow there dogs to run free like that anywhere, especially those big ones. I guess they don’t realize that they are very bad pet parents.

    Take care and wish you much success on your new job. It’s good to keep the lines open at the arches

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! We’ve had a lot of rain so things are definitely very green – kind of unusual for this time of the year. The corn crop is in great shape in many areas. Jenny sure enjoyed herself the other day. Thanks for the kind words. I’m planning things like ice packs, etc. for work camping and managing insulin during the trips, clothing, etc. Take care! The next post will likely be after Monday as I check out a lake. – VT

  2. my_vantasy says:

    So sad about Mollie Tibbets. It is a scary world we live in now. I am glad things worked out with the loose dog. I am very careful walking The Little Dog–she is snack size for big dogs! Nice that you are not completely severing your ties to McDs. I work two jobs as a security net. If something happens at one job, I still have the income from the other. Good luck at the new job! I know you will give us updates when you can.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi! Thanks for note. I agree that the safety net is a good approach. I’ve burned a few bridges over the years and it is always for both parties to part peacefully. The door is still open just in case. Another acquaintance tried to hire me locally and that didn’t materialize – the same thing applies – the door there is open as well. Options are good! Take care! I got brought in for breakfast and there are one or two more short shifts needed today to help out with the latest hot spots (more excuses than workers). Take care! — VT