Winter Finally Arrived Here


Snow on The “God Bless America” statue in Anamosa, Iowa


Hello and welcome to the blog.  We got 5 inches of show between Friday and Saturday.  For rural Iowa that’s not much… but enough that I didn’t have any desire to do much outside this weekend.  The above statue of the “Gothic Couple” (from the Grant Wood painting) is on display in downtown Anamosa, just a mile from the home base.  It’s located across the street from Bamboo Garden restaurant… a favorite haunt.  The statue weighs 27,000 pounds and stands 25 feet tall.  It’s a popular destination!

The Wapsipinicon (“Wapsi”) River.  There will be a lot of hours spent fishing here this year for catfish, walleye, and bass.

This morning I took a spin through Anamosa’s Wapsipinicon State Park, looking at the beautiful snow and just enjoying nature.  It’s still warm (34 degrees today) but the bottom will soon fall out in terms of the temperatures.  When we get a good blanket of snow, 80-90 percent of sunlight is reflected back… sunlight that would normally keep the temps in the 30s to 40s.  By next week we’re going to be below zero… crappy weather!

Snow on the park’s play equipment.

Last week was warmer.  I did some work camping on Monday the 7th.. perhaps not a good idea.  Unfortunately, this terrible illness that struck caused a lot of breathing problems and I paid the price on Tuesday with constant coughing and congestion.  Without heat, it’s pretty cold and miserable camping at this time of the year.  Since gas is at $1.95 / gallon right now, I don’t mind not work camping for the next week or two!  It’s been kind of fun to stay home with Jenny and Duke.

The ground is too cold!

Jenny still wants to play outside a lot.  With the snow, a leash isn’t needed; the cold snow is like a fence.  Jenny’s short and it’s up to her belly.  Opting to play under the deck, eventually she gets cold and prefers to walk around the handrail of the deck.  In the meantime, Duke stays in the warm trailer.  He’s never been back outside since I got him at the end of October… and is quite content to be an indoor kitty.

There has been a lot of cooking activity at home.  It’s been almost 3 weeks since I’ve had a McDonald’s hamburger.  By no longer eating evening meals at McDonald’s, I’ve noticed a dramatic improvement in blood sugars… Imagine that.  For fun, yesterday I made this bacon / muffin / egg sandwich, posting on Facebook that fast food is bad for a person so that’s why I cook healthier stuff at home…  This wasn’t eaten all at one time but that’s 8 strips of thick cut bacon!  (far from healthy)

It’s not always healthier eating at home..   🙂

Despite being at home this weekend and having to do some shoveling, there really isn’t any cabin fever to speak of.  I’m contemplating more camping trips on non-work nights, all depending on where one can use an electric heater.  There are new cooking ideas to try… including some sliders and a decadent homemade macaroni and cheese recipe.  Stay tuned.

Work is going great at the temp job.  There are new things to learn every day.  It’s challenging clerical work but enjoyable with plenty of problem solving.  Many new friends have been made along the way.  If everything comes together, there should be some exciting news to pass along in the very near future!

She’s the boss… and there’s no disputing that!

That’s about it for now.  Jenny has been a brat tonight and it’s been difficult to try and blog.  With a little luck there will be some camping trips coming up in a couple of weeks, likely on the weekends.  There might even be some fishing mixed in there, too!  We’ll see how the weather goes…

Take care and thanks for visiting.  Safe and happy camping!

Brad, Jenny, and Duke
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"

5 Responses to Winter Finally Arrived Here

  1. Jo Harmon says:

    Happy to see a post tonight. Snow we had snow here for the First of the year it didn’t last very long down here but the mountains were so pretty and it lastes about a week much to the happy skiers and the Ski Lodge owners.

    Did something happen to your Mr Buddy? Maybe if you had a bigger propane tank it would last longer.

    Good to hear your still enjoying your job.
    Take care of that cough.

    I can’t believe how cheap gas is most states but here we are still paying $2. 27 – $2.33.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! You are right — I could probably use the Mr. Heater. The other night I was sitting in the chair watching a program and forgot to open the roof vent. I was developing a blinding headache when suddenly the heater snapped off. It’s possible the carbon monoxide was building up and the shutoff kicked in.. either than or the heater is dying. I’m kind of afraid to sleep with the heater on for fear of the sleeping bag contacting it… but if one is careful, it’s doable. Once we get back up in the 20s I’ll be camping again for work. I know what you mean about the beautiful snow! Ours will be here for a while — more cold and snow on the way. I guess it’s normal. Take good care!

  2. Jo Harmon says:

    Can’t believe how badly my post is written.

  3. my_vantasy says:

    We got about three inches of snow where I am in Ohio. The Little Dog does not like the snow, so I have to make a path for her to go out for bathroom business. Love your meme at the end! Haha, that’s why I want to visit in the summer!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Cold weather is kind of sucky, that’s for sure! I stayed in tonight and cooked. It was meat and cheese (Duke and I love the stuff) but I’m really craving a veggie pizza — lots of olives. Maybe this cold weekend. Sounds like The Little Dog doesn’t like the snow either. Jenny thought she’d be slick and started to run off along the skirting of the trailer… till she hit deep snow. I’m not falling over any more trailer frames! The things we do for our beloved fur babies! I just got to thinking.. I can drag along the pizza pizzazz… A nice hot veggie pizza while camping… hmmm… 🙂