Two Storms with Valentine’s Day in Between


Work camping… thanks to Mother Nature

Hello and welcome to the blog.  It was an interesting work week.   On Monday we had terrible weather again. The company did not close despite 6-8 inches of snow falling on Monday night into Tuesday.  It started about 4PM – just early enough to make driving dangerous.  With permission from a security guard, I opted to stay in the parking lot for the night.  With a low temp of 30 degrees, it was great camping weather!

A Valentine’s gift from a kind soul. It’s going on the next camping trip.


This was a long week.  By the end of it, I learned my work assignment will end soon.  But with the Valentine’s holiday, people have been pretty nice.  A number of folks brought goodies.  The boss gave us a variety of treats as well as what’s pictured above… That’s a packet of instant apple cider and a shot bottle of cinnamon flavored whiskey.  Yum!

It’s amazing what some chocolate frosting, sprinkles and white chocolate chips can do to brighten up a day!

One of the fun things provided at work yesterday (for “Love Week”) was a cookie buffet… There were several kinds including sugar cookies and various types of frostings and decorations.  What a mood booster!  My last one was consumed before the weekly clap… There is a tradition in our building that at 4:30 PM on Friday (when most people depart for the weekend) many of us start to clap, slowly at first and then building in speed and volume.  Some of the bosses don’t like the clapping a whole lot but what the heck.  Who doesn’t like the weekend?

Saturday started off fixing turn signal problem.  With the weekend here, I decided to take a deeper look into why the light bulbs kept popping… and learned a tip to share for those of us who drive Chevy vans.

All you need is a screwdriver…

Some time ago I had a turn signal light burn out and replaced the right and left sides by crawling under the van.  Access is difficult.  I did not get the sockets seated correctly (on either side) and the bulbs were misaligned.  The heat was damaging the orange-colored assemblies (melting the plastic!) and causing failures.  A YouTube video set me straight on an easier way to replace the burned-out lights.

Little did I know, the front turn signal assemblies are simply snapped into place — from the front!  Removing them is amazingly easy.  As pictured above, just put a screwdriver in the OUTSIDE of the assembly, gently pry, and the whole thing will pop loose.  Pull the far left (passenger’s side) or far right (driver’s side) of the fixture toward the front and gently unhook the inner end of it.  Carefully change the bulb (don’t touch the glass with bare fingers),  and after twisting the socket in to lock it,  hook the inner side and snap the outer side securely.  It’s that easy — a two minute fix on a bad day!  (Just be careful – I busted the plastic on the driver’s side in 10 degree weather and had to Flex-Seal it back together for now.)

Love and kindness come in the smallest of packages.


It’s been kind of a boring weekend so far.  I’d really wanted to camp but it was not meant to be.  Despite the blue skies, in a few hours another storm is moving in and we’re looking at up to 5 more inches of snow and/or freezing rain.  It’s probably better to stay home and be safe.

I’m working on a new pescatarian soup recipe to share on the blog.  It will likely be cooked on Sunday and Jenny and I will camp in the driveway that night.

Take care and thanks for visiting.  Hopefully winter will be over soon (32 more days?)  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"

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