Flood Update and 2 New Camping Bread Recipes


The Wapsipinicon (“Wapsi”) River as seen on March 12, 2019.

Hello and welcome to the blog.  Tuesday was a great day to do some hiking along the Wapsi River in Anamosa.  I’d never been to this side of the waterway before.  It’s beautiful.  The fishing action was non-existent but should start to take off.  As of today (Thursday) this spot where I was standing in the river now has about 5 feet of raging water covering it.  Welcome to early spring flooding!



A sheet of ice tumbles over the dam during flooding. Click this photo to see a very short video of the flooding.

I drove through the park this morning and saw a Sheriff’s deputy.  The water was at the edge of the road.  It’s currently closed and will be for a time.  But what I saw today was encouraging.  In the backwater of the river a fish was flapping.  As soon as things are opened back up, I’ll be fishing for walleye and catfish.

In the meantime, I’ve been cooking up a storm.  Recently on Facebook there was a recipe for banana bread.  After combining a couple different versions, I made some and it was delicious.  Fishing buddy Steve tried some and loved it.  There will be some made ahead to take on a spring camping trip.  What a delicious treat!

I also made another “sweet bread” using Granny Smith apples and unsweetened apple sauce.  It was not quite as moist (it didn’t have as much fat) but is very delicious.. and healthier!  Some time in the future I might make one of these breads using Splenda to replace some or all of the sugar.  Premixing some of the ingredients into ziplock bags will help ease preparation for camping.  For now I’ll post both recipes as-is, tweaked for taste and simplicity.

Midwest Banana Bread

3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 stick of real butter (I used salted)
2 eggs
1 + 3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup walnuts (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp  baking soda

In a bowl mix the bananas, butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla together.  Add the flour and baking soda.  Stir in the nuts.  Turn batter into a greased 4″ x 8″ baking pan.  (I use glass)  Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick comes out clean – about an hour.  Cool at least 10 minutes.

Unfortunately, I did not photograph the banana bread.  Trust me – it was frigging moist and instantly addicting.  The butter made the bread exceptionally rich.

Heavenly Apple Bread

Today’s baking experiment was this heavenly apple bread.  It was equally delicious.  I think the apple pie spice added a lot to the flavor and simplicity.  It’s definitely worth the work of chopping the apples.  Kitty Duke ate a little piece and loved it… if that means anything.  Wouldn’t it be fun to pick some apples near the fishing hole and make some of this bread on a cool October day?

Heavenly Apple Bread

2 cups of peeled and chopped apples (I like Granny Smith)
3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 eggs
1/2 stick of butter, warmed until barely melted.
2 cups white flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla (I prefer REAL vanilla)
2 tsp apple pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

Cream the butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and apple sauce.  In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, apple pie spice.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.  Lastly, add in the chopped apples.  Stir until just combined.  Pour into a 4″ x 8″ greased bread pan.  Bake 60 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool before removing from pan.

At the moment the apple bread is sitting in a bag on the deck to cool off.  A little nibble sounds good right now.  In the meantime, the TV is set to a newer network called HandiTV.  It stands for Heroes and Icons TV.  This network – often showing up as a free substation on broadcast TV- features 5 hours of Star Trek per night and other terrific shows such as Nash Bridges, Monk, and similar favorites.  I’m in heaven… Hopefully the next job isn’t on second shift.

There has been little news on the employment front.  I’ve been in contact with various people and it’s only a matter of time before another contract comes along.  It sure is nice to have a little break.  The Trekker van is going to get a good cleaning and the bedding changed for warmer weather.  With the forecast looking great, I’m anxious to do some camping and fishing again very soon.

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

Brad and Jenny and Duke
Jones County, Iowa

Getting Duke trained on the use of a fish pole…

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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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