Sunday Night at Central Park

Happy Monday morning!  There’s nothing like a Sausage McMuffin and Diet Coke to breathe life back into a weary camper.


Hi and thanks for stopping by today.  It’s sure been a busy week.  The lungs are slowly recovering with each passing day.  Despite being sluggish, I still put in five days this week and had a good time along the way.  The fast food bosses were supportive and complimentary.  It was therapeutic and motivating!   An impending heavy rainstorm on Monday morning was also motivation to depart early and get this post written.  🙂


The beach area of Central Park


With the creeks and rivers running low, I decided to skip the fishing and go to nearby Central Park and relax, fly the toy drone some, walk a little bit, and rest up… and try another food idea.  The shot below was taken in front of where the campsite.  The humidity was very high and it was hazy last night.


The West Lake area where I camped. It’s primitive and peaceful…


After registering at camping spot number 51 (NOT Area 51!), the campground host stopped by.  The campsite was pretty much trashed by a party on Saturday.  There were popped balloons all over, plastic utensils, a broken toy, and other indications of a large group event.  I asked the host if I could clean the area for him and he declined, saying they would have the Ranger check it out on Monday morning.  The only thing that I disturbed was the fire pit – someone left a large pile of unburned charcoal there and I took full advantage!!


Eye-to-eye with the Syma drone.   It’s nice to see the body shrinking and clothes hanging!


Once the charcoal was started, supper was grilled up — an “Almost Vegetarian Chipotle Taco Pizza”.  I chose a cauliflower crust thinking there would be no worries about carbs that way.  In actuality, I’m no longer eating enough for the carbs to be an issue!   Next time it will be a full gluten crust.   🙂


The bean sauce was made by taking two cans of pinto beans, draining them thoroughly, and mashing them up, and then adding in 1 Tablespoon of taco seasoning and 2 Tablespoons of dehydrated onions.  While intending to go all vegetarian (which would taste fine) I yielded and added 3 Tablespoons of real bacon bits.  The last step was to stir in a small can of tomato sauce.   This concoction makes enough for two pizzas.  (I plan to use the leftovers with eggs, sour cream, and guacamole for lunch.)

After crisping the cauliflower pizza crust, I added some fresh cilantro (about 2 Tablespoons) into the mixture and spread out the sauce.  Next came the cheeses (various leftovers from home), which happened to be a taco blend and some jalapeno Monterey jack.  On top I placed fresh thin sliced Roma tomatoes, jalapenos, and black olives.  The pizza was grilled up and tasted pretty darned good.  By the way, the zig-zag lines are sour cream (piped through a sandwich bag) and some Taco Bell chipotle sauce (available at Wally-Mart).  Though tasty, a small serving brought satiety!

After dinner I walked a little bit but quickly became winded.  Then it was back to the van to watch some old TV shows on the laptop:  “T.J. Hooker”, “The Magician”, and “Barnaby Jones”.   You can’t beat the 70s and 80s for good entertainment.  Then it was off to a gentle sleep.  Thank goodness there are still campgrounds where one can sleep like a baby!  (Sunday nights are usually more calm!)


It’s back to Monday morning and this week will be kind of busy with several appointments… It’s sure good to feel better.  Better also means more fishing.

Eli, a kid from work, was talking about catfishing here in Anamosa and using cut up sucker fish for bait.  I mentioned having some old frozen trout that we could thaw out and use… There will be a post later in the week about how that goes.  Elijah is as good with catfish as I am catching trout.  It should be fun!

For now, let the rains come.  We’re looking at a lot of precipitation in the next couple of weeks.  The trout streams will cool off and the action will pick up.  Soon it will be cool enough for Jenny to go camping again.  It’s been a long hot summer!

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

Brad and 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"

4 Responses to Sunday Night at Central Park

  1. Jo Harmon says:

    Yep your loosing weight alright. Good for you. You need to send me your recipe for the pizza. I want to know how to make the cauliflower crust. I made a cauliflower taco that was really good.
    Glad you went camping it is still so hot here and now they are calling for 110 on Wed. it has been in the high 90’s for a few days but high humidity but at least it wasn’t both.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! Thanks for the note! I just got some new pants a few weeks ago and they are already loose. That’s a nice feeling!

      Unfortunately, I don’t have a recipe for the pizza crust. It was a store bought Wal-Mart one. It really needed a long time to crisp up before butting the toppings on it. I’m not crazy about cauliflower so next time it will be a thin crust pizza. 🙂 I hear ya about the heat. It takes the energy right out of a person!

      Take care! — VT

  2. my_vantasy says:

    Glad to hear that things are looking up for you. Guess who put in a two week notice at work? Yup, The Little Dog and I are going to take some time off and enjoy ourselves. We may make it to Iowa in September!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi! I understand about putting in the two week notice at work. I’m glad that you are taking some time off with The Little Dog and will be able to relax. Camping time is so therapeutic. I’ve got a ways till the next day off but still try to do something special every day to have fun. Take care and get some fresh air. Give The Little Dog a big hug for me! — VT