“IT – Chapter 2” Movie and Visiting Johnnie

Hi and welcome to the blog.  This weekend was the release of the movie “IT – Chapter 2”, the second part of the remake of “IT” based on the book by Steven King.  As Pennywise the clown would say, “They float down here… they all float!” as the clown would kill kids and drag them down in the storm sewers…  Scary stuff.   🙂


“Jennywise” the clown and her pal. One is scary, feisty, unrelenting. The other is a passive, red headed doll.


I remember when the first installment of the original “IT’ mini-series came out on Sunday, November 18, 1990.  I worked that Monday and found out that the other part was to be shown on Tuesday, November 20.  I called in to work sick that evening… and wasn’t the least bit ill.   It was not disappointing!  🙂   All these years later, friends (like Johnnie) and I still quote lines from the movie… like when Eddie Kaspbrak sprayed the clown with his asthma inhaler and said “This is battery acid!”   I still think of that when taking albuterol.


Who can resist an Amish-grown cantaloupe from Muscatine, Iowa?


The first stop during the 50 mile drive was in the tiny town of Moscow.  This village is kind of in the middle of nowhere but they have the most amazing produce stand.  I picked up a Muscatine cantaloupe, some strawberry-jalapeno jam, and a handful of glossy-green jalapenos.  There’s nothing like farm fresh fruit and veggies!


Buddy Johnnie cooking curly fries.


Later I visited Johnnie where he works at Arby’s.  He’s been there for over 20 years now and they treat him very well.   For a brief time I was a bit envious.  In any case, I’m glad he is so happy!  We made some plans for Saturday’s activities… then it was off to the Mississippi River.



By the time I got around to cooking supper at the Fairport campground it was getting close to 7:00.  It might be difficult to see but this mixture was chicken fajitas, very heavy on the peppers and onions.  There was also salsa and guacamole.  Instead of tortillas, I used a small bed of Mexican rice mixed with some white queso and salsa.  The food turned out really tasty!  Those jalapenos packed a nice wallop.  Truthfully, the dish didn’t even need the chicken meat!


A beautiful morning at the Mississippi River north of Muscatine.


After watching a couple hours of Star Trek on H&I network, it was off to sleep.  Several times throughout the night a train rumbled down the tracks about 200 feet to the north of me.  It was still a cool, peaceful evening’s rest.


Taking a “selfie” at the campground after breakfast.


The next morning I cooked up an omelet (all mixed together in a freezer bag) made with egg substitute, half-n-half, ham, veggies, cheese, and yep… more jalapeno peppers.  Camping always results in the best meals compared to driving a few blocks away for a hamburger.   🙂

After leaving the campground, it was off to Arby’s to hang out and do some work on the blog.  I was amused by Johnnie’s antics, telling the customers how excited he was to see the new “IT” movie.  I was doing the same thing at my work in anticipation!



For supper we went to an ice cream stand in town where they served loose meat sandwiches – an Iowa favorite.  This dish became world famous in Muscatine.  In 1926 butcher Fred Ansell, the founder of the Maid-Rite corporation, opened his first restaurant.  Loose meat sandwiches are still popular in Iowa, Illinois, and northern Missouri.  The one pictured above is a knock-off and it was okay but the actual “Maid-Rite” sandwiches are the gold standard.  Nonetheless, I have made up a pretty tasty recipe that I’ll share on a future blog past.  These things cook in minutes, are flavorful, and perfect for camping.


The Palms Theatre… and a scary white van outside!


The IT – Chapter 2 movie was quite good.  Both of us jumped a few times.  It was a nice blend of scary, creepy, and gory.  I’ve always loved the book and the original mini-series.  This adaptation was fun; it’s worth seeing.  I’ll still always enjoy the original the most because of the superb casting back then (i.e. Richard Masur, Annette O’Toole, Tim Reid, John Ritter, Harry Anderson, and others).  Nonetheless, this was a decent production.  Johnnie and I had a lot of fun!

After the show I dropped Johnnie off and we agreed it won’t be so long before I come down and visit my “little brother” the next time.  I really needed the break and with the health improving so quickly, it was possible to enjoy the diversion to the fullest!


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That’s about all that’s new.  There will surely be more camping soon.  There is a lot of time off on the horizon  (in other words, the bosses cut our work schedules dramatically).  There will be some free camping later this week and I promise a recipe for Bradford’s Yummy Loose Meat Sandwiches!  They are approved by tomcat Duke.  He is so spoiled.

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

Bradford, Jenny, and Mister 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 “IT – Chapter 2” Movie and Visiting Johnnie

  1. Jo Harmon says:

    Another nice get away. And you seemed to have a great time.

    Your looking well. Going to try to remember to e mail you tomorrow. I have some things to ask and tell you a few things I’ve learned. If you get out to do some free camping have a blast. Still waiting for the cooler weather here and waiting and wating

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! Thanks for the note. I’m hoping to go out to a free hunting area and get some camping in later this week. That’s the plan. I tweaked the loose meat burger recipe last night and am happy with the results. We’ve got a really hot blast of humid weather coming this week so Jenny might not get to come along this time. We shall see. Take good care! I hope it’s cool for you! — Brad and Jenny and Duke

  2. my_vantasy says:

    Hi, I know loose meat sandwiches from the “Roseanne” TV show! LOL. Somehow “loose vegetable crumbles sandwiches” do not sound as appetizing. Glad you liked the movie. I go through life scared enough that I don’t need to watch movies like that. I haven’t felt well recently. In fact, I couldn’t go camping last weekend and had to forfeit the camping reservations fees. That’s how sick I was! I am on the mend here, but am taking it slow. In this case, it is a blessing that I quit my job. Plenty of time to feel better at my own pace. Happy camping!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi! I hear ya about the Roseanne show. (It was a hoot!) Tom Arnold and Roseanne Barr used to have a restaurant in Iowa in the 1990s. It was called “Tom and Roseanne’s Big Food Diner” and featured the loose meat sandwiches. The restaurant wasn’t in existence very long. It was in Eldon, Iowa (the town with the house featured in Grant Wood’s famous “gothic” painting) near Ottumwa. Those loose meat sandwiches were a staple growing up. They’re cheap and tasty. I agree about the meatless crumbles – it wouldn’t be quite the same… although I’ve heard some of the new meatless stuff is incredibly close to being like beef.

      I sure can identify with the being sick part. So many friends have been ill lately. I fought with the lungs for months and they still are giving fits at times. I hope you feel better soon! Camping will happen when it happens. You’ll enjoy it even more the next time!

      Take care – I hope you feel much better soon! I understand about quitting the job being a blessing. Things can change quickly. We have to look out for ourselves! — VT