It’s Going to be a Good Friday!

A good message for everyone.  The M4M at the bottom refers to “Moving for Maggie”.  Maggie is a high school student who was critically injured in a car accident a few weeks ago.  She is a runner at the local high school.  Our community is pulling for her!


Hi and welcome to the blog!  So much has transpired since the last update.  It is heartbreaking to hear about the many deaths due to the Coronavirus.  From the sounds of things, the urban areas are by far the hardest hit — we are seeing it in Iowa as well.



The map above shows where I live in Jones County (the “X”).  Immediately to the west is Linn County (Cedar Rapids).  Below it is Johnson County, the location of the University of Iowa hospital in Iowa City.  To the south, in Washington County the virus spread quickly at a senior care facility.  Problems exist in basically all the other metropolitan areas in Iowa.

To put it in perspective, Linn County is about 1.5 times the size of Jones… but has 11 times the population and 27 times the number of COVID19 cases! The effects are far less pronounced in the rural northeast Iowa counties.

In the map above I circled part of “Trout Country” not far from home.  When the weather improves, the plan is to be fishing northern Delaware County (just north of here).  That region has smaller towns, many farms and open areas, and few places for the pandemic to take hold.  It’s one of the safest places to visit, providing all the essentials are packed for the trip and minimal human contact occurs.


The playground near my home is closed.  Now kids just wander in the streets on their scooters.  There’s no lockdown so they’re still gonna play!


There is still discussion about campgrounds.  The DNR says all state park campgrounds are closed.  Today it sounded like the Governor said they are not closed… On the upside, I know lots of little pull-offs, wildlife management areas, etc. where a person can park for a night while the state figures out what to do.  Have van.. will camp!


Steve parked next to me and socializing.. at a social distance!


Tonight I met up with Buddy Steve at McDonald’s and chatted for an hour.  During that time, friends Dale and Sharon texted.  They were delivering homemade banana cake bars to their pals.  We enjoyed the company and the dessert!  It is so good to have friends like these during difficult times.

Overall, very little has changed.  With a diminished work schedule I’m at home a little more and cooking new dishes… and gaining a little weight.  Work (fast food) has been fairly busy.  Though we recently remodeled the lobby, nobody can use it.  Drive-thru and carryout are currently the only options.  But our regulars are loyal.  One-by-one today the old timers came through, got their “senior coffees” and parked their pickup trucks in the lot to chat.  I said it looked like we were going to have a “rumble.”


Jenny kissing her cat-faced Dad.


Tomorrow is Good Friday and, of course, Sunday is Easter.   It’s a great chance for we Christians to think about the Resurrection of Jesus and give thanks for the faith to get through these trying times!  I know that without believing in Heaven and Salvation, I’d be a wreck right now!

I hope everyone is safe and healthy and can enjoy some quality time with their families.  God bless everyone including our President, other leaders, healthcare workers, essential workers, and those peers who help keep the food moving and the people fed.

Take care and thanks for visiting!

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"

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