What Will 20 Bucks Buy? A LOT of Fun

The mascot outside the home base. The fish says it all!


Hi and welcome to the blog.  Sorry that it’s been so long since the last post.  I’ve been spending evenings helping Steve with concerns about his garage / house damage from the August storm… Like me, it’s been hard for him to line up good help.  It’s all about time and patience.

Little has changed here as I wait for a call.  I’m still trying to get the roof fixed before winter.  Contractor after contractor keeps letting me down.  I’ve found a good roofing company that hopefully will get the ball rolling… and with no money down.  A person has to careful though.  I know someone who was scammed out of all his insurance money!  There are crooks out there.


Steve watching his lines…. The fishing were hitting fast and furious in Central Jones County, Iowa


As the days get shorter and summer has changed into fall, the fish are feeding for winter.  With unusually warm weather this week, buddy Steve and I went angling a couple of times.  He got a nice catfish on Tuesday.  I got skunked.  But as luck would have it, things changed.  Friday night we visited the Wapsipinicon River and I caught a very nice catfish – good for a big dinner.  Steve got a smaller one but it was still respectable.  The relaxation was incredible!


A praying mantis insect spotted while fishing. They are so fascinating to observe.


So here is another reason this outing was so fun tonight.  The bait was free for both of us!  Last night I bought a $2 lottery ticket… and won $20.  My first thought was what to do with this little windfall.  For some reason, it just felt that sharing the winnings was the right thing to do.


Every Christmas tree was a $2 prize. Woo hoo!


That $20 made a lot of folks’ day brighter.  The 14+ coworkers got a LOT of doughnut holes (mainly pumpkin spice as well as apple cinnamon).  Steve and I each enjoyed 3 hours of fishing with free worms, and brought back fish so we can both cook a great meal.  What a fun end to the week!



That’s about all that’s new.  Vacation was requested for part of this next week so I can get some things done around home and visit a spot along the Mississippi River.  There is no guarantee of getting the time off but we’ll see what adventure awaits.  There will be some tasty [and healthier] camping fall food cooked up as well.

Thanks for visiting and enjoy the fall season.  There are so many fun things to see and do and the scenery right now is breathtaking.  Safe and happy camping travels!

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 What Will 20 Bucks Buy? A LOT of Fun

  1. Jo Harmon says:

    At least you had a good week of fishing and just helping out others. Nice win on the card.

    WOW can’t believe your roof still hasn’t been fixed. But its amazing how no one seems to need the work these days. My repair is now complete as my grandson came and finished the painting of the new wood siding. It definately wasn’t very good wood I can tell you that but oh well with this new shortage on wood I was lucky to at least get the lines to match up. And I am so lucky to have a grandson who is a painter, who knows how much more that would have cost over the repair.

    Have a great week

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! It was a fun week for sure. The weather here was perfect but I crashed and didn’t get to go camping. I might try for tomorrow. I agree – nobody seems to work. But what’s funny is that were I’m working we have been getting bombarded with applications when the unemployment got cut off.

      I am so glad your repair is complete and the new wood siding is all painted. Yes, having the grandson do the work sure saved a bundle! Dad would always tell people how I saved him a lot of money on car repairs always changing brakes, oil, doing tune-ups, etc.

      Have an awesome week as well. I’m off the next two days but the weather looks crappy. My vacation got canceled, hopefully postponed till next week. It all depends on the staffing level which can fluctuate. I’m still trying to get one more cool fall trip in for trout and Mississippi fishing in another location… We’ll see what happens. Take care! — VT

  2. my_vantasy says:

    That’s awesome how you shared your winnings. Little things mean a lot, and it was amazing how you stretched $20 to bless so many people. This has got to be one of your only posts without food. LOL. I made a crockpot of chili, so I will be eating that all week. I am sure it would freeze well, but it will make for some quick, easy dinners. Looking forward to your next camping trip.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi! Yep, a post without food is kind of unusual here, right? Well, I’m sure there will be some goodies cooked up on the next trip. Vacation is approved next week. I’m working on some various meal plans and you are the inspiration for doing a vegetarian breakfast… perhaps with a twist? That chili sounds really good. At some point I might have to do the same… Oops, there’s another camping meal idea. 🙂 The weather is supposed to be lousy next week — a perfect reason to go camping again. Take care! — VT

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