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"

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas

Santa is keep busy these days!

Hello and welcome to the blog.  It was a rough end to the week, but what doesn’t kill us just makes us feel like crap for a day or two.  🙂  🙂

On Thursday I was doing some work around home and had a severe asthma attack triggered by an allergic event.  I made a lot of mistakes and couldn’t locate the needed medication or phone until it was dangerously late in the game.  The paramedics arrived and pumped me full of steroids, Benadryl, Epinephrine (adrenaline) and three breathing treatments.  It still took a day to get back to comfortable breathing.  Long story short, it could have easily been a lot worse!  All is better now and some lessons were learned!   (For those Star Trek friends, “Tri-Ox Compound” from the 23rd century would have helped!)

Fishing buddy Elijah and friend Destiny

On Sunday I did some more past-due deep cleaning on the home base, having learned to take some allergy medicine in advance and wear a dust mask.  As the work was winding down, friends Elijah and his mom sent two wonderful plates of food over from a big dinner they had yesterday.  Talk about perfect timing!

As a reward for the hard work, I decided to head 16 miles to east to Wyoming, Iowa for a little Christmas celebration.  Elijah wanted to ride along so we detoured and I showed him some ponds we’ll fish next summer.

An elf doing wine tasting. I liked the “Campground Hooch” which is raspberry and grape wines mixed.

After arriving, we met up with Destiny and her brothers.  Destiny was another fast food worker until very recently.  She is hilarious and we had a great time hanging out.  Along the street was a grill with charcoal and a “S’mores Station”.  I’ve never made these things camping – always looking at them as kind of unsophisticated food.  Dang, they were good!


Enjoying a s’more and armed with a Novolog pen…

On Main Street, we ran into Kenny S, another former fast food person.  I’ve assumed most of his duties since he left.  The bank in town was providing nice big cookies that we all enjoyed.

Kenny enjoying a cookie — hands free!


After standing around in 40 degree weather, the parade commenced at 5:30.  It was a small event with several decorated utility vehicles and a fire truck.  It’s not often you see a parade in December but all had fun.

That’s a snowman riding along with the 4×4.


Horse drawn wagon rides for $1 per person


There were so many fun things to do today.  At the community center there was a craft show.  Other vendors sold interesting bath products and spices.  I bought a nice jar of a type of seasoning that might make some camping potatoes extra special.  That will be tried on an upcoming van trek!


One other note… I was working on Friday (still kind of groggy from the many medications) and a retired pharmacist friend came in.  He’d recently shot a couple of pheasants and gave them to me.  The birds went right into the crock pot with veggies, broth, seasonings, cheese sauce, pasta and such.  After all of those state of the art breathing medications, I don’t think any had the medicinal value of that fresh pheasant stew.  It should be patented!

Though 2019 has not been easy, this year there continues to be so much to be grateful for:  friends, family, pets, employment, shelter, great food, hobbies, and just the ability to enjoy life itself.  Sometimes we all need a reminder… and Thursday definitely was all of that.  🙂

That’s about all that’s new for now.  Thanks for visiting!  I hope everyone has a wonderful end to the fall season and plenty of time to relax and enjoy life.  Safe and happy camping!

Bradford and Jenny and Duke
Jones County, Iowa