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Friday, May 31, 2019

Still in the Metro!!

Hi gang!  We're still in the Metro...and will be for a couple of more weeks!

Just barely started with the maintenance & repairs to Europa. A couple of major things that I had planned to get done I've decided that they are more like "Winter Projects" than beginning of summer projects!!  So doing the repairs that we have to get done to be able to get back out on the road. And these will take a couple of weeks to work thru & work out!!

So hang in there with us...we'll be back on the road soon!

Something else I needed to let you know...I will be moving my blogging to the AYNTSI website soon. Trying to keep up one site is a pretty much full time job for me...keeping up with 2 or 3 is just not working!!

That said, by the time we roll out of the Metro and get back on the road, everything will be on the website!

"Frog's Travels" will be the blog page
"Sites along the Backroads" will be photo & video galleries
AYNTSI Store is just that - books, pamphlets & Photos for sale

 As I have said...I've been away from "technology" for such an extended time that I working with brain cells that have been dormant for a couple of decades almost!! So it's been slow going, but it's getting better each day!!

If you haven't been there yet, check out the website when you get a chance...

That pretty well brings "life" up to date!! I still have an itinerary...NM, AZ, UT, NV, maybe CA...and then heading East to AL for the winter...sometime in the Oct/Nov time-frame!! 

Always have an itinerary...just don't have a REAL schedule!!

Take care and hope to see you out here on the backroads soon!!!

Frog, Abbie & Snickers  

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Island! (Late Post)

(Apparently this never posted from Padre Island!)
All settled in on the beach. About a mile from the end of the pavement of the road coming down to beach. It was fairly busy this weekend...Cinco de Mayo weekend.

I have figured out that my favorite time on the beach is 1900-0800!  If I'm going to be hot, I would really rather be in a dry climate...all this moisture is really tough for me!
 I've had a couple of fires...with the predominate wind coming onshore it makes it so nice not to fill Europa up with smoke!! Also cooked a potato & it came out great! Does take about twice as long as when you throw it into the coals...but it came out sooo good!

Just had to include a pic of one of the "pelican patrols"! This is one of the largest patrols that I've seen!  They are just really cool birds.I think I saw a Caracara this morning, tried to get a pic of it, but it stayed on the inland side of the 2nd sand dune & never got close enough to get a good shot at it. Shot as with a camera!!

In The Metro!

Made it a little over halfway on the first day! Made it to this roadside picnic table spot just after sunset. Actually ran longer than planned because 2 of the spots I was shooting for were shutdown. But it worked out ok. This one was in the middle of pasture land, had good breeze all night, cooled down nicely and was relatively quiet! 
I arrived at the kids place at 1830 last night. I decided to run from Waco to here on I-35 & I-35W. That was almost a mistake! The traffic wasn't any worse than usual. Actually, it was lighter than I expected. But it was HOT! Every time a pack of cars & trucks would catch up with me and pass me it was a lesson in how much air flow is restricted, even at 65-75mph, as vehicles travel down a road! Even at that speed I & Europa would start heating up! 

I think Europa did better than I did! By the time I got here & parked I was completely drained. By the time I got thru the heat, the stress of dealing with the other "drivers" (I use that term loosely), I was exhausted!

I was shocked at how quickly I was able to unhook Sidekick, get Europa backed in and then Sidekick! It was all done & settled in under 20 minutes! I do believe that was a record!!

So I'm off the road for 21-28 days. Today I re-hydrate, relax some, start the unload (also called the purge) of stuff in Sidekick and prepare to get onto Europa's issues. If all goes well she will be road ready in 3 weeks.

So hang in there with us as we make repairs, updates & upgrades to our mobile tiny house!! 

C'ya soon!
Frog, Abbie & Snickers


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Headed North to the Metro Tomorrow

Just a quick update...heading north to the DFW Metro area tomorrow! Have had all the beach fun I can take for now! 

Have to get to the Metro so can do a few major repairs to Europa. Will be fixing the exhaust manifold issue on her. Also installing a new solar controller & adding another 100w solar panel. That will take our on board solar output to 400w. And I'm considering adding another 100w in a couple of months.

Still planning out our travel itinerary for the next few months. Always keep an's the schedule that is seemingly always in flux!

Be sure to check our website every so often. I'm about to add a page for offering "guided" trips. They will be set up for 2-3 RVs and they will be "topical"!  I'll do all the planning - stop-overs, night camps, things to see & do and the cost per person. 

The trips will not be to the spots that are usually inundated each "vacation season", but to see things off the "beaten path" where crowds don't exist! There will be nights in RV parks, nights in campgrounds and nights dispersed camping (that's what I've always called dirt camping - off the grid).

Some of the trips I'm thinking about will be to places passed up by the pace of today. Other trips will be totally arranged around Nature. Some dealing with historical things. Some will be for "beginners" all the way up to the "old hands"! I'm even considering doing, possibly, age groups or family groups.

So, in case you haven't, bookmark the site....
Also, hopefully soon, this old brain of mine will be able to figure out how to put a "subscribe" button on the site! If wanted, you can leave your email in a comment section so as I get my newsletter started I'll be able to make keeping up with AYNTSI.  

So hang in here with us...I hope to see some of you out here on the road soon!!

Frog, Abbie & Snickers


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Off the Beach - Surge!!


It was a good time while it lasted!!  Had a nice spot about a mile from the road end...little cutout in the dunes....high tide mark was probably 25+ feet from my my potatoes in the chiminea....and then.....
 .....I woke up Wednesday morning to the above excitement!


Yup! Overnight a front/storm had moved in over the Gulf, the winds had hit a high speed of 32mph overnight, and when I opened my door that morning I was greeted by the tide swishing past and under Europa!! Not a very secure feeling!!
 So after I got over my initial shock...and moving things out of the way...and surveying the situation....I gave the kids a call and...the cavalry was on the way!!

At least it was a pretty day....sunny, windy, too warm!  LOL!  Didn't take long to get Europa free from the sands. Tera & I dug the rear tires out some & ramped the sand. So when Greg gave a good solid tug Europa fairly well just popped out of the holes. It did take a heavy foot on Europa...but I was proud of her...came right out and we headed for the pavement!!
I'm back in front of Tera & Greg's place in Corpus Christi. But I made it 6 nights on the beach...and I will say it is really pretty from about 1900 each evening to about 0800 each morning!!!  LOL! I'm just not a sun & sand kind of person!

If you are a sun & sand kind of person, Padre Island is your spot, North stay right there on the beach, the only fee is your park entrance fee. Camping is for 14 will love it!!

 The deer come down to the rich grasses on the dunes morning & have several flights daily of the "pelican patrol"!....there are even locals that perch on the facilities for tourists at the Visitor Center!!! And they are quite friendly...even if they also happen to be a bit messy with their hygiene!

But no matter where you go once on the island you will have excellent views....
 expansive views of beautiful skies.....
and unique places to park and enjoy the sand, sun and beach!!
  Just remember....don't do like Frog....

make sure that you keep a close eye on the weather, find a GOOD weather app and when the skies look like the above sky....

Hope to see all of you out here one day soon! I'll be headed north for the DFW area next week. Then about the middle of June I will be headed out to the Western Lands for the summer...and possibly the fall.

Please try to take a minute and visit my website that is actually up and running now..... ...... I think you might enjoy it. And on this blog home page is a button for becoming a "patron" of AYNTSI...I hope you will think about becoming a patron and share what Frog & AYNTSI are all about and offering!

 Take care, travel safe...but Travel!!
Frog, Abbie & Snickers

Friday, May 3, 2019

Settled In

In my spot and all set up. Seems to be a decent spot. High tide does get rather close. But my spot seems to be on pretty solid sand, Europa doesn't hardly make an indention in it.
Last nite was rainy off & on, this morning was filled with severe t'storm watches & warnings. Had winds hitting 25mph and higher. It seems that the avg winds here on the beach are hovering at 13-18mph. And I do mean to say...they are non-ending! And the forecast is for the same for the next several days. So I'll see how well I chose my site...If I have to move, then I guess I'll move!!  LOL!
The other thing I've already noticed is the amount of trash that comes onto the beaches! It is very, very sad, especially when you add the trash that visitors to the beach also leave behind! Other than that, it is quite beautiful. Speaking of beach visitors, they seem to be flowing out from the city for their weekend adventure! You should see the fishing poles...and the 4X4s....and the travel trailers!  There are even 35' toy haulers on the beach now!

I'll be here for a week or two! There could be worse places!!  LOL!  But I do still miss my desert & desert mountains!!
Hope to see you out here soon!!
Frog, Abbie & Snickers

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Made It!

Now to find the beach! 🐸 LOL

Headed for Padre Island

Made it to Corpus Christi on Monday. Have had a good visit with the kids.  Now it is time to head to the beach…Padre Island! Let’s hope I like the beach! Haven’t been to one, actually, since the early 70’s! 

I’ll have pictures up later, still figuring out how this is all going to work on the road!!  LOL!  I just updated my website, there’ll be some pics on there in the Gallery soon....just as soon as I figure out how to handle all this on the road!!!  It's a re-learning experience!

C'ya soon!

Ray, Abbie & Snickers

Monday, April 29, 2019

95 Miles To Go

Got tires rotated, had to replace two, but all is good on Europa now! Had to spend extra nite in Gadsden, but feel much more secure with tires! 
 Last Gadsden nite was on the side of the Coosa River, right in town. Was great!

From Gadsden went to Pell City. Spent two nites visiting g'kids & kids. Was a good visit! I was also waiting a large storm line coming across right on my travel path! The worst went south of us, but I don't do rain! So an extra nite to visit.
 Made it to the Welcome Cntr in LA on I-59. Very pretty stop. Well kept, Spanish moss in the trees, fairly quiet!

 Stopped at Tx Welcome Cntr...really well done center. Lots of info, gorgeous view of the local "woods" (swamps?) & the staff were great.
 I really did like the entrance display!  Really nice looking, especially for first time visitors.
 Saturday nite was in the rest area about 40 miles east of Beaumont.  Picked up a nail in one of the new tires!  Grrrr! Sunday morning i was so proud of my little tire compressor!  Took the tire from rim on ground & 4 lbs air to 84 lbs air & ready to roll to Firestone in Houston.
 The compressor did the job, but was hard on my batts! Still trying to get them back to a decent charge after 2 days! But at least I know now that it can be done!
I was parked behind Firestone, had quite a bit of sun...but the batts were/are still so low that it's  hard to get them back up to where they need to be!
 Was good to have a spot to park out of the way!  Because the locals were wearing out the Chase Bank ATMs next to me!!!  LOL!
 Something else I noticed...Nature does her best to cover up & conceal with some of her best colors the ugly that humans tend to leave laying around wherever they go!
 I spent last nite in the Victoria Safety Rest Area. Nice & clean as you get used to with Tx rest areas.  Slept really well! 7hrs & didn't wake up once!!
I'm charging up my batts & cooling the fridge back down right now. Will be headed out on the last leg of this trip in just a little while.

 I hope to see you out here on the road one day...even if it is just a get-a-way short trip to get yourself back to Nature & into the woods!!

Take care & be safe!

Frog, Abbie & Snickers

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Why do I come East of MS River?.....

Let me count the ways!!!   LOL!

Meet the Herd!!  The majority of the cousins all gathered!  As you can see, they are pretty well paired up age wise!
(L to R)
Jude, Willa, Joe, Julia, Addie, Josceline, Sylvia, Jolene, Olivia

It's quite a yard full! It was quite a visit while they were all in one house/yard! Never a dull moment!

Spent my last night in Gadsden "on the river"! It is a nice spot, right under the I-759 by-pass overpasses! Actually quite peaceful, not many bugs, not many people & less than 3/4 of a mile from downtown! If you will look around, you can find the woods...even in our towns! 
I'm several days late getting on the road due to having some tire issues on Europa. Took her into Firestone in Gadsden for a tire rotation...which led to learning several things about her!
First of all, it was interesting getting her up just high enough for the tires to clear!  LOL!  She's rather hefty for a normal shop, plus the points for lifting seem to be quite limited.
When I left to get on the road I suddenly had a bounce on the front end, so back to Gadsden I went. Next morning....found the reason! Europa is heavy on the rear to the point that 10 ply tires can't take the beating! The sidewall had started to separate from the bead at the rim! So 2 new tires later I was ready to hit the road after a good nite's sleep! Now I have to do the research to find some 14 ply tires for the rear! I also found out that three of the rims a 7" wide rims...and the oddball is a 9" wide rim!!  So also on the hunt for a 7" rim!  So if anyone should happen to have a 8 hole heavy duty 7" Dodge rim, give me a holler!!  LOL!  🐸 
I almost forgot to get a pic of my parking spot for the past month. My thanks to my friends Dean & Janice! It was nice visiting with them & having a spot secure to spend the time in Gadsden.

I'm headed to Texas & the Coast for a few weeks now. Padre Island will be on this leg of my 2019 run, so stick around for pics & videos.  And as I'm fond of telling people now..."I have an itinerary, but I don't have a schedule!!

Hope to see you out here here some day soon....OH!....

And keep an eye out for, I will hopefully have my website up and going in the next few weeks!

So for now, Remember.....

"Glorious it is....When wandering time has arrived!"
                             ...Inuit saying

C'ya, Frog, Abbie & Snickers

#tinyhouse, #backroads, #fulltimerv, #inthewoods, #vanlife

Sunday, April 21, 2019

On the road Monday!


Just a quick note...

headed back to TX Monday (tomorrow)!

It's 925 miles to Corpus Christi....

and THE BEACH!!!

A few weeks of fresh, salt air....

gentle to strong breezes....

WAY too much sand....

& hopefully WAY less people....

It is what's called a recharge adventure!!

So hang around for, hopefully, some awesome still pics & equally awesome videos!!!  🐸

Soooo....hope to see you out here....SOON!!!


Frog, Abbie & Snickers


Saturday, April 20, 2019

Still In Bama!!

Summer is getting here!  The "real automobiles" are coming out & making their warm weather debuts!! And they are looking good!!
I'm still in AL, it has been raining and raining for the past 2 days, and will be raining until Sunday and as you know, I don't move in the rain. There is also 1 tire on Europa that I need to do something about before I get on the road.
 And Abbie has gotten her first "summer clip"...and of course it would turn much cooler the day after her "spa day"!  So she is now sleeping under a blanket most of the time, and is never real anxious to go out, but she is doing great!!

That brings things up to date! OH! And just so you know,  
I have my AYNTSI website up...I'm still working out what it will look like, and what all will be on it....but the domain exists! Now I just have to relearn how to make it look like a website!! So keep checking in & see how it comes along!
Still hope to see you out here one day!  Take care til later.....
Frog, Abbie & Snickers 

Friday, April 12, 2019

The Beach is Calling!!

Still in Alabama...about another week to go...then look out beach!  I'll be headed to Corpus Christi, TX when I pull out of Gadsden. Can't wait...I have not "done" the beach since about 1972, so maybe I will be happy to be there. Spent quite a few summers at Crystal Beach outside of Galveston when a kid. Actually got tired of maybe it is time!!

I have been spending time just getting Europa ready for getting back on the road, visiting with the g'kids & the kids. And just chillin'! And I've done some driving around Gadsden to see what has and hasn't changed. I will say that the traffic just keeps getting worse each year!

Have also spent time at the "home place" getting a few things done and the yard cleared off just a bit to be ready for the summer growing season...which from the feel of the past few days is close upon us!! 

The weather overall has been good, if you're retired!  LOL!  It has been nice & sunny in the middle of the week...then the rains roll in for the weekends! It's been like that for the whole time I've been here!

That about does it for this update! Just a quiet visit to the good state of Alabama!  My next post will be on the road in about 10 days!

Hope to see you out here!

Frog, Abbie & Snickers

P.S. -  I still have my ebook on Amazon also...

& I have just registered a domain, should have it up and running in a few days. I will have a "Where I Am Page", a Gallery for pics & for videos, and a listing of the things that I will be offering like travel pamphlets about places to see, my book, and now I will also be putting together videos of places that I travel to, so wait for a few days and give it a look!!
AMERICA, You Need To See It!!