Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Out & About....A Little!!

Took a couple of days to drive around some in the area! Felt good to just drive around the county some. Have not done that in several years! And it is amazing how much stays the same from year to year.











Even the turtles dragged themselves out to get on a log and soak up some sun. 


But there are also changes...just have to look close to see some of them. The one thing that seems to not ever change is the wildlife! There are still waterfowl, turtles, etc all around the area. Even though they are hard to catch on camera most of the time...urban life keeps them on the move in most of the areas. 

And I know that this will sound a little bit on the strange side...but there is just sooo much green here!!! LOL!  It makes it a bit difficult to keep the solar panels in the sun...there's shade all over the place!!





It is nice that the river runs thru here! There a views and scenes that are just so pleasant to be able to sit and just gaze out over.
  


And the scenery is pretty...if you take the time to look around, there will almost always be spots that are serene and easy on the spirit!





But I do have to admit that it makes me long for the desert even more each day!
But as I travel around the area more I keep coming across spots that a just so pleasing to see. And even though it drives my allergies nuts...it is so very pleasing to stop and sit and look at some of the spots the have such great colors and shades of color!


And a drive in the country will get you mind cleared out and opened up to be able to look forward to the future when the day returns that you are back on the road again.

 So to all our friends out there that are in a spot or location which affords them the opportunity to get out and drive around their areas...so...get out there! There is NO better social distancing than to fix up a picnic basket and a cooler full of drinks and load up the kids, pets, a blanket and maybe a map (?) and get out and see what is around you! Can't put much more space between people than that!

And I think you will be surprised at just how much better you will feel! How much "less dark" the days will look. There really is so much you can see when you get out of the house, out of town and into the country!

Try it!!  You might just really like it!!


For my part, I will be back on the road in a few weeks...along with Abbie and Snickers...looking for those places on the backroads that our fast paced lives have left behind! Maybe that is one of the bright spots of all this pandemic thing...it made so many people slow down and think....

"...is this all there is to life?"

There's soooo much more!!!

C'ya out there soon!!

Frog, Abbie & Snickers







Friday, May 8, 2020

Is it May???




The Vest?
In May?
In Alabama?
All I can say about this is .....  WOW!
And they are saying there could be a light frost Sunday?!?!
Hope this finds all of you in good health!
And still in good spirits!

Hope to be back on the road in a few weeks, back to the West!

Hope to see you out there!

Frog, Abbie & Snickers

Friday, May 1, 2020

SIP - Cold War Leftover


 I've heard it said that those who ignore History are destined to relive it!!

Well, we're reliving some of the "speech elements" from the Cold War Days!

But I have been SIP'ing for so long that I needed to do something to break up the days...so here is a little video of our run out to Alabama!

Hope you like it!!!!




Thursday, April 23, 2020

How are you doing??



Just a quick check in to see how everyone is doing! Hope this finds all of you in good spirits and being able to "enjoy" this down time we all have been driven into whether we want it or not!



I'm still in the middle of my 3.27 acres of "social distancing" and trying to keep occupied! Still doing odds & ends "repairs & updates" to Europa.  Will soon be adding a storage rack and storage bin to her mounted on the 2" receiver on the rear. If my measurements are right, I'll have space for my generator, the storage bin and the 2-2gal gas cans for the generator. It will allow me to get quite a bit of the things inside that are on the floor and more-or-less in the way out and into the bin.


I don't know how you guys are doing it, but I just set up camp for 14-18 days at a time, stationary camping! I break camp every couple of weeks, do what runs I need to do to "re-supply", go dump, park by the river for a night sometimes, then make my way back to my "site"! It breaks up the being in one place for so long. 



 
The other day I saw these clouds and I can't remember seeing clouds before that showed such a definitive rainbow colors effect!  

They were just awesome to look at...and the wind was moving so fast at that height that they were not here for very long!








So soon we'll all be out and about again, getting ready for summer trips, time off (as if we'll need any!), visiting family and friends...so just remember...this too shall pass!

See you out here soon!

C'ya!

Frog, Abbie & Snickers
🐸    🐢         🐱 






Wednesday, April 8, 2020

How are Y'all!?!?


 Hi Gang!!  Just thought I would take a minute to see how everyone was getting along during the "social distancing" days of today!
 I am in full "anti-social" currently!  With my 3+ acres of buffer area!  I'm hoping that all of you are doing well and taking care of yourselves!
 I'm still in the middle of lots of buffer...working on Europa, planning my escape route West when summer gets here, spending my spare time watching the pollen settle on EVERYTHING! So needless to say there is just all sorts of excitement here!!

Been thinking back to the road...and a few of the places we've been!




 




And back to the days when it all began....






And some of the pictures and thoughts of those days.....







Both the good and the sometimes frustrating days....

Just remember that when things start too look like they can only get worse...

the good days will always return.....

We just have to have the patience to wait on them!






Hope to see all of you out there real soon!!!

C'ya!!
Frog, Abbie & Snickers
🐸 🐢 🐱

 
 





Monday, March 30, 2020

How Are You Doing??

I've been slow to get an update on here...and I am so sorry! But with all the CoViD-19 activity it has put a sobering cloud over activities. And, when I am parked for an extended amount of time, there is not always much of interest to "impart" to you!  πŸΈπŸ˜‰




 I'm setup at the family home place...and as my little video shows, you can often find your own little piece of "the woods" no matter where you happen to be! Which is one of the things I want folks to learn. Always look around wherever you happen to be...there are "woods" available almost anywhere!












As for the act of  "Social Distancing" I am sitting almost in the middle of 3.27 acres of buffer land!!  If it weren't for the traffic it almost feels like being in the middle of the woods!!


 

I spent the weekend at a friend's place up on the mountain here. It was a great weekend. It is so nice to be able to take a couple of days and visit with a good friend that you haven't seen for almost a year!

He had been working on straightening up his basement and rearranging when he found something that I ended up with! 








It's a "Caloric Cub" camp oven! It is only, probably, 55+ years old...and I believe still in perfect working condition! A little of the vinyl trim is gone, but other wise seems to be perfect! The company also made kitchen stove/ovens. It is really neat. It cooks by "infrared"...and uses a 1lb propane bottle. I'll be testing it in the near future.





From what I've been able to find out, the company was started in the late 1800's. Over the years they were swallowed up by larger companies that bought it for it's "technology".









 I watch NHK World quite a lot. It is the Japan National Broadcasting company. Sorta like BBC, but Japan. The main difference is that it has really superb coverage on Japan/International/US news, weather and also Japanese Heritage & Culture. I have enjoyed watching it for years! Their news coverage is very good and very balanced. And from what I see, at least in my opinion, they are about the most balanced coverage I've seen in years. And if you spend some time watching the programs that deal with heritage & culture it becomes very deeply interesting very quickly! If interested, here's the link...







Like I always say...everywhere you can go there are sunsets & sunrises that are beautiful! You just have to slow down and take the time to soak them in!



I'm looking forward to getting back on the road in a couple of months and sharing the sights and sounds. And I do so hope that you will have a chance to take the time to get out and see this beautiful country!




And always keep in mind our acronym...

AYNTSI

America, You Need To See It!


Hope to c'ya soon!!  

Frog, Abbie & Snickers
🐸🐹🐱

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Made it!! Alabama for a while!


Got to Alabama this past Saturday (2/29). Was a pretty good run! Even the one "negative" on the trip has had a "positive" outcome!

I headed out on 2/22 from the DFW Metro. Had a going way breakfast time with my buddies, won't get to have breakfast with them for a few months. Was a good visit to start out the trip on!

Drove a bit further than I usually do for a day's drive. Spent the first night at the Louisiana Welcome Center. It's a really goo
d stop because it is quite new. Lots of "Truck/RV" parking. Very nice facilities and very clean! And, ""I must admit", it was nice to fall to sleep listening to diesel engines idling!  LOL!  Too many years on the road trucking! It really is amazing how we humans can find "comfort" in what to many are strange situations!

Sunday morning (2/23) went in and got the current Louisiana road map. When I got to looking at the map I realized that it has NO mileages between points! And I mean NONE! I've never had a map that didn't have mileages on it. Strange!!

Stopped at Kroger in Shreveport and topped of gas. It was misty and overcast, almost stayed there. But after a break it quite misting & started to see some blue in the sky, so headed east on I-20.  



Stopped in Gibsland, LA and visited the "Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum"! Quite a little museum. A lot of trivia about that day. A lot of information about Bonnie & Clyde's lives, their families, etc. There were more artifacts, authenticated even, than I expected. Pictures all over the walls. 



Actual newspapers, reprints, posters, displays of
period items, a video of the incident (runs about 14-16 minutes)...a really decent little stop. It is the one thing in Gibsland...the museum! And the entrance is through the gift shop. $7 to go thru the museum, kids 5 & under free. I bought my usual sticker & magnet for Europa.

Drove a bit further than normal, again!  LOL!  Topped off gas in Rustin, LA and ended up spending the night (2/23) at WallyWorld RV (heheheh) in Ruston, LA.




Topped off at Murphy, Ruston, LA next morning and headed east. Destination for the day was Vicksburg, MS and the Vicksburg National Military Park. Stopped at the Mississippi Welcome Center to get the current map. And I actually drove in rain for half the drive (a rare thing for me to do). Got there early enough to go through the Visitor center, take a few pics, get my sticker & magnets before closing time.


The parking lot at the Park has no gate, locals come in to walk & jog the park. Soooo...I thought I'd park there for the night. And I made it until about 2015!  LOL!  The Ranger stopped by and let me know there was no overnight parking there.  LOL!  We both got to chuckling when I said "yeah, I was wondering how long I'd make it before she had to tell me to move along!" 



 
So packed up and drove back to the WallyWorld about 4 miles away. It was actually very quiet at Wally. Woke up to heavy fog on Monday (2/24), so sat for a couple of hours before the sun burned it off.  Stopped off at Murphy, topped off gas and headed back to the Battlefield.


Drove the Battlefield (2/25), took pictures, walked up/down too many stairs/steps. but was a beautiful day for it! Then stopped at the USS Cairo museum/exhibit. It's an "ironside" battle ship from the Civil War era. It was found, what was left brought out of the river, and a reconstruction of the basic ship built, using the items & plating brought up. I was actually surprised at how much of the ship had actually survived the 100+ years under water.





There are some very nice views of the Mississippi River from the battlefield. When there you are seized by the view and you end up staring at it for longer than you planned. 


Drove to WallyWorld in Forest, MS for the night(2/25 AND 2/26). Was idling Europa to charge batts for a little while and found out I had a rather large leak in the fuel line! It rained for most of the day, so a second night in Forest. Morning 2/27 (Thursday) got under the house to see what needed. Called O'Reilly's and Johnny (store mgr) sent me 2 end pieces of hose for free & I paid for a box of small clamps. Ended up having to get a longer piece of hose. But got it on, leak stopped and on the road by 1430.

Stopped for the night (2/27) at the rest area just south of Eutaw, AL. Nice, quiet night. Got a good night's sleep. Topped off gas next morning at Pilot, Tuscaloosa, AL on the way to Pell City, AL to visit the kids there & spend the night. It was a good visit...and the g'kids are growing too fast! Or I'm just getting older too fast!!

Got into Gadsden Saturday afternoon (2/28)...8 days on the road, 780 miles...so overall ran my daily average of miles. The only downside to the trip was the fuel line. BUT...it had a bright side..real bright!  Since fixing the line, my average mpg's has gone from +/- 7.5mpg avg to 10.45mpg avg!! A few more tweaks and dualie wheels on Europa...I might actually get her to 11+mpg!!

So this brings me up to date! In Alabama for a couple of months, but I'll be making several 2-3 day trips to see some things that I never took time for when living here fulltime!

So stay tuned as we make repairs, updates and short trips over the coming weeks!!

C'ya soon out here!!

Frog, Abbie & Snickers




Another Eventful Trip!! (late post)

(First trip..1/24-2/2/2020) 

I'm a little behind on letting you know about the rest of the trip! So now is a good time to get caught up!

After my visit to the "Chairy Orchard" I headed towards Jacksboro, Tx. Destination was Ft Richardson State Park. A really nice historic spot. Well kept up & quite informative. It also has quite a nice campground area! Shaded spots with elec & water, a sanitary dump station, primitive sites for tenting, tent pads at the RV sites, nice gift shop and the whole thing has a paved road!




These three pics are from the restored "Officers Qtrs" on the grounds.  It is the last of the 5(?) houses on the fort.


 
 The above was the fort "magazine"

From the officers house, display about Tx at the time of the fort & it's commanders.


My first trip of 2020 ended up rather eventfully!  As I was doing my daily pre-trip before heading out on the road for the day I happen to notice a rather large protrusion from one of the rear tires!

Sooo, I proceeded to get bottle jack, jack stand, electric impact tool, etc out of Europa. Started to loosen lug nuts...got one done, started 2nd nut...and the impact "dies".  tried 3 times with same result...stuttered couple of times & dies!

The inverter kept showing "HiP" on display...which I decided must mean "High Pull" or possibly "High Power"...which caused me to look closely at the impact tool.

Guess what...it's pretty hard to run a tool that draws 840 watts power...when your inverter is 700 watts! LOL!