Be a Supporter thru PATREON!

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Summer Half Over - So a short Wander!!


My summer in WVa is about half over already! My how time flies when you are relaxed and chilled!! With some really gorgeous views to soak up!

Also have done just a bit of exploring! Granted I did sit on top of Cheat Mountain for about 36 days! And it was glorious! It seemed that summer was never going to arrive in WVa! It was almost cold several days, had lows in the upper 30's! Rain came through at least 3 days each week it seemed. And they were some pretty good t'storms!

 But I enjoyed them! I've always had a soft spot in my heart for t'storms!! 🐸

And when the storms and rain have passed, and things dry out some....and the evenings are peaceful....you just have to have a nice fire!!


 The past few days I went on a drive around the area to get out and see some more of the mountains. I headed to a little hamlet named Helvetia. It was settled in the mid-to-late 1800's by Swiss descendants. Very small, way back in the mountain valleys, lots of the original buildings still being used. Just such a grand place to slow down and go back in time. There is no cell service there. If you have internet, it is satellite from what I could see. Some of my new friends here allowed me to park on their property, and it was gorgeous!

 

 

I loved the place! It was so peaceful, beautiful & just refreshing! 






 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Helvetia the little store has been in the same building since the beginning of the last century! And the masks hanging that are used for the feast of getting rid of "Old Man Winter" just really make the place!




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The Post Office is also in the store...and it has been a long time since I saw such a small Post Office! But I think it is great that there are still places where you truly take a step back in time when you come upon these little jewels of the past!



And to be able to still see and step into the past in such a way is so reassuring! That there are still folks that like this way of life gives me a bit of hope for this fast paced society that we seem to live in today!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The library was in a very old building. And a very well kept up "old" building! There were more shelves of books there than I expected to see and the open hours tickled me....I believe it was Wednesday & Saturdays from 1100 - 1600! Such a place!

 

 

 


And right next to the library was a small building that I think was one of the original homes. It is the museum for Helvetia, with a lot of items and history in a very small space! But to see things that are over 150 years old and still in actual usable shape is just amazing!






I stopped in Pickens, WVa also. It seems to actually be smaller than Helvetia! But they are known for their "Maple Festival" each year.  So they have their spot in the mountains here also!


Then on the way back to Elkins stopped in at Holly River SP. Really nice area, very well kept up, large campground, swimming pool, lots of open area for kids to run, cabins that can be rented, a nice office/gift shop and even a restaurant there!


One more stop along the road back...the WVa Wildlife WMA & Recreation Area. As with most of what I've found in WVa...it is clean, well kept up and has a nice gift shop with small "cafe" available. The park it self is a wildlife watching area with path ways....but, if you have a hard time with walking, you might just want to sit and watch from the entrance...no vehicles are allowed past the parking area, all is on foot! So needless to say, I didn't get to wander through there.

So I'm back in Elkins til "payday". Visiting some friends, doing laundry, working on several things also that I hope to have done & out to everyone in the next few weeks.

So for now, I hope to see some of you out here in the woods!

Until that day...

Be Safe, Travel Easy & To The Woods!

C'ya!



 










 

Friday, July 8, 2022

Monthly Restock!

I'm in Elkins, WVa for a couple of days. Time for a monthly restock & laundry time! Goal reached....have gone 31 days between laundry runs! And also time for monthly Wally order!
Had a 0700 pickup time, but got my order at 0650! I really do not like shopping, so being able to do a pickup is right down my alley!!

I love hummingbirds! I can sit & watch them for hours...which is exactly what I did! 🤠 They are just amazing little creatures. But it should be pretty close to time for them to head farther North to their nesting grounds.
So I'll get to visit with them next year or possibly later this season if I'm her late enough this year for their migration South.

Spent one night at the Stonecoal Dispersed CG. It is right along the river and a really nice area. Quite cool & quiet. Only 17 sites. 2 vault toilets & really well kept up.
And it rained the whole time I was in there! LOL! But that guaranteed a cool evening & night.
My sinuses don't appreciate the pollen, but my eyes & senses do love the flowers up in these mountains.
I'm waiting on a package to get here, so might be in town a couple days longer than I planned. But once it gets here & I get on the road I'll be making a +/- 140 mile drive, a big circle. Several really neat places to visit & the photography should be excellent.
So that sorta gets me caught up! I stayed on Cheat Mtn 4+ weeks this go round. The little road trip I'm going to do will be 4-6 days, then back onto Cheat Mtn! The difference in the temps & "heaviness" of the air is rather astounding! The cool, clear air of the mountains is calling!

Be Safe, Travel Easy & To The Woods!

C'ya, Frog & Abbie

Friday, June 17, 2022

Back on Cheat Mtn

Have returned back onto Cheat Mtn! The 2500 foot increase in elevation is just mind blowing the difference in "climate"! It is so much cooler here. While in town I almost let myself get way too hot. Took a few hours to cool down. So cut down number of errands, got laundry done.... And..... Topped off Lily-for $138.00! Aaarrrgggghhhhh!

Anyway - back on the mountain, breezy, 70°, calling for more rain, a grand day!

Hope this finds everyone doing well & you're keeping an eye on your personal "coolness"!
More pics to come soon!
Be Safe....Travel Easy..... Go to the Woods!

Frog & Abbie
🐸        🐶


Saturday, June 4, 2022

West Virginia - "Almost Heaven", as the song goes!!

 

 

A little out of focus!!
Made it to West Virginia! A bit later than planned, but, "I have a very flexible schedule"!! So here we are in the mountains until sometime in September!




 

Getting closer!
And it feels so good to be back! It is still warm in the low areas of the state, but once you get into the mountains....oh, it is "almost heaven"! At least for me it is! As I say, I look for 45-75 degrees all year. Woke up this morning and it was a very pleasant 46 degrees!

 

 

But, as I always "plan"....things don't always go real smoothly! And when you have a "home" that is 27 years old & sits on a van chassis....well, things just happen!

A bad day, driver!!
A bad day, Driver!!
Was on I-77 getting close to Elkins, WVa when Lily started making some odd noise that I was not used to. And so hit the shoulder and started checking her out...and....the outer wheel bearing on the driver's side was the issue.

Some of the highway workers stopped to lend a hand, and with a surprisingly easy job, we got down to the bearing and it was a bit dry of grease, so they had grease, repacked it and in short time, back on the road for the rest of the trip to Elkins.

Once in Elkins I went by "my" tire shop here and had 2 new tires put on the suitcase. Went up a size and from 4 to 6-ply tires. The forest roads here are not like the one out West. Here the main ones are covered with a layer of crushed granite! And that stuff is a bit on the sharp side. And I had no desire of blowing 2 year old tires with 20,000+ miles on them.  


 

Next day, I was running a couple of errands before heading up to Cheat Mountain to start the summer....and....well, that bearing I mentioned....it decided to just totally go to pieces....literally!!


 

Thankfully I was only, maybe, a quarter mile from the tire shop when it let go. So I "hobbled" Lily back to the shop and the repairs began. Now keep in mind, Lily IS 27 years old! And for some reason, the parts shops just don't see the need to keep bearings for a vehicle that old in stock! So Lily, Abbie & myself spent the night parked in front of Bay 1 at the shop! (I even called my parts guru in AL to make sure we were trying for the right bearing, since they had sent a total of 7 bearings to try out!) And guess what, not a single of the stores in AL had them in stock either!!

So next morning, bright and early, Lily had new bearings installed  and was ready to roll!! Left the shop and drove, oh, maybe 3 miles, to the Wally to get the last couple of things I needed. When I came out, put away the things I'd bought, hopped behind the wheel.....and Lily would not run! She would try to run, but no such luck!

The brand new, in-line fuel pump - the one that had been installed less than 3 weeks earlier - had died! And I mean dead died!!!! Yippee!!

A couple of friends here brought me a floor jack, and I proceeded to remove the NEW pump and go to get a replacement for it! There are some good things about the big box stores that have all their shops connected, so they could pull up the account, verify I had just bought it in AL and give me another NEW pump!  LOL!

An hour later, it was installed, everything put up, Lily purring away....and we were driving away to get up on the mountain before dark and rain got here!

So, all that being said....We are here!!!

There will be more coming soon...places to see, pictures to take & share, and cool weather to talk about!

Stick with us, I think this will be a good summer with lots to share!

C'ya soon! And remember.....

Be Safe, Travel Easy and Go to the Woods!!

Frog & Abbie


Sunday, May 22, 2022

Travels with Frog, 2021 A Good Year, Pt4

 Finally!!.....Part 4 is done! Took me a little while...had/have a lot more "stuff" than I realized. But here is the last installment! It is not all that I shot, but it is probably more than enough!!

Hope you enjoy it!!




Monday, April 11, 2022

Friday, April 8, 2022

TwF - Etowah Indian Mounds

 If you ever go through Cartersville, GA take the time to go by the Etowah Indian Mounds SP. It is well worth the time. The little museum is just excellent, they have a really well done video presentation about the history of the area, the tribe and the mounds. It is also a great place to let the kids run off some of that infinite energy they all seem to have and there are a number of picnic tables under the shade trees out front!

 


 And be sure to get out in the areas around you and see what there is available to visit! You will be surprised what is there close to home!!

 Be Safe, Travel Easy & Go To The Woods!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Twf 2021 Good Year Pt1

 
 
Part 1 of my 4 part series of Lily & my travels in 2021 is done...now to get to work on part 2!!
 
Hope you enjoy the trip!! 

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Spots Can Be Found!!

If you are able to take the time to "look around an area" then you can find spots that are "less inhabited"!  But you have to do a little looking....but sometimes while you are driving around you will stumble onto a spot that just fits the bill if you are trying to have the "beach experience" without the wind, surf, salt breeze and people around!

Now I have to be honest....I didn't check and never thought about the fact that I was in Corpus Christi, TX and Padre Island.....right at the START of "Spring Break"!!!!!  😎😮😒😣 

My first week on Padre South Beach was actually quite fabulous! There were basically NO people on the beach once past the 5 mile marker. 


It was sooo quiet that it was hard to believe how busy it got!! As I've said before, I'm not really a beach person...not a big fan of them most of the time. BUT....Padre Island holds a special place in my heart! The beaches are beautiful, the sand is awesomely white and soft, & the dunes are just really something to behold!!  

 

There's still 42 miles of beach to drive...in a 4X4!
But after my last experience on Padre...not understanding the Nat'l Weather Service broadcasts about the Gulf, the
wave heights, "on shore winds", etc....and getting my little motorhome (Europa) buried on the beach overnight with storm surge & 35+ mph winds....I now park at least 20 yards from the high tide line AND listen closely to the weather broadcasts!!

Having said all that...I also have to remember that folks that only come to the beach "to have fun" have a tendency to really rough up the sands on the beach, loosen it up and make it a not real pleasant time to try to drive along the beach.

 

 

 

So welcome to "Spring Break". It gets to be a real mad-house!

So on one of my drives, I went up to Port Aransas to look around and ride the ferry! It was a 45 minute wait in line, many vehicles and rather warm for
a 5 minute ride to get across the channel!  LOL! 

Then drove up to Aransas Pass to look around. And the road there is along a causeway that is sand flats and wet marshlands along the way. It really is a pretty drive! I noticed there were people fishing along the way, and there were a couple of campers set up also. Sooo.... I drove back to the area and down onto the sand flats, which are very well packed and level. 

Now mind you, it is close to the highway but after just a few minutes, you don't notice the traffic sounds much and the view is grand, the sun was great, the wind was not really a pain....and you can seemingly sit there having a very pleasant camping experience without worrying about being told there is a limit on days allowed (apparently because I sat for 5+ days twice and never had a visit!). 

So the trip this year "to the beach" was not extended, but it was an overall pleasant experience. And the "sand flats" location is definitely saved in my GPS!  

So if you get down to Padre Island, drive along Hwy 361 on Mustang Island to Port Aransas, hop on the ferry (which is a free ride) and head up to Aransas Pass. You can not miss the Sand Flats (it is several miles long and on both sides of the causeway) and spend a couple of days there. 

C'ya! And remember.....

Be Safe, Travel Easy & Go To The Woods!!! 

Frog  &  Abbie

🐸      🐶  

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

2021 was a good year!!

 Working on a video that covers our travels during 2021. I is getting close to being ready to post and I'll let you know here/IG/Patreon when it is up and ready to view.....now for a teaser of what is to come!!  🐸🐶


  


Hope you are enjoying our travels. We will be headed for West Virginia in a few weeks to get away from the heat and humidity of the summer for a few months, but there is a lot to see/visit in WVa!! So be prepared for quite a few posts over the summer!!


Monday, March 7, 2022

Padre Island Nat'l Seashore, TX

I would like to mention the fact that I am NOT your normal "beach person", but Padre Island Nat'l Seashore has a special place in my heart. Due to the dunes, the grass plains on the island and the history of the island!!! And the wildlife!






Made it to Padre Island Nat'l Seashore! And it is just a gorgeous as it always has been! Maybe even better right now due to the fact that Hurricane Hanna (Anna...don't remember) moved the sand dunes back about 50 yards!
 

 

 

 

So the beach is a lot wider than it had been!

In past years I was not able to drive much past the 5 Milepost...that is not a large issue now! I drove Lily all the way down to roughly the 22 mile point on the beach. Sand started to get just a bit deeper there as you can tell! So I headed back up the beach. Now, you have to know, that the drive to the seawall/channel on the Island is about 61 miles from the end of the pavement!




 

It was a grand stay for 6 days! The weather was quite good for this time of the year.The wind was not real bad and it was quite sunny! Felt great the majority of the time I was there this time. 

 

 

 


OH....and I have to say that the coyote that live on the Island are the largest I've ever seen! They rival wolves in size!

 

And...as is the case on most beaches...the sunrise/sunsets are almost always worthy of photos!!

 

 

 

 

 Most of the mornings were just so grand!







And the sunsets were just awesome!




 

 

 

 Right now I'm back in Corpus Christi at the kids place for a couple of days. There is another cold front coming, NWS is calling rain for the next 3 days. Grrrr.

I'm hoping to be back on the beach by this upcoming weekend. And I'll be in the area for a couple of weeks yet! 

Hope you are getting out to the woods or the beach or just out of the cities and hunting up Nature!! You'll never regret it!!

C'ya!!

The beach is lovely...especially when it is empty!! :-)
The grasslands run right up to the edge of the beach
There were a few folks out during the week, but not many!
The Inter-coastal Waterway runs at the back side of this picture so you can tell that the Island is not real wide...but awesome!
Just more of the grasslands....can you tell I like them?!  LOL
There were almost always clouds when the sun rose, but they were "burned" off fairly quickly most every day.
The road ahead leads to a small campground and the windsurfing area
And I will add that the sanitary dump station at Padre Island is probably one of the best that I have run into at a Nat'l Park. There are actually 4 stations that can be used, water for rinsing out the black water tank....or, as in my case, rinsing out your port-a-pot! And they have potable (drinking) water also available.
 
So I will actually end now! And leave you with this thought: If you ever have the opportunity to make it to Padre Island, during the "off season" - of touristy season - You really should take the time to try to see it!