Hello, Thanks for visiting our website. We are Mike and Robin Dean and are Full-Time RV'ers. That's our home (TX license plate, Trtl-1) and car (TX license plate, MyToad) in the pictures above.
This site uses "Frames" and is best viewed at 1280 x 1024
This travel blog was started when I was still traveling alone. I now have a wife and traveling partner, Robin Dean (nee Zimmer), who joined me just prior to my departure from Washington State, on my way to West Yellowstone, in April 2006. Consequently, everything from here to the "Summer 06" entries will be in First Person, Singular. Robin will introduce herself at the appropriate time.
This site is dedicated to my travels around the North American continent (and overseas, when I get there), and will cover a period starting in September 2003. It is primarily for keeping my friends and relatives up to date on where I've been, what I've seen, and what is planned next. It also will document the road and RV park conditions and other travel information for my fellow RV'ers. Almost all the pictures on these pages and the photo albums can be enlarged by clicking on them. I use a 6 mpx digital camera so I have edited all the photos to load in less than 10 seconds on a 256 kbs connection. This has reduced the clarity of some photos so they may look a little fuzzy. If anyone is interested in enlarging any of the photos, please contact me for the original files. Also, on most pages, there will be a clickable map in the place of my mug shot. This map will show the actual route I took from the previous stop. To return to your previous screen, click on the back arrow on your browser. Clicking on the close (X) button will take you out of my website. (on edit, I've discovered a new and faster way to create my albums so when you get into the "East Coast 04" trip, the albums will be a new screen and to return to the blog, you close the album screen) I'm new to website design and am having a problem with keeping the correct button lit when you return to a page using the browser "back" button, please bear with me while I figure this out. If this is your first visit and you would like to receive e-mail notifications when I add more material, just send me an e-mail and I'll put you on my list. My e-mail address is at the bottom of this page and at the top of this and almost all other pages.
WARNING!! For those that don't know me, I should warn you that I'm a card-carrying nudist (AANR & TNS) and spend a lot of time in nudist resorts. Consequently I've put the reports on nudist resorts on their own page to prevent people from unknowingly making reservations at a nudist resort. Due to restrictions imposed by the web host, I've removed all photos that include nudity until I get the OK from them.
If you are interested in who I am and what I've done in life, please visit my Bio page.
This site will be broken up into "Trips" and will start with my trip across Canada, later I will add a previous 6 month trip covering the West Coast, including Arizona and a visit to Quartzsite. Future trips will be; East Coast, Gulf Coast, Mexico, and Alaska. Each Trip will be divided into "Segments" (or legs). Each segment will start with my departure from the previous stop, the road conditions to the next stop, and my experiences at that next stop.
For those that are just interested in the pictures or are looking for information on a particular leg of my trip,each segment has links to the related photo album(s), maps, and web links. The photo albums are also listed under "Albums" at the top of the page. Some segments have more than one photo album and some albums have more than one page. Maps and website's can also be seen by clicking on the "Maps" or "Links" button.
I'd been on the road for about a year when I started this website, so I've got a little catching up to do. But, since my friends and relatives are interested in what I'm doing now (at least most of them), and not the past, and I've got some RV'ers that are interested in the road conditions across the Redcoat Trail in Canada, I'm starting with the beginning of my Trans-Canadian trip and add the older trips as I get time. Also, I'll add the narrative page for each segment as soon as possible while the info is fresh in my mind. The related photo's will come later. Sorry Sis, you'll just have to wait for my Santa Cruz pics.
For those that are interested in such things, Trtl-1 is a 2004, 37 foot, Forest River Georgetown XL, with 3 slides, 1 1/2 baths, 3 battery banks (one dedicated to the DC/AC inverter), 275 watts of solar panels on top, along with a KVH-3 Satellite TV antenna, standard broadcast antenna, radio antenna, and CB antenna. There is a mount for a 8 ft WiFi whip (which I keep in the front storage compartment) on the upper left front corner. If that weren't enough I've also got 2 air conditioners and 4 vents (3 powered) up there. I will be adding a couple more solar panels later. On the back of the coach is the rear view CCTV camera and microphone.
I also carry a Dish 1000 tripod mounted dish (to get the digital HD satellites for my 32 inch HD LCD TV) and a tripod mounted Hughes satellite internet dish. My coach is completely WiFi and can act as a "Hotspot" (hence the 8 ft, 15 db whip).
MyToad is a 2006 Toyota Tacoma with a 5 speed automatic, full skid plates, and the TRD off-road package, which includes a locking rear end. A Remco driveshaft disconnect allows towing with all 4 wheels on the ground without worry. My braking system is a "Brake Buddy" with the brake-away kit and wireless monitor in the RV. My towing system is an Excali-Bar by Demco. I have an 8 ft Porta-Bote (folding boat) on a roof rack on the toad, and a 2 HP, 4 Stroke Honda outboard and an electric trolling motor in one of the RV storage compartments. Batteries for the trolling motor are stored in the toad's bed, along with tent camping gear and a small air compressor.
I also have a 6X12 enclosed trailer that has been set up as a workshop and storage unit. It has a workbench down one side with the table saw and router table as inserts. I will be adding a joiner and possibly a planer and radial arm saw at a future date. We usually leave the trailer at our homebase in Phoenix during the winter, and take it with us when our summer work requires it. We also keep my old toad, a 1998 Cavalier, at home base so we both can have a vehicle to use while there. Note; As of 11/07 we have changed homebase and now have a site at Natures Resort in Edcouch Texas. We are now Winter Texans. Edcouch is in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) about 1 hour from Brownsville and South Padre Island and 15 minutes from the border and Progreso Nuevo.
All comments and/or suggestion are welcome. Address them to mike at turtleandtoad.com
If you would like to recommend a stop or place to visit, by all means drop me a line! However, just remember I may be further along than you think, I can't always find an internet connection that allows me to FTP to my website at each location. In fact, due to problems beyond my control, it looks like I will be in the Canadian Maritimes before I get this website up and running!
If you've got comments about the website, just remember, I'm not an expert at web design (yet) and am open to any suggestions. I'm using Dreamweaver MX2004 to design this site and haven't figured out all the bells and whistles yet. You may notice that the highlighted buttons may not agree with the current page after you've used the back button, this is one of the things that I'm still working on.
Thanks and enjoy
Mike & Robin Dean