A North Carolina couple has trekked tens of thousands of miles in a RV across the country – taking their pet goat Frankie along for the ride.
‘Frankie is a great travel buddy,’ artist Cate Battles, who travels with her husband Chad, told CNN Travel recently.
She elaborated further in an episode of Discovery+ miniseries, The Bond, that focused on the itinerant gang, adding: ‘She’s incredibly smart, really inquisitive. She’s just one of the most affectionate animals I’ve ever met.
‘She’s our ride or die. She’s our adventure buddy!’
Artist and content creator Cate Battles got her pet goat Frankie in 2014
By 2016, Cate and her husband, Chad (pictured), hit the road with Frankie in a 1976 Airstream
The gang has since traveled more than 60,000 miles, spending most of each year crisscrossing the country
Admitting that she has ‘always been fascinated by goats,’ Cate got Frankie, a pygmy-Nigerian dwarf mix, as a gift from a friend in 2014.
‘Before Cate came along, I really was ambivalent about goats. Hadn’t even given it a thought!’ Chad confessed in the show, adding that he hadn’t even been aware of the plan to add Frankie to the family.
‘When Cate first brought Frankie home, I said, “No goats in the bed.” That didn’t last long!” he continued.
‘Maybe a day?’ Cate chimed in, laughing.
The pair, who have been married for a decade, first took to the road in 2016, shortly after Chad sold his Asheville, NC, bar as his kids headed off to college.
‘We were thinking about what the next chapter of our life looked like, since we were empty nesters,’ Cate told CNN Travel.
‘So we decided that we’d pick out a new town and state and do some traveling.’
For the country-crisscrossing endeavor, the couple acquired a nearly half-century-old Argosy-model Airstream from 1976 and renovated it from the inside out.
The couple estimates they’ve traveled more than 60,000 miles with Frankie since 2016
While Cate and Chad weren’t sure how Frankie would fare on the road, the goat proved to be a natural explorer
The Airstream’s exterior now also features a wraparound mural by Cate, inspired by the group’s travels and Woody Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land.
Cate and Chad left Frankie behind on their first trip with the Airstream, with that expedition lasting six months and culminating with the duo’s decision to relocate from Asheville to Grants Pass, Oregon, in 2017.
While they were initially nervous about how the goat would fare on the road, Frankie proved to be a natural explorer.
‘She’s really easy to travel with. Since she was a little kid, we had her pretty well potty-trained. So that’s always good too,’ Cate said.
With that, they pull over every couple of hours to let Frankie snack on greenery and stretch her legs – creating even more opportunities for day-to-day discoveries in the wilds of America.
The couple estimated that they’d traveled more than 60,000 miles to date.
The group initially included Cate’s elderly cocker spaniel, Maggie, who passed away in 2019
Just weeks ago, the couple welcomed their new rescue dog, Corndog, to the family
‘Part of living this lifestyle, is we have such a thirst for learning new things, experiencing new things, new places, new people, new food, new scenery, new flora,’ Cate gushed in The Bond.
‘It’s not just natural places we like to check out. We also like to go to quirky roadside attractions: the world’s biggest yo-yo, or Salvation Mountain, or the world’s biggest easel.’
For the first few years of road-tripping, the group was also accompanied by their elderly cocker spaniel, Maggie.
Sadly, the beloved pooch passed away in spring of 2019, shortly after Frankie and Maggie made an appearance in The Dodo’s Odd Couples series.
Just weeks ago, however, the family welcomed a new rescue dog, dubbed Corndog, to the family.
‘Welcome home Corndog!’ the Instagram caption read, revealing the adoption.
As of late, the annual routine of the multi-species family has been to spend most of the year at their home base in Grants Pass – while setting aside at least a few months for traveling.
Since the outset of their adventures, Cate has also been maintaining a blog dubbed Argosy Odyssey after the Airstream model.
The blog has spilled over into Instagram handle @argosyodyssey, which now boasts more than 21,000 followers – many of whom are outspoken fans of Frankie.
As Chad quipped of the dynamic: ‘Frankie doesn’t live in our world, we live in Frankie’s world.’