the travels of Bernie Harberts at RiverEarth.com. The "Lost
Sea Expedition" is Bernie's voyage in a mule wagon through
the center of the USA - across what was millions of years
ago a sea.
Technology on the mule wagon! Once
Bernie is underway MuleCam will update every hour with
a new picture of where the Expedition is...
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Where are the Mules on MuleCam?
by Bernie at 10:54 AM
I hear it all the time. "If you call it MuleCam, where are the mules?"
The answer's simple. I don't have any right now - well, not any I'd trust to pull my wagon.
What about Woody?
It occurred to me that since he'd had already walked across America, he'd probably make a fine wagon-pulling mule. And he jumped too. That showed flexibility.
Woody the showjumping mule
In a moment of enthusiasm, I draped an old harness on him, hitched him to a log and as I stepped aboard, called to my buddy Alex, "Watch this!"
Woody bolted, flipped me off the log and galloped loose across Mel's lawn, the log bouncing ever-higher and coming down ever-harder on his heels. That only fueled his flight, he wrapped the log around a fence post and ripped of most of his harness before he came to stop in his pasture. It took me the rest of the afternoon to find the hame-ball, that silver ball that goes on top of the harness. He'd thrown clear into another horse's pasture.
Ok, he just needed a heavier load.
Figuring more weight might help, I hitched him to a quiet draft mule and hooked the team to a 600 pound wood sled. With a superior grin, I hopped onto the heavy conveyance and snickered "Ok, Woody boy. Let's see you run off now."
He squatted, lurched into his harness and the sled jumped forward. Then we settled into a steady walking pace.
Yes! I'd just found a mule to pull my wagon!
I steered the team down to Mel's house for a good gloat. Mel was on the back porch. "Mel check this out!" I shouted and slid the sled to a stop next to her red sports car. "I think I've found Woody a new career as a pulling mule!"
I stepped off the wagon to pet Woody. "Way to go old..." and before "boy" escaped my lips Woody bolted toward Mel's car. With a rear Pegasus couldn't match he cleared the roof with his chest and galloped down the driveway, the other mule and the 600 pound sled in tow.
"Woody! No!" was all I could get out and then I saw the vet at the clinic next door lead a sleek show-horse from his barn. "Loose mule!" I shouted just as Woody leveled out a dead run.
Just then Mel's holly tree hove into view. Woody ran on one side of it, his teammate on the other, and the sled crashed square into the trunk. That brought the runaway to a dead stop and I could only wonder.
What would've happened if Woody had spooked with my wagon - the one with the MuleCam in it? Sure, it would've made a few fantastic shots. But the last one would be of the wagon on its side.
So I untangled Woody, the sled and the other mule and drove them back to the barn. Then I unharnessed both animals and swore never again to hitch the one I'd ridden across America.
That's why you see barbecues and blue bottles on MuleCam. For now...
(Photos courtesy of Susan Edwards)