Yearly Archives: 2013

Winter 2014 "Hoofing It" Programs

Gulp! Woody and Maggie pause to gawk at a traveler in distress. This time it’s Jonah “swallowed” by a whale in Granite Fall, NC. The two (pony and mule, not boy and whale) walked across North Carolina – and the USA – a while back. You can learn about this voyage at one of the following “Hoofing It” programs.

So you left Christmas in the dust. Made some resolutions but back slid moments after 2014 kicked off. Now you’ve got… Continue reading

Watch "Mule Rider" on UNC-TV

Fancy life in a mule wagon? Last winter, mule Polly and I hit the road with a film crew from UNC-TV. We spent the better part of a week traveling the back roads of eastern North Carolina – from Oriental to Aurora. Through the dormant potato fields, past the moored shrimp boats and giant rusting anchors. We visited with net maker Virgil Potter and guitar picker John Carawan.

What the film crew captured that blustery week recently aired as… Continue reading

The Mule at Your Window

Mule Polly has it sussed. While I’m inside sampling some of Newfoundland’s finest home cooked meals, say a skillet of caplin fried in fatback on an oil range, someone will say, “Look! There’s a horse looking in the window.” At which point I look up from my plate of fried fish and say, “yeah, that’s just mule Polly. I think she’d like some molasses bread.”

Chalk it up as a peril of Newfie hospitality.

The mule at your window (Red… Continue reading

UNC-TV and Our State "Mule Rider" Program

Note: the following article is about the making of “Mule Rider”, the UNC-TV program that ran the “Our State” program on October 3.
Post Scrip: You can watch the program below

Bayboro, North Carolina. That winter night I parked the wagon by the shrimp boat fleet. Their nets hung like green mist. Mule Polly was grazing next to that giant anchor and I thought of how all day long, she’d marched through the wind and highway trucks and now… Continue reading

Ronald's Borrowed Vomit Saddle Bags

It started pouring with rain and in minutes I was soaked. As was Buddy, the mule I was sitting on. And coming from Polly, my pack mule, a noxious, air sick smell. Damn, maybe Ronald was right. Maybe someone really had puked in to those duffel bags he’d loaned me.

Buddy the saddle mule carries me across the Low Water Bridge. Carrying the pack saddle – and a load of mysterious smelling cargo – is my mule Polly. Look closely… Continue reading

It's Not's What's Over the Door

This week I went rambling in the Uwharrie Forest with Polly and Buddy, my mule companions. Just the three of us, 100 miles of road and a bit of gear: hammock, sleeping bag and string. No great mission. Just two mules and a man out clearing his head.

Days, we traveled the back roads. Nights we camped with friends new and old. The second night I slept in a hammock tied to Wayne Hussey’s corn crib.

My ramble mates Buddy… Continue reading

Pack Saddle Temptation

Mule Polly never was intended to be a pack mule. The mule that I drove from Canada to Mexico and across Newfoundland has made it clear she doesn’t count carrying a pack saddle among her duties. Last time she was doing the beast of burden thing, she ran away, crashed her packs into some trees and high-tailed it to camp. Ronald Hudson, Polly’s last owner, has me warned she was ticklish about the subject.

This weekend I could take it… Continue reading

How to Stow Away on a Sailboat

So you want to stow away on a sailboat, eh? Blend in somewhere on something like that salty sailboat I built 20 years ago. See where it takes you.

Damn. Unless you could shape shift into a seat cushion, brass lantern or bronze port, I’d rate the odds of remaining undetected on a 18 1/2 footer as slim to delusional. If you still insist, though, I would suggest seeking shelter in a cockpit locker. Don’t try to hide under the… Continue reading

Seek Work

Then came the day I realized I was 45, my dad was almost twice that, and I needed a job. Cash money baby. The folding kind. Not the kind that gets electronically deposited into your account on Friday. No, for that you need to commute and smell nice and tuck in your shirt.

The lifestyle that Polly and I had chosen just wasn’t up for that zeros and one kind of monetary lifestyle.

Polly’s my mule.

Nope, it was all… Continue reading

Adrift Between Missions

My ship has sunk. I’m sitting in my dinghy which has become my life raft. Around me the ocean is empty, blue and calm.

…the ocean is empty, blue and calm… A photo I took from my dinghy while sailing my sailboat “Sea Bird” 65 days from the Cape of Good Hope back to the Virgin Islands. Luckily my boat didn’t sink because…..

…it would have been a long row back to shore. Here, the approximate location of where the… Continue reading
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