Monthly Archives: September 2018
Out here roaming the Virginia Highlands with our mules, we’re in possession of a sliver of steel as important as lentils, hoof boots and butt cheek callouses.
That would be the humble needle. The good old fashioned, honest-as-a-Norman-Rockwell-painting needle. The humble needle that harks back to the days of mending socks and shirts and your britches when they split.… Continue reading
Some days words capture our mule ramble best. Other days it’s photos. Today’s one of those picture days. Julia captures the mule ramble mood on her Saddle Under the Stars blog. Some beautiful scenery and mule interaction is just a click away.
Goodnight from our tent. It’s been a rainy day for mule travel. Julia and I are holed up waiting dryer weather. We’re here in Mike Johnson’s cow barn (Damascus, VA) cozy and dry, grateful for all the fine folks that have taken care of us during our mule ramble. Here’s what it’s like inside our tent tonight.
Julia and I are riding our mules across the Appalachian back roads. It’s noon. The sun hangs plumb above our heads before starting its slow descent to the wooded horizon. The mules throw fat shadows, a set of stumpy shadows walking beside their real legs.
The sun slides down the other side of its daily arc, toward the… Continue reading
Our mules are working hard carrying us over hill and dale. It’s only fair we keep in shape ourselves. Here’s how our morning workout looks like.
It’s about Mile 100 of our mule journey. We have settled in to the mule ramble pace. I say “about” Mile 100 because we don’t really know how far we’ve come. And… Continue reading
The man hunched over the plastic container on the side of the road was grabbing at the dirt. We’d seen all sorts of sight on our mule ramble. So far, though, nobody shuffling through the damp leaves on the shoulder looking for, what the hell….? Meet Chris, worm seeker.
Three weeks ago we started our mule ramble. We rode out the farm gate with our three mules and headed in to North Carolina’s High County. Ten days later, Hurricane Florence chased us off the road. Julia just posted the mule ramble equivalent of the “half time report” on her Saddle Under the Stars blog. It’s a great read on our adventure to date. It’s about dealing with… Continue reading
It’s a rainy Sunday. We’re taking a short break from the mule ramble to wait out Hurricane Florence. We’re sorting photos, editing footage and reflecting on some of the interesting people we met during our amble through the western North Carolina hills.
One of the memorable people we’re thinking back on is Dave Demour. Dave’s an amazing stone artist, ex-monk, singer song writer and resiedent of Todd, NC. We could tell you more about Dave but this video sums up… Continue reading
Eustace Conway: mountain man from “Mountain Men”. Here’s a Sunday evening story about how Julia and I try to track him down on our mule ramble.
It’s night. We’re stretched out in our pitch black tent (see pic above). We’re recording our musings. Crank up the volume. Kick back and chill.
(Post Script: this recording was made last week. We’re holed up right now at our cabin waiting for hurricane… Continue reading