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Foggy Desert Start

A few mornings ago, the mules and I woke to a heavy fog. I saddled the damp mules and we headed in to the foggy desert landscape.

Fogged in
First tracks: we followed this dirt road, where we’d camped, to the highway.
Usually, when a windmill is turning, you can hear the clank of the sucker rod, the rod that pulls the water from the ground. On this foggy morning, muted by fog, the wind mill silently pumped water to… Continue reading

Windmill Water

The mules and I are riding deeper and deeper in to the eastern Wyoming desert. Creeks, ponds and lakes, reliable watering sources to the east, have vanished. Increasingly we are relying on windmills for water.

Windmill water (south of Shawnee, Wyoming)

Across the Dry Land

Every day, mules Brick and Cracker drink 5 to 10 gallons of water apeice. I get by on less than a gallon. Until now, we’ve traveled from town to town. Mornings, I fill my jugs… Continue reading

Sunday Wind Mill Shadow

7:35am: That seventh day has rolled back ’round again. Coffee pots from coast to coast are bubbling to life. Your brain’s still calm before the caffeine. I was going through my photos of the week and this one just seemed restful.

Shadow and windmill (south of Shawnee, Wyoming)

It’s a photo I took last week when I came across a wind mill when I really needed one. That story coming up this week.

I like this photo because it… Continue reading

The Beet Piler

“I’m tired of standing there by the beet piler watching the beets fall,” he said. “I want to be a truck driver.”

Taking a break to explain beets.

He wasn’t piling beets when I met him. He was mowing grass and his mower had overheated. While he waited for it to cool he told me about working sugar beets.

“The beet season starts mid-September and runs until the first frost. They grow the beets east of here, pick them then… Continue reading

Night at the White Wolf Saloon

I walk across deserts with mules. I drink beer in saloons. Last night I ended up sitting across from a bottled alien talking mules and Wyoming with Carl and Diane Strode. They own the White Wolf Saloon.

Carl and Diane Strode: White Wolf Saloon proprietors. The pickled alien is from Devil’s Tower.
Welcome to the White Wolf Saloon: never accept candy from a ghoul with a top hat (though a beer is okay).

I don’t carry beer on saddle trips.… Continue reading

What Do You Want to Know?

Question: what do you want to read or see more about on my current mule voyage across America? I ask this because today it dawned on me that my journey from North Carolina to Hailey, Idaho is about 3/4 complete.

We started in Lenoir, North Carolina. We’ve traveled 1,600 miles to Douglas, Wyoming. Only 550 miles to go to Hailey, Idaho.

Yikes.

I Write for Me

I’ve always written the RiverEarth.com blog for my readers and me. I don’t get… Continue reading

Blow Your Whistle at my Mules

Maybe the mules and I have been alone too long. Maybe I’m childish. Who cares. Fist-pumping the Nebraska sky to get a coal train to blow its whistle at the mules and me amuses the hell out of me.

That ol’ train whistle sure makes me smile. I hope it does you, too.

Whistle Post Script

The whistle blowing caper happened in the Sand Hills of Nebraska. The mules and I have since traveled to eastern Wyoming.

Wyoming Welcome

We made Wyoming!

Greetings from area code 307, aka Wyoming. The state has so few people (less than 600k), it only needs one area code. This week, the state of “Equal Rights” made room for one traveling man and 2 mules.

Our route from the past 2 weeks. (Google maps)

Mules Cracker and Brick and I are taking a few days off in Douglas to catch our breathes. In the past two weeks, they’ve walked 225 miles from Hyannis, Nebraska… Continue reading

Drying Out

Surely as we walk toward the setting sun, the land is drying out.

Drying out: Brick takes a beak from walking up a minimum maintenance road outside Hazard, Nebraska. A few weeks ago, this road would have been a muddy mess. Now it crunches underfoot.

The mid-West flooded this spring but now the rain has stopped. The mud is drying and cracking. Cracking like alligator skin under our hoofs and boots.

3 shades of grey

It’s drying out in Nebraska.… Continue reading

Salt

Arrrgggggg! Salt! Cracker putting the Lollipop Lick on half a salt block I gave him recently. Brick got the other half.

Summer in western Nebraska. The mules are sweating and I’m sweating and we’re all craving salt. If I drank coffee in the morning I’d pour it in to that but I don’t so I douse my lentils and rice with the white stuff.

Summer in Nebraska: the area we’re traveling through was once part of what was referred as… Continue reading
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