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Living Lean and Feeling Bionic

Bernie Harberts, mule, mule polly, lost sea expedition, adventure, lost sea expedition, amazon prime

Mule ramblin’ digs: Julia and the mules prepare to bunk down for the night on last fall’s mule ramble. We spent six weeks traveling from our farm in western NC to Virginia and back. (Iron Mountain Trail, Damascus, VA)

“There’s a certain sharpness that comes from not being comfortable all the time.”
That’s Julia writing about our month and a half long mule ramble we took last fall. We traveled with little more than a tent, 2 jugs of water… Continue reading

Mule Polly and I go to the Dentist

Mule Polly and I both went to the dentist this week. Separately.
We took different approaches to visiting the tooth doc. I brushed and flossed my teeth bleed ’til they damn near bled. Polly just got on the horse trailer.
We drove her over to Dr Hay at Tryon Equine Associates in Tryon.

I’ve been going to the dentist since the tooth fairy shook down my parents for a dollar. This was Polly’s first visit.
That’s the equivalent of a… Continue reading

Ursula Daniel Obituary (1935 – 2018)

Ursula Daniel
(1935 – 2019)

Ursula Daniel, ursula blatter

Ursula Daniel in 2015 when she returned to Switzerland, home of her birth (Elfenau Park photo, Bern Switzerland)

Ursula Daniel died December 9, 2018 in Bern, Switzerland.
Ursula was born in Bern, Switzerland in 1935 to Fritz and Heidi (née Egger) Blatter. She studied and worked as an actress until she left Switzerland for an acting job in Vienna in 1956.

Ursula Daniel, ursula blatter

Ursula: stage actress

Soon after arriving in Austria, the Hungarian Revolution erupted in neighboring… Continue reading

Sign up for the Newsletter

It sure has been great having you along for the Mules West ramble.  Though that journey is winding down, it would be great to stay in touch with you. If you’d like to get a heads up from me every now and then, just sign up for my newsletter. 

There’s a better way to communicate than tumbleweeds: a scene from my Lost Sea Expedition series on Amazon Prime (Keyes, OK)

No, I won’t pester you with a bunch of emails.… Continue reading

The Drover's Slides

January 5 was my birthday and it got me looking back through my old slides. Funny how life changes. Thirteen years ago I was living in New Zealand chasing cows with Allan Crawford. These days I live on my farm in western North Carolina. I chase mules instead of cows. When I run to town, it’s for diesel, memory cards and wifi, not shark oil, scones and slide film.

allan crawford new zealand

Allan Crawford: Kiwi stockman, drover and, for a spell, my boss… Continue reading

Finally a Mailbox

The past fifteen years I’ve gotten mail everywhere but in my own mailbox. Much of it has to do with my traveling ways. It’s hard to blame the post man for not filling your letter box if you’re never around – and don’t own a mailbox.

It’s something I finally got around to correcting.

descriptor of shot

Home, sweet, barely visible home. It’s a fifteen minute round trip walk from my house to the new mail box. Look closely and you can see… Continue reading

Art Harberts 1926 to 2014

Sad news. My dad, Arthur Stanley Harberts, died this week. He was 87. The obituary I wrote for my best friend, Dust Bowler, husband and dad reads as such:

My dad Art Harberts on his 87th birthday. He never was much of a cake man so I just put the candles on a bottle of his favorite whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Black Label. He died at home surrounded by his family.

Art Harberts, son of William and Lydia (nee Schmidt) Harberts,… 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

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
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