Howdy. This is where I (Bernie Harberts) post about my travels by mule, boat and bike.
To join me for an authentic mule voyage, check out the Lost Sea Expedition, the Rocky Mountain PBS series about my 14 month mule voyage across America.
Stream the series on:
My wife Julia’s take on things at Considering Animals.com.
Where is home? Where, indeed, is home when you sleep in a tent one night. Or your sleeping bag cast out under stars. Or the horse trailer of someone you met 2 hours ago on the side of the road. Or someone’s spare bedroom. Where is home to the man who is traveling the land with his mules?
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
The first time I ran away, I was naked except for a pair of rubber boots. I was 4 years old. It was a short run-away, to my buddy’s house. I’ve been rambling ever since, only slightly better dressed.
Seems a lot of other folks have the same rambling urge.
This… Continue reading
A good kerosene lantern makes you wish the power would stay off a few more lamp lit meals. A bad one makes you choke and hope like hell the power company gets the lights back on as soon as possible. The truth lies somewhere between the romance and the smoke.
Radville, Saskatchewan is a town of about 800 nestled fifty miles north of Plenytwood Montana. I’ve spent the past week here, guest of the town, preparing mule Polly for the Lost Sea Expedition.
First, thanks loads to Mayor Dave and everyone else who came out to visit with mule Polly and me last night. According to Jeannette Verhelst, “We were cooking up hamburgers so fast in the Zamboni room we had to keep sending back to the Co-op for more.”… Continue reading
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Our State Woody and Maggie article
It’s nice to see you posting again. I’ve missed you. I hope your heart is recovering from a truly difficult winter. Thoughts of comfort are drifting your way from Western Washington.
I’ve written and read a lot of obituaries lately. In the span of eighteen months, my mother, dad, mule, pack pony and family dog have died. None of this comes as a surprise. The young are supposed to scatter the ashes of the old. Then they go on living. Potatoes are banked. Winesaps are pruned. Commutes are commuted. May be some ash slips in to the orchard.
Here’s a look back at two extraordinary equines that took me in to… Continue reading
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.
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