Travel by Mule & Wagon

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Ice Bergs and Blankets

Polly lies down in the tall grass of L’Ans aux Meadows, Newfoundland. It’s as much for rest as it is for warmth On a clear day such as this, the coast of Labrador -and the occasional iceberg – can be spotted on the horizon. The upturned boats are relics of a major downturn in the Newfoundland fishery.

Four days before the official start of summer and there are icebergs floating by my wagon’s front door. No, they’re not going to… Continue reading

Walter King Ponders the Mule Wagon

“What the hell is that thing?” You get that a lot traveling with a mule and wagon. Leave the rig for an errand, and often as not you’ve drawn a crowd of guys, hands jammed in their pockets, speculating with each other on what it is they’ve found.

“The hell….?” Our traveling contraption. (Sydney, Nova Scotia)

Which is what happened recently in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Polly and her wagon were loaded on my trailer. We were waiting to get on… Continue reading

The Importance of Going Offline

In the coming weeks and months I plan to travel through Newfoundland with mule Polly. Unlike past voyages, where I’ve posted updates every few days, I will post less frequently.

Part of it is geography. Newfoundland is a remote island. With no cell or satellite phone at my disposal, I won’t be able to get online. Or even make phone calls.

Part of it is my brain.

In recent years, I’ve noticed there’s an inverse relationship between soaking up a… Continue reading

Newfoundland Bound

Small wonder Polly takes a nap when I pull her off the trailer at the end of the day. In the past week and a half, we’ve traveled close to 2000 miles – from Asheboro, North Carolina to Syndey, Nova Scotia. Here, Polly catches a nap around mile 1562. That would be Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Meanwhile, Yari Msika and a jumping pal go airborne. His parents Theirry and Maran Msika put us up a few days in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.… Continue reading

A Time and a Place


Small wonder Polly takes a nap when I pull her off the trailer at the end of the day. In the past week and a half, we’ve traveled close to 2000 miles – from Asheboro, North Carolina to Syndey, Nova Scotia. Sydney. Here, Polly catches a nap around mile 1562. Meanwhile, Yari Msika and a jumping pal go airborne. His parents Theirry and Maran Msik put us up a few days in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

When voyaging by wagon, I… Continue reading

The First 800 Miles

Mile 802: a gaff rigged sloop hauled out on a traditional marine railway. In the foreground, the stern of a beached chebacco boat. Both vessels are working boat types that plied the water around Essex and Gloucester, MA in the days of working sail. (Essex, MA)

Wow. The start of my latest mule journey was uglier than the paint job on my ’92 Dodge. Eighteen hours cooped up in the crusty cab. With no radio. Or cruise control. Not even… Continue reading

Holy Hornets Nest It's Journey Time

I love to haul stuff. Preferably on a rig of my own clobbering together. Take this week’s challenge. Haul mule Polly and her wagon 2200 miles from North Carolina to Nova Scotia and beyond.

The answer to this week’s hauling challenge

Enter the sawed off, we-ain’t-got-the-new-toys-but-we-do-have-a-1961-horse trailer ethic.

The tricky thing about hauling Polly and my wagon is that my mule wagon’s too tall to fit into a standard horse trailer. Sure, for money, lots of it, I could buy… Continue reading

Ground Goobers and the Egg Man

So last week mule Polly and I are traveling across eastern North Carolina in my just-built mule wagon. Getting ready for our Canadian Maritime Adventure.

The view from inside the wagon. In the background, mule Polly fills her tank. (Bayboro, NC)

If you recall, the wagon is actually two parts. Part One: the forecart, on which I sit, is a two wheeled cart outfitted with a trailer hitch. Part Two: the wagon, is a two-wheeled trailer that serves as living… Continue reading

End of the Wagon Day

A kerosene lantern inside the wagon. The patterned fabric in the background is a blanket that serves as part of my wagon cover. The sticks in the tin can are fat wood, also called lighter wood, I use to start my wood stove. It was gathered on a recent wagon outing.

It’s been a long week here aboard the mule wagon – hence the short post. In the past 8 days, Polly and I have traveled over 90 miles through… Continue reading

Wagon Construction Week 5

The concept was simple. Build a two-wheeled cart. Build a two-wheeled covered wagon. Hitch the wagon to the cart and pull the rig through the Canadian Maritimes. I built the cart. I built the wagon.

So far, so good for 5 weeks of work.

Polly hooked to the cart. Technically, it’s called a forecart. It was designed to pull equine powered implements such as plows, hay rakes or scrapers. I’ve repurposed it to pull my wagon. On the back of… Continue reading
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