Ride out the Front Gate

Snake Bites Mule

Snake bites mule: Brick tangles with a non-poisonous black snake.

A while back, Julia and I rode spent six weeks traveling with two saddle and one pack mule from our farm in western North Carolina to Virginia and back. We posted a lot of stories on this trip but here’s one I never got around to sharing with you.

Julia was riding a mule named Dusty we’d borrowed from our friend Ronald Hudson. I was riding my mule Brick. As… Continue reading

The Hoof Boot Report: 3 Boots After 32 Days on the Trail

Consumer Reports just won’t report on some things. These are the boots we’re reviewing. Here’s how they looked during our month-long mule ramble.

The word “report” brings to mind images of white paper, statistics, lab coats and, yawn, boring facts. This is not that kind of report. Rather, it’s the account of what my wife Julia and I learned after spending 32 days on the road with 3 mules and 3 different kinds of hoof boots. This may be the… Continue reading

Welcome to RiverEarth.com

Howdy. This is where I (Bernie Harberts) post about my travels by mule, boat and bike.

Mules Cracker and Brick on my recently completed 2,200 mile ramble from NC to ID ramble (Sue Waddell photo)

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.

Happy Adventuring!

Bernie


Living Lean and Feeling Bionic

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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

The Mule Ramble Begins

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Julie and I moments before we swung in to the saddle to begin our mule ramble. We are traveling with (L-R) Dusty, Polly and Brick.

We’re off! Today (Friday), Julia and I swung in to our saddles and began our mule ramble. Today we’re riding to the Happy Valley Fiddler’s Convention (Happy Valley, NC). The 10 mile ride should take about 4 – 5 hours. Yeah, the first days of a mule journey are slooooooow. I look forward to posting… Continue reading

Ya Need a Needle

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Where’s the needle in this picture? In my beard, my hat or my bandana? Why do I need it? Read on.

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

Let the Photos Speak

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Julia working on her relationship with mule Dusty. He’s actually a lovable hard working mule…just has some quirks. She borrowed him from our good friend Ronald Hudson for this trip.

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.


Tent Goodnight

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The tent tonight. For us, this is luxury lodging: we’re set up inside a cow barn.(Damascus, VA)

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.
Enjoy.
Sleep tight.
Bernie

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My mattress… Continue reading

Sought: Lodging for 3 Mules

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Mule time: out here traveling the land with our mules, shadow length, not what the clock says, is how we measure time.

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

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