Ride out the Front Gate

The Mule Ramble so Far

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Our route to date. We started our ramble at our front gate.

Three weeks ago we started our mule ramble. We rode out the farm gate with our three mules and headed in to North Carolina’s High County. Ten days later, Hurricane Florence chased us off the road. Julia just posted the mule ramble equivalent of the “half time report” on her Saddle Under the Stars blog. It’s a great read on our adventure to date. It’s about dealing with… Continue reading

The Singing ex-Monk Dave Demour

It’s a rainy Sunday. We’re taking a short break from the mule ramble to wait out Hurricane Florence. We’re sorting photos, editing footage and reflecting on some of the interesting people we met during our amble through the western North Carolina hills.
One of the memorable people we’re thinking back on is Dave Demour. Dave’s an amazing stone artist, ex-monk, singer song writer and resiedent of Todd, NC. We could tell you more about Dave but this video sums up… Continue reading

Looking for Eustace

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Our tent. This is where we made the recording below.

Eustace Conway: mountain man from “Mountain Men”. Here’s a Sunday evening story about how Julia and I try to track him down on our mule ramble.
It’s night. We’re stretched out in our pitch black tent (see pic above). We’re recording our musings. Crank up the volume. Kick back and chill.
(Post Script: this recording was made last week. We’re holed up right now at our cabin waiting for hurricane… Continue reading

Mule Ramble Camps

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Camp #2: Leatherwood Mountains (Darby, NC)

Stressing about Hurricane Florence? Julia has posted a photo of each of our camps during our mule ramble. Just looking at them will calm you down. They’re on Julia’s blog Saddle Under the Stars. We’re holed up waiting for the storm to pass. We’ll resume the ramble as soon as the weather settles.


Shelter from the Storm

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Mules Polly, Brick and Dusty enjoying a late summer snack – chestnuts from the tree off our front porch (Lenoir, NC)

Shelter from the storm: this camp looks familiar because it’s….home. Home as in where we live. Big thanks to Sam Coffey for helping us get here. The critters’ well-being comes first. They’ll be fine here. Mule Polly, Brick and Dusty are preparing for Hurricane Florence by eating as many chestnuts as possible. We’ll be back on the road as… Continue reading

Dave Demour: ex-monk, Stone Layer, Singer Songwriter

Ever heard rain drops falling on the New River coming out of a piano? No? You just haven’t met Dave Demour yet. Dave’s an amazing stone artist, ex-monk, singer song writer and resiedent of Todd, NC. This week, Julia and I had an amazing sit down session with Dave at the RiverGirl Fishing Company piano. He coaxed a thunderstorm, beavers and a cricket out of the ivories. We filmed the recording. I think you’ll really enjoy it.


Riding the Wave

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Ridin’ the mule wave. My mule Brick and I on one of the high points of our mule ramble. (Outside Todd, NC)

Our mule ramble is taking on the character of a wave train. One moment we’re on a wave peak (plenty of food and water), the next we’re in the trough (run out of water but, good news, there’s a hurricane coming). Julia writes of this week’s highs and lows at ConsideringAnimals.com.


Bottle Cabin

Varnished luxury log cabins trimmed with fake rocks to red clay chinked cabins. Our mule ramble through the western North Carolina High Country has exposed us to the full range of abodes. I lean toward the rustic side of the range. This low slung cabin caught my eye. It’s on Eustace Conway’s Turtle Island Preserve.

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Dave Demour – aka “TT Taylor” aka “Totem Todd Taylor”: stone layer, philosopher, and piano player. Here, bursting in to song at the RiverGirl Fishing… Continue reading

What's a Mule to Drink

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Mule ramble up the New River. The New River is though to be the world’s second oldest river after the Nile.(outside Todd, NC)

In western North Carolina, it’s water, water everywhere. But where’s a mule to drink? Every day, our mules need to drink a few gallons to keep the mule ramble moving up the road. But water’s too heavy to carry so we have to pick it up as we go. This leads to some odd watering sites: puddles,… Continue reading

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