Mules West

The Beet Piler

“I’m tired of standing there by the beet piler watching the beets fall,” he said. “I want to be a truck driver.”

Taking a break to explain beets.

He wasn’t piling beets when I met him. He was mowing grass and his mower had overheated. While he waited for it to cool he told me about working sugar beets.

“The beet season starts mid-September and runs until the first frost. They grow the beets east of here, pick them then… Continue reading

Night at the White Wolf Saloon

I walk across deserts with mules. I drink beer in saloons. Last night I ended up sitting across from a bottled alien talking mules and Wyoming with Carl and Diane Strode. They own the White Wolf Saloon.

Carl and Diane Strode: White Wolf Saloon proprietors. The pickled alien is from Devil’s Tower.
Welcome to the White Wolf Saloon: never accept candy from a ghoul with a top hat (though a beer is okay).

I don’t carry beer on saddle trips.… Continue reading

What Do You Want to Know?

Question: what do you want to read or see more about on my current mule voyage across America? I ask this because today it dawned on me that my journey from North Carolina to Hailey, Idaho is about 3/4 complete.

We started in Lenoir, North Carolina. We’ve traveled 1,600 miles to Douglas, Wyoming. Only 550 miles to go to Hailey, Idaho.

Yikes.

I Write for Me

I’ve always written the RiverEarth.com blog for my readers and me. I don’t get… Continue reading

Blow Your Whistle at my Mules

Maybe the mules and I have been alone too long. Maybe I’m childish. Who cares. Fist-pumping the Nebraska sky to get a coal train to blow its whistle at the mules and me amuses the hell out of me.

That ol’ train whistle sure makes me smile. I hope it does you, too.

Whistle Post Script

The whistle blowing caper happened in the Sand Hills of Nebraska. The mules and I have since traveled to eastern Wyoming.

Wyoming Welcome

We made Wyoming!

Greetings from area code 307, aka Wyoming. The state has so few people (less than 600k), it only needs one area code. This week, the state of “Equal Rights” made room for one traveling man and 2 mules.

Our route from the past 2 weeks. (Google maps)

Mules Cracker and Brick and I are taking a few days off in Douglas to catch our breathes. In the past two weeks, they’ve walked 225 miles from Hyannis, Nebraska… Continue reading

Drying Out

Surely as we walk toward the setting sun, the land is drying out.

Drying out: Brick takes a beak from walking up a minimum maintenance road outside Hazard, Nebraska. A few weeks ago, this road would have been a muddy mess. Now it crunches underfoot.

The mid-West flooded this spring but now the rain has stopped. The mud is drying and cracking. Cracking like alligator skin under our hoofs and boots.

3 shades of grey

It’s drying out in Nebraska.… Continue reading

Salt

Arrrgggggg! Salt! Cracker putting the Lollipop Lick on half a salt block I gave him recently. Brick got the other half.

Summer in western Nebraska. The mules are sweating and I’m sweating and we’re all craving salt. If I drank coffee in the morning I’d pour it in to that but I don’t so I douse my lentils and rice with the white stuff.

Summer in Nebraska: the area we’re traveling through was once part of what was referred as… Continue reading

Email From the Sand Hills

You never saw so many cowboys drinking so much beer in a hurry.” So writes my wife Julia to a friend of ours about attending a ranch rodeo in the Sand Hills of Nebraska.

Julia and Cracker. She visited mules Cracker and Brick and me recently in Hyannis, Nebraska. She has since returned home.

Read Julia’s “Email From the Sand Hills” about the ranch rodeo, Sand Hills cowboying and how we almost got flattened by a… Continue reading

Big Dipper Tent Goodnight

I usually post in the mornings but tonight I’m making an exception for the Big Dipper. It was rising over my tent tonight and I thought you’d enjoy seeing it.

Big Dipper Tent Goodnight (Fort Robinson, NE)

I know you’ve got a lot on your mind, decisions to make, voices to listen to and voices to silence. If you’re up late and reading this, I hope this starry night calms your mind and helps you sleep. If you’re reading this… Continue reading

The Land Around Here – Alliance to Hemingford, Nebraska

In a recent post, I introduced you to some of the folks the mules and I met between Alliance and the fairground in Hemigford. Here’s what the land looks like.

Irrigated crop land.
Train country: a train load of empty coal cars heading north toward Wyoming.
Harvested wheat
Berea: A resident told me the white building, once a hardware store, closed 70 years ago. After this post went up, the owners of the building wrote me in the comment… Continue reading
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