Welcome to Idaho (Rhymes with Snow)
The icy flakes hit us in the Caribou National Forest where I was expecting to find the “Welcome to Idaho” sign. Except there was no sign, only sideways blasting snow and 2 mules. They looked at me wondering why the hell we were still headed up the mountain toward the flake spitting clouds.
Cowboy Dave’s Spurs
His spurs don’t match and the rowels are gone and his boots are busted but he’s living life on his own terms. Tomorrow, Sunday morning, I’ll introduce you to the rest of the man: Cowboy Dave.
Pickle Jug Water Container
Salvation came from a bar. I was one water container short heading in to the sage brush country of Wyoming with my mules Brick and Cracker. Dale at the Miner’s Grubstake and Bar in Atlantic City gave me an empty one gallon pickle jar. With a twig and some twine, I turned it in to a makeshift water container.
It’s working fine. Even if… Continue reading
Rocky Mountain Mule Saddle Frost
Is fall not cool enough for you yet? Here are some chill photos to cool you down a few degrees. They are from my camp along the Greys River (Wyoming) earlier this week.
Seeking Mystery Dog Food Donor
The lady’s voice on my voicemail said (and I paraphrase):
“Hi Bernie. This is Debbie at the Central Wyoming Fairgrounds in Casper. We received a bag of dog food in your name. What would you like us to do with it?”
Fantastic! People are so generous out here. There’s only one problem with this well-intended gift.
I don’t own a dog.
To the mystery donor I… Continue reading
Alpine, Wyoming Arrival
Mules Brick and Cracker and I have crossed McDougal gap and arrived in Alpine, Wyoming. The timing is perfect for getting off the mountain. Rain and snow at higher elevations are forecast for the next 4 days.
Right now the mules and I are settling in to Alpine. We’re camped… Continue reading
Log of Days, Names and Miles
Most evenings after the mules are staked out for the night and my tent is pitched, I dig out my journal and write down how far we’ve come.
I don’t write in a leather bound journal you might imagine Wild Bill communing with after a busy day shooting buffalo. No, my journal’s just a plastic binder filled with 50 sheets of loose leaf paper.
I think I brought 40 sheets too many.… Continue reading
Cracker has learned 2 of the 3 Desert Mule Travel Rules.
- Drink when you find water
- Eat when you find food
- Don’t eat prickly pears
Cracker’s still working on Rule 3.
Sage Land Behind Us, Mountains Ahead
200 miles of sagebrush, pronghorn antelope and frost numbed fingers are behind us. The mules and I have completed the leg from Casper, Wyoming to Pinedale.
If you don’t have time to rescue a grasshopper from drowning, you’re moving too fast.
Some days I travel too fast. This particular day, when I saw the grasshopper stranded on the stock tank drain, I rendered assistance. I’m cheered to know she’s back out on the eastern Wyoming desert among the hot wind and dry grass.
Winter will halt her song soon enough. It’s a better way to go than drowning in the desert.
More… Continue reading