Mules West

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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


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

Faces on the Way to the Fairground – Alliance to Hemingford, Nebraska

Marguerite, Ted, Joe, Peggy, 2 kids, Carolyn and John. Plus a wood cowboy hugging a bull. In this post I’m going to introduce you to some of the people I met today, July 15, 2019.

Marguerite Widtfeldt. (Alliance, Nebraska)

It amazes me how many people I meet each day. I can’t photograph them all. Still, today I asked a few if I could take their picture. Just to share with folks that are following my journey with mules Brick and… Continue reading

Bridge and Another Man’s Horse

Recently I picked up a stray. Crossing an old wood bridge, I heard an extra pair of clip clops on the wood decking. I looked back. And saw a horse.

Me, Cracker, Brick, and……what the hell….another horse?

Turns out the horse had slipped through an open gate and fallen in to line behind us. I walked the mules back across the bridge, toward where the horse had come from, hoping to lure the horse back home.

The horse followed obediently.… Continue reading

Walking 31 Miles Beside the Mules

For reasons only a neurologist or shrink might understand, I woke up this morning and thought, “Hmmm. Today I’m going to walk 31 miles.” That’s how far it is from where I spent the night with the mules, Elsworth, Nebraska, to where I wanted to go, Alliance, Nebraska. Turns out walking is a great way to make new friends.

Corrine offered me some water as I walked up the road. Brick loved Corrine. More on her shortly

Here are some… Continue reading

Ranch Rodeo Saturday Night

Until last week, I’d never heard of a ranch rodeo. I’d been to plenty of regular rodeos. But what was a ranch rodeo?

A cowboy surveys the bucking stock, the horses used in the saddle bronc event. Each cowboy knows which horse he’ll ride before he mounts it. This give him time to plan his strategy. Or get damn hell nervous….

Ranch rodeo is a team event based on skills a working cowboy would need. Each team has 4 members.… Continue reading

Trouble in a Leather Sack

Let me state for the record that I am not a cowboy. I can not throw a rope. I can not brand a cow. I don’t own a 10 gallon hat. I do know that “trouble in a leather sack” means “cow” in the Sand Hills. Seth Adam told me so.

Roped: A real cowboy, Doug Adam, ropes a calf that needs doctoring. Yes, it’s not so pleasant for the calf. But the doctoring goes quickly and minutes after the… Continue reading
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