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.
The mules and I may be walking across the land of 12″ of annual rain but there’s an oasis underfoot. It’s pumped to the surface by windmills.
In these remote parts of eastern Wyoming, windmills are still the primary way to pump water in to stock tanks. Solar panels are coming on the scene. But by and large, if a cow wants in drink in… Continue reading
It was time to see my wife Julia. The mules and I have been on the road for 4 months, traveling from North Carolina toward Idaho.
Julia and I decided the Sand Hills of Nebraska would be a great place for her to fly out and meet me. She booked a plane ticket and a rental car. She didn’t click on that “Add a Room to Your Ticket” option.
She… Continue reading
I married Julia in February. By April I was gone. 4 months later she found me.
About 2 weeks ago, the mules and I stayed with friend, sixth generation Nebraska rancher and broadcaster Trent Loos.
One morning, over coffee, we sat down at the microphone and talked about the things I noticed on my mule journey that most folks overlooked.
In particular, trash – road side trash.
He leaned out his pickup window and said, “I’ve been sober 2 years now. I bought this pickup for $200 but I want a mule.”
But mule ownership had eluded him. He said, “the people in this town don’t want me to have a mule. I don’t know why.”
I told him I couldn’t understand either because I’d just slept in his town with my mules and it seemed to make everyone happy.
“You’ve got it lucky,” he said, “because… Continue reading
The mules and I camp on a lot of people’s lawns. What to do about the manure? Out here in the Sand Hills of Nebraska, mule manure on a lawn is dispensed with a boot kick. Or, as I recently did, with an old shovel.
Mornings, I try to be on the road with the mules by dawn. If I’m traveling a quiet highway, I’m often in the saddle half an hour before dawn.
This can be relaxing. Riding through the still night air, often the only thing that interrupts the clip clop… Continue reading
I shouldn’t have saddled Brick the day I saw the bump on her back. But I did and she carried her pack saddle 20 miles that day. When I unsaddled her, I saw the newly balded spot on her back. Shame on me.
In an ideal world, I should have given Brick a few days vacation when I first saw the bump on her back. It had just… Continue reading