Travel by Mule
The old blue tractor scared my mules when it passed me on the gravel road. Right behind it, the black and white dog in hot pursuit. The next hill over, the tractor was parked by the road and a man climbed out of the cab. He had a grin as big as a round bale and so did I. That’s how I met Joe Stoll and his dog.
He spoke first.
Joe: “I was… Continue reading
Sirens will blare and hats will cover hearts. Kids will grab candy off the street and dogs will barf Tootsie rolls on the sidewalk. This is why we got divorced from England. Happy 4th of July from Stanberry, Missouri.
The mules and I were there to soak up the action. And catch a Blow Pop and 3 Tootsie rolls. Here are some photos of… Continue reading
The sign on the bank said 100 degrees the day the mules and I arrived in Stanberry, MO. The welcome was warmer than that. The route I had in mind from here? Not so hot….
Bridge… Continue reading
I carry an old camera in my saddle bag and point it toward other people.
So it’s fun when folks I catch up with send photos of our visit. Here are a few sent to me Janet DeClerck. She took these the night I stayed with Rob and Brooke Wangen of Panwee, Illinois. They really capture the spirit of folks just… Continue reading
I steered the mules in to Trenton, Missouri to pick up a a canvas water bucket at the post office. Thanks, Julia, for supporting your husband in his rambles! Brick, Cracker and I arrived last night (Thursday). Right now we’re camped at veterinarian Alan Alumbaugh’s clinic Affordable Veterinary Care.
The day didn’t quite start with dancing but it looked that way. In the photo above, I’m faring Luna Ortiz well. She and her husband Kevin put us up for the night. What looks like a Fred Estaire-esque move on my part really isn’t.
To make this photo I set my camera on a tripod and set the self timer to go off in 10 seconds. 3 seconds before the… Continue reading
Paul Compton used to play the harmonica to stay awake. “I had a mail route and as I drove around I’d get sleepy so I just played the harmonica to keep from nodding off.”
I met Paul because I needed to find a place to stake out my mules Brick and Cracker for the night. His son, Gerry Compton, said it was okay to picket them out by the old grain… Continue reading
Traveling the land at 3 mph with my mules, I’m noticing things I’ve overlooked my whole life. Like how, west of Jasper, Indiana, many of the cast iron storm drain covers are humped up, not flat, like back East. They’re the same way here in Missouri.
Have you noticed that humped-up thing about the storm drain covers… Continue reading
I rode in to La Plata, Missouri, ahead of the storm. The plan was to buy sardines and ramen and then ride out the other side toward Idaho. But the rumblng clouds shattered and poured down on me in pieces. It’s rained over an inch and I’ve eaten most of the sardines and some of the ramen and the damn wet stuff keeps falling. And I’m still in La Plata.
How is a grain bin like an above ground pool? You can drown in both.
Last week the mules and I took a lunch break in the shade of an Illinois grain bin. I had the usual sardines and dry ramen noodles washed down with jug water. Then I strolled around the grain bin and discovered how it might kill me.