Travel by Mule

Teaching Brick to Leg Picket

Hitting the road with your mule boils life down to basics: food, water, shelter. Right up there is keeping your mule from wandering away in the night. While you could tie her to a tree or post, she couldn’t lie down, roll or eat. Not cool. There are many ways to secure a mule. I prefer the leg picket. Here’s how I’m training Brick to the picket.

Catching Brick

A few days ago I wrote how I was going back to the “old ways”. Of just heading out the front gate with my mule and finding out what lies up the road. Turns out, I first had to catch that mule. Her name is Brick. She’s the mule I plan to ride on the “Ride out the Front Gate” trip. I’ve only owned her about a week and here’s how our first meeting went. Talk about a flashback to the “old ways”….

Ride Out the Front Gate

The first time I ran away, I was naked except for a pair of rubber boots. I was 4 years old. It was a short run-away, to my buddy’s house. I’ve been rambling ever since, only slightly better dressed.

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A young me. Old enough to wear pants. I’m already thinking of running way with the family pony Snowflake and her foal Dominique. (Wilkes County, NC / circa 1975)

Seems a lot of other folks have the same rambling urge.

This… Continue reading

Too Proud to Ride a Cow

Download your digital copy here.

After spending almost 5 years sailing alone around the world, Bernie Harberts arrived home a prisoner of the very independence he’d worked so hard to cultivate.
Harberts decided it was time to let people back in his life.

Bernie and his mule Woody began their journey in Oriental, NC, walked to the Atlantic Ocean then turned west. A year later, they completed their adventure at the Pacific Ocean in San Diego, CA.

Bernie regained his… Continue reading

Woody and Maggie Walk Across America

Woody and Maggie Walk Across America

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Hard cover version $18.95 (shipping just $3.95 to any US location)

“Woody and Maggie Walk Across America” is an account of Bernie’s cross-country mule and pony adventure. The 40-page, full color, hard cover children’s book is written for 5 to 10-year-old readers. Join Bernie, Woody and Maggie to discover:

  • What Bernie found unusual about each state
  • What Woody and Maggie imagined about each state

Home in Carolina

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Cheers! Mule Polly and I don’t usually start our days with a glass of wine…unless we make the Hungarian press. Here’s more on that Hungarian wine thing.

Summer’s winding down for mule Polly and me. We’re back home in western North Carolina after a great summer wagon tour of Colorado. We’re staying plenty busy putting the final touches on the Lost Sea Expedition TV series, the 4-part series about our wagon voyage across the Great Plains.
All the latest news – from hurricanes to yogurt to interviews – on the site. We’re down to the last 30 days of raising funds to cover the production of the series. If you’ve enjoyed traveling with me on and would like to help out (we still need to pay the audio engineer….) you can do so right here.

bernie harberts wine
Okay, you can have a glass of pinot grigio, too. Cheers!
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Summer Ramble

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Mule Polly takes a grazing break on a canal along the Cache La Poudre river (french for “cache the powder”) north of Fort Collins, CO.

Mule Polly and I have hit the road for the summer. We’re touring Colorado visiting with underwriters interested in sponsoring the Lost Sea Expedition TV series, the 4-part program about mule Polly and my 14 month wagon voyage across America. The series will premier on Rocky Mountain PBS.
Lots more about the voyage and TV series here on the site. If you’d like to make a gift to the series, you can do so right here.

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Preppin' for Leatherwood

bernie harberts raft pickle barrel barrel raft shanty boat adventure
Caaaarefuuuuullll with those scissors. Polly waits patiently as I trim her forelock for Leatherwood Mule Days. From her calm eye, you can tell she knows there’s a head rub waiting when the job is done.

I sharpened the scissors. I caught mule Polly. Then I trimmed her mane and tail and took a swipe at her toes.
Man, she’s as spiffed up as mule can be for Leatherwood Mule Days. I’m already thinking Coon Jump, pasture camping and starlight dancing.

More over here on my site.

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Hoofing and sharing it.

A while back I decided to travel across North Carolina by mule. Trouble was, I didn’t own a saddle bag, horse trailer, or, yeah, it gets worse, a vehicle.

I did own a mule named Woody.

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Mule Woody and pony Maggie on the North Carolina leg of our 13 month journey across America. I’m grinning because I’m trying out the blue saddle bags I just made of old horse blankets and leather scraps.

By dint of sewing, borrowing and improvising,… Continue reading

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