Travel by Mule

Preview Woody and Maggie Children’s Book

“Woody and Maggie Walk Across America” is a children’s book that features something unusual about each state I visited in my 12-month cross-country ride with my mule Woody and pony Maggie. I wrote half of it and Woody and Maggie handled the rest. If young readers don’t remember Arizona for the saguaro cactus, they’ll remember it for the naked green giants that can’t get their shoes back on.


Arizona: What I saw (Left) and what Woody and Maggie saw (Right)… Continue reading

Title Suggestions With Mule Woody's Comments – Southern Pines, NC

Thanks everybody for your help. The title suggestions are rolling in! Here they come…in no particular order. Keep sendin’ em and I’ll keep posting em.

10 Legged Journey: Woody, Maggie and Me.
Many Hearts for Ten Legs
The Mule That Walked to the Center of the World
10 Legs, Will Travel
Are we There Yet?
Woody
From Atlantic to Pacific with Oats for Fuel
Half-assed Journey Across America
Long Miles with Long Ears
Bullet Holes & Bumblebees: A Story of… Continue reading

Journey's End: Making the Other Side – San Diego, CA


Joining waters

After thirteen months on the road, mornings start like this.

I draw the needle from inside my hat band, thread it with dental floss (waxed) and suture the newest rip in my britches’ seat.Then I tuck my shirt in with greatest care, making sure the tail reaches well south of the repair in case of floss failure. I’ve long given up underwear. I’m down to an extra blue shirt, two bandanas and a pair of socks, none of… Continue reading

Busted flat in California – Salton Sea, CA

The potato truck roared toward us and left Maggie with one decision, leap into the irrigation canal or plunge down the road bank.

Maggie chose dust over drowning, took her buggy airborne and belly skidded to halt in the date palm grove.

The truck billowed by a flattened Maggie and Woody just stared. She lay there in the dirt and palm fronds, wrapped in tugs and breaching like a poorly tied hay bale. Then out shot her front legs and… Continue reading

Salvation Mountain – Slab City, CA

LOVE” rose huge and pink from the airborne desert sands. Above it in red the words “GOD IS” and crowning the three worlds, like a s sabre stabbing a cake, a telephone pole cross.

I rode closer.

I’d been in the desert four days. I was down to five pounds and four gallons of desert currency; grain and water. But this I had to investigate.

I reined Woody to the base of the mountainous explosion of wind… Continue reading

Along the American Sahara – Cactus, CA


Alone

They once called it The American Sahara, that line of sand dunes that drifts from Yuma toward the Salton Sea.

Then some geographically correct person re-baptized them the Imperial Dunes. As in the Imperial Valley where they grow truck loads of lettuce and alfalfa. Suddenly the dunes sounded tamer. Smaller. It sissifies mountain of sand to re-name it after a garden, even if it’s one of the nation’s biggest carrot producers.

But just what is large? Does the name… Continue reading

The Official Center of the World – Felicity, CA

“Now stand on the plaque and make a wish” Norma informed me as I approached the bronze circle. I stepped into the ring of raised lettering that read “Official Center of the World” and tread onto the dot at the center. This was it. I closed my eyes. I made my wish.

Then I asked Norma, sort of cowering, “Hey, Norma. Has a mule ever stood at the center of the world?”.

And my wish came true.

Magnolia first, and… Continue reading

The Official Center of the World – Felicity, CA

“Now stand on the plaque and make a wish” Norma informed me as I approached the bronze circle. I stepped into the ring of raised lettering that read “Official Center of the World” and tread onto the dot at the center. This was it. I closed my eyes. I made my wish.

Then I asked Norma, sort of cowering, “Hey, Norma. Has a mule ever stood at the center of the world?”.

And my wish came true.

Magnolia first, and… Continue reading

The Sound of Desert Greening – Mobile, AZ

Last night I heard spring arriving.


The sound of spring on the ground

All winter, it’s been a struggle to keep Woody and Maggie fed.

I can haul some grain on Maggie’s cart; sometimes a few flakes of hay. But as soon as I pitch camp, I tether Maggie by a front leg and turn Woody loose. That way they can browse a bit and add the odd wisps of dry Med grass or mesquite twigs to their meager rations.… Continue reading

Mulespeed – Arizona

The joy of mulespeed is the ease of stopping. At 2 miles per hour, the mind slows to the speed of the scenery. From there, it ain’t much of a leap to standing still.

Standing still is where my mind sees the day’s last photos.

I always keep a camera handy and the photos usually just compose themselves. I just have to press the shutter. The following are just a few Arizona mulespeed scenes.


Barbed wire balls – North of… Continue reading

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