Travel by Mule

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Log of Days, Names and Miles

Most evenings after the mules are staked out for the night and my tent is pitched, I dig out my journal and write down how far we’ve come.

How far we’ve come: Days 98 – 100

I don’t write in a leather bound journal you might imagine Wild Bill communing with after a busy day shooting buffalo. No, my journal’s just a plastic binder filled with 50 sheets of loose leaf paper.

I think I brought 40 sheets too many.… Continue reading

Please Help

Cracker has learned 2 of the 3 Desert Mule Travel Rules.

  • Drink when you find water
  • Eat when you find food
  • Don’t eat prickly pears
Cracker: “Please help.”

Cracker’s still working on Rule 3.

Sage Land Behind Us, Mountains Ahead

200 miles of sagebrush, pronghorn antelope and frost numbed fingers are behind us. The mules and I have completed the leg from Casper, Wyoming to Pinedale.

Thawing out: this is the scene 4 days ago inside my tent. It’s 5:15 am and 25 degrees outside. The mules and I are at just under 8,000 feet at the base of Little Prospect Mountain 60 miles east of Atlantic City, Wyoming. That’s not a hat on my head. It’s a dish rag… Continue reading

Rescue Me

If you don’t have time to rescue a grasshopper from drowning, you’re moving too fast.

Rescue me: I did.

Some days I travel too fast. This particular day, when I saw the grasshopper stranded on the stock tank drain, I rendered assistance. I’m cheered to know she’s back out on the eastern Wyoming desert among the hot wind and dry grass.

Winter will halt her song soon enough. It’s a better way to go than drowning in the desert.

More… Continue reading

About Brick

The other day, months after I should have done it, I introduced you to my mule Cracker. Today, I’m going to introduce you to Brick.

Brick and Cracker on the road (outside Shawnee, Wyoming)


I know Brick’s mom was a horse but I swear it was a white-tailed deer. She’s long legged, wasp waisted and has jumped a 4-foot steel gate from a standstill. Twice. Uphill. Electric fencing doesn’t stand a chance.

Busted: Brick caught in the act… Continue reading

About Cracker

How rude of me. I never introduced you to my mules Brick and Cracker. With apologies to you and the mounts who have carried me so far, may I introduce mules Brick and Cracker.

Brick and Cracker: usually Brick (L) carries a pack saddle. On this occasion, we saddled her with a riding saddle so my wife Julia and I could take the 2 on a ride in the Sand Hills of Nebraska (Hyannis, Nebraska)

Let’s start with Cracker. We’ll… Continue reading

After 20 Million Steps: First Sight of the Rocky Mountains

I stood before them crying in the wind. Memories of kissing my wife Julia good bye, riding mules Brick and Cracker out our front gate and now we stood before them. We had arrived at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.

My first glimpse of the Rocky Mountains, specifically the Wind River Range between Lander and Pinedale, Wyoming.

I sat in my saddle facing the snowy peaks and rewound the mule journey of 1,600 miles. I thought back on the… Continue reading

“Man and His Mules Cross America on Path Set by Dental Floss” Douglas Budget (Wy) Newspaper Article

Here’s some Sunday reading for you. It’s a story that Mike Moore of the Douglas Budget wrote about our current mule voyage. Thanks for the great article Mike (links to article below).

  • By Mike Moore Glenrock Independent Via Wyoming News Exchange
  • Aug 31, 2019

GLENROCK — A sizeable chunk of Bernie Harberts’ year was determined solely by – what else – a single strand of dental floss.

North Carolina long rider Bernie Harberts receives a playful gesture from his mule,… Continue reading

Cracker Recovery

Last night I was sitting in the Split Rock Bar and Cafe celebrating my arrival in a busted uranium town when a man walks in and says, “your mule is over at Isabel’s house.” Isabel owns the bar.

Eastern Wyoming: a hell of a place to loose a mule….

I put down my beer.


So I climb in to the man’s car and he drives me out in to the night and we go down a long driveway and… Continue reading

Rainy Day Hole up at the Monk King Bird Pottery

The Wyoming wind blew the snot from my nose in to my eye and I steered the mules for the sign that looked mis-spelled: “Monk King Bird Pottery”. I blamed the snot but sure enough, there was an “N” in the name where I would have expected a “C”.

The Monk King Bird Pottery. Owner Byron is on the left. (Jeffry City, Wyoming)

Pulled the mules to a halt in front of the storefront. Out of the wind I wiped… Continue reading

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