Hill Top Sunday Morning

Pony Pie on a hill (Caldwell County, NC / western NC)

Sunday greetings from high above the Shoe Box Canyon. Yesterday, my wife Julia and I rode to the top of the mountain behind our cabin. I thought you’d enjoy some photos of the ride.

Julia rode her pony Pie. I rode my mule Cracker. From the clearing high above the cabin, we just looked out over the Brushy Mountains to our South. We listened to the “chimp pang” call of a scarlet tanager hidden in a chestnut oak tree. We let Pie and Cracker nibble on some locust sprouts. And then we rode home.

Cracker snacking. I know, pretty sloppy of me to just drop the reins and let him graze. On the other hand, it’s good for a horse or mule to known how to step on its reins and not break them. Cracker’s a pro at that.
Our cabin up the Shoe Box canyon. The spot we rode to is above the hill behind our home. We call it the Shoe Box canyon because it’s hemmed in on all four sides by steep forested hill.s Oh man, but the starry sky above….. You can check out the night view right here.
Julia wanted to show your our firewood! We finished putting it away about three weeks ago. We heat our cabin with a really efficient soapstone stove so that’s enough wood for at least two, if not three, years.
We felled, bucked, split, hauled and stacked 10 types of wood this year. They included black birch (the wood with the smooth bark you see stacked on the left), locust, iron wood, beech, tulip poplar, alder and even a few grape vines that got in the way. I’m sure, as always happens, there’s some poison ivy mixed in there…
We spent last night cooking out over a wood fire with our neighbors very close to where this photo was taken. When it got dark, we only saw one light on this range of hills in front of us.

New Book Update

On a completely different note, the first draft of my new book about riding my mules Cracker and Brick from North Carolina to Idaho is complete. That’s a huge deal. Julia and I have been working on this project a year and a half now.

Cracker and Brick snagging a quick bite on their voyage through American with me. (Outside Alcova, WY)

There’s a whole update coming soon on this. If you’d like a heads up on when the book is available for pre-order, just sign up for the RiverEarth.com newsletter. It just takes a sec and you can do it right here.


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