Holy Hornets Nest It's Journey Time

I love to haul stuff. Preferably on a rig of my own clobbering together. Take this week’s challenge. Haul mule Polly and her wagon 2200 miles from North Carolina to Nova Scotia and beyond.

The answer to this week’s hauling challenge

Enter the sawed off, we-ain’t-got-the-new-toys-but-we-do-have-a-1961-horse trailer ethic.

The tricky thing about hauling Polly and my wagon is that my mule wagon’s too tall to fit into a standard horse trailer. Sure, for money, lots of it, I could buy an extra tall trailer. Which means I’d need a more powerful truck. To hell with that. Not when there’s an old trailer sitting around.

Which is how my 1961 horse trailer, acquired in California a few years back, was repurposed into my 2012 Newfie Wagon Transporter Deluxe.

First I unbolted the axles off my old trailer. Cut off the fenders and took a Sawzall to the wood floor and stringers. This left the shell of the old trailer which I bolted onto the front of a 21-foot flat bed trailer. Into the side of the trailer, for loading Polly, I cut a large door. Mounted it on barn hinges and doused everything with primer and white paint.

Voila, a rig that’ll tow mule and a wagon as I high as you care to build.

The back end: a closer view of the rig

The front end: a closer view of the rattle can paint job. My 1992 Dodge D250 is powered by a beast of a diesel engine. It also sports one of the worst factory paint jobs in automotive history. As in ever. We’re talking worse than Trabant, Lada and Yugo combined. I got sick of my peeling hood and roof. Here’s what you can do with 2 days, 12 cans of Rustoleum Metallic Gray and a box of Swiss cigars. From this distance, you can’t even see the ash marks.

Now comes the grind bit. It’s over two thousand miles to my ultimate stop in the Canadian Maritimes. This doesn’t sound bad if you’re driving that flash new 2012 Dodge with the Cummins diesel and and the $35,000 aluminum trailer. Alas, I don’t have the highway comfort a $80,000 rig affords. Nope, drive that distance in a 1992 Dodge and you’ll stop kidding yourself the spray can paint job makes it ride smoother. So Polly and I are breaking the trip into stages. First comes 800 miles to Massachusetts to visit friends. Then there’s another stretch of about the same distance to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. After that, I hear there’s an 8 hour ferry ride involved and then I start looking for icebergs. I’ll let you know where we finally end up.

There’s just one thing now that needs tending. A few papery orbs have come to my attention. They’re located under the roof of my home modified trailer. Those would be the hornets who built a multi-residential development in the air space normally occupied by Polly’s ears. Hmm…. Better get those out before I load up Polly at 3a and find a revolt on my hands. Before I ever get out of the driveway…

Polly is thinking, “Bernie, clear the hornets out of my trailer. Remember, your head is at hoof height when you open the trailer door. Think teed up golf ball and Big Bertha Driver…”

Hang on tight travel mates. We’re hittin’ the road!

(Map note: shown is our starting point of Asheboro, NC)

Bob Skelidng
2012-06-02 00:14:24

Congratulations Pal, you’re almost there. Good job on the wagon/trailer/transport device. There’s no way that Candian Customs will give you a second look. They’ll be too busy shaking their heads and saying, “ehhh”?

It’s too bad that shipping isn’t free. We could do a swap. I could send you some Wyoming Elk meat and you could send me some fresh lobster.

Have a great trip north on the start of this grand adventure. Talk to you soon,


Ellen Steele
2012-06-03 18:28:35

Good luck, Bernie, from Lenoir. We are looking forward to hearing about your adventures when you return and can visit with us at the library.
PS glad you were able to join us for the author “Meet and Greet” in April.

Jill Farrell
2012-06-04 04:38:27

Good Luck and Safe Journey Bernie! I will be following adventure on your website.

Larry Riddle
2012-06-04 07:54:23

Bernie, I hauled your old wagon for Bob Skelding, to Indiana for him. He now has me hooked, not only following him and his great travels, but now I will be on board, so to speak, with you. Lets go, I am ready.

Pat Gabriel
2012-06-05 10:50:44

Good luck, Bernie! Sorry I missed your stop in Massachusetts. I’m in Lowell, but lived on Cape Breton island for 6 years. We have family and friends there, so if you need anything, I’ll do whatever I can.
Great Adventure!

2012-06-05 20:33:19

Hi Bernie, Love reading about you and Polly’s adventures, you keep it interesting and wanting more…..you and Bob Skelding are both great writer’s….I certainly love reading about both of you as you start your journeys to different parts of the country. I do hope you keep us informed from day to day where you are and what kind of day/night you had.You did a great job on that wagon but failed to see your sleeping quarters(Bed)although the rest looked cozy for traveling in that fashion.Be safe and enjoy! Buffy

2012-06-06 00:29:46

Greetings all, Great hearing from everyone out there. As you’ll see from the latest post, Polly and I are well on our way North – even if the departure was short on style points. Nothing to spice up an equine/maritime adventure like a kipper can getting jammed under the gas pedal. Buffy, once I’m situated at my final destination, I’ll have to hunker down behind my wood stove and take some interior photos. Cheers! Bernie

2012-06-18 23:41:01

So cool! I’m always jealous of your adventures. Although I’m on one of my own at the moment. I made the trek from the middle-of-nowhere-Pulaski, TN, to upstate NJ for the summer. Staying with friends, and on a history internship. No mules though. Look forward to keeping up!


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