How to Pay for a Mule Wagon Journey

Think of it as a game. You’re traveling from Canada to Mexico in a mule wagon and you have to earn enough money to keep your mule in oats and your belly in, well, more oats. You’d sell books, right? If this sounds familiar, well, I thought it was a good idea too so that’s how I’m going to pay for my cross country mule wagon journey.

The book I’m selling from my wagon is “Woody and Maggie Walk Across America”, the best-selling children’s geography book based on my last 3,500-mile cross country mule journey.

“Woody and Maggie Walk Across America”

But selling books out of a mule wagon takes a bit of thought. It’s not as simple as vending them from a Barnes and Noble. First, there’s the matter of space. Remember, the Lost Sea wagon only has 21 square feet of heated area. Here’s what the inside looks like.

Inside the Lost Sea Wagon

Then there’s the weather thing. I’ll be traveling through all conditions, from mountain to desert, through rain, wind and snow. It got me to thinking. How did I ever keep things clean, dry and aired on my boat Sea Bird, the steel cutter I sailed alone around the world?

Sea Bird (Will and Deni McIntyre Photo)
Oriental, NC



That’s right, I cut holes into the bulkheads, the walls that divided the cabins. That allowed air to circulate freely through the boat. It got me to thinking. The Lost Sea Wagon really wasn’t more than a small, hopelessly run aground vessel. So I cut holes into the compartments to allow air to circulate through the wagon.

Then, since my mule-powered land yacht can’t sink, I cut holes into the floor of the wagon’s two cargo holds. Only after my wagon was peppered with drafty openings did it occur to me that while proper ventilation is good for books, dust isn’t. So I cut out a small wood square that could cover each hole as needed.

Now you see the hole

Now you don’t

This allows me to open and close the holes as desired.

To finish the ventilation system, I stapled a square of mesh screen under each hole to keep the critters out. Then I loaded the cases of “Woody and Maggie” books into the Lost Sea wagon.

The cargo

The cargo in the ventilated cargo hold

So that’s how I’m stowing the books that’ll pay for my journey across America – and why I’m a bit late lighting my candle tonight.

Interested in supporting the Lost Sea Expedition by purchasing a copy of the 40-page, hardcover “Woody and Maggie” book? Great! You can meet mule Polly and me in the South Dakota Badlands or you can just order a copy from the General Store. Your book will ship via Priority Mail and you’ll have it in two to three business days – and you’ll be putting oats in mule Polly and my belly.



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