The Start of Dangerous Planning
January 2, 2012

It happens the first week of every January. You kick off the New Year swearing you’ll go traveling this year. Hike the Appalachian Trail. You doodle up the trailer you’re going to build for your bike. Maybe even cut out some paper, lay it on top of that burnt out camper shell you saw in the classifieds. Dream about rebuilding that sucker and pulling out for Frisco.

I get that. I’m not immune to the dreamer’s tug. A few years back, I decided early in the year I didn’t want to be a delivery captain. Found myself sketching tipis and mules instead of clippers and cutters. Went out, bought a mule and a month later started riding toward California. Scared hell out of me. Turned into one of my best years ever. Didn’t miss the ocean a bit.

Your standard VW Roadside Midwest War of the Worlds Gothic. In its sights are Maggie and Woody, my cross country traveling mates. (Slaughterville, OK)

This year, the muse of Single Mule Voyaging is pushing my pen across blank sheets of paper. Made me crank out some pretty funny looking wagon designs in the tender days of the new year.

Some wagon doodles. The concept is to make a lightweight travel trailer. The scrawlings alone are innocent enough. Scattered across an atlas, they’re bang up dangerous. Sorta like the primer cap/gunpowder thing. Separated, they’re relatively benign. Together, sheesh, stand back for the bang.
Mule Polly checking out the chassis of what, with a measure dose of madness, could become a new mule conveyance. She should be more concerned. A few years ago, she pulled the last wagon I built from Canada to Mexico. (Asheboro, NC)
Okay, so my buddy Ronald Hudson and I couldn’t resist hitching Polly to the contraption. You know, to run it through the cemetery next to where he lives. The usual way we try out our ideas. And it worked fine. Now we’re getting excited. This thing might actually work.

Just how far I’ll follow the madness remains to be seen. I mean really, how far are you going to go this year? Are you actually going to build that trailer? Yeah, you know the one. The one rattling around your head the last time you got the positive review at work – without the raise.

Yeah, I’m going to smack you around on this a little. See if I can jar you into action. So are you going to buy those nails, dig out that tent? Maybe fill up the gas tank and head out to Big Dirt country?

Don’t let me hear you wimped out and burned off those 10 gallons of 89 octane commuting to work. Man, you could have been 200 miles from where you’re reading this post.

Or are you going to to settle for pushups and flossing, like I do some years….?

So get going. Make a dangerous break from the ordinary. Make me proud. Send me a card.

I’ll let you know if I decide not to proceed. But right now I gotta go. Two painter’s drop cloths and a heavy duty tarp just arrived in the mail.

See you out there.

Oriental, NC
(As in past years, I’ve been working lately with TownDock.net here in Oriental, NC. Be sure to check out the Shipping News column if you you’re into voyaging under power and sail.)

Posted Monday January 2, 2012 by Bernie
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