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Isuzu Mule Anchor
April 22, 2019

You keep your car from rolling away with your parking brake. But what about your mule? Most days, I spend 6 – 8 hours riding my mules West as I make my way across America. But how do I keep them from wandering away at night?

Bernie Harberts, mule, picket, isuzu
A bucolic scene. The mules hanging around my tent on Rick and Tracey Love’s property. I’d like to think they’d just hang with me. They don’t. Without tethering, they’d soon wander off to the proverbial Greener Pastures. (Outside Erwin, TN)

Nights, I tether my mules out by a rope. This allows them to graze overnight, replacing valuable calories they burn during the day. One end the rope attaches to one of their front legs. The other end is secured to anything from a fence post to a rock. Or, as happened last night, to an old Isuzu street sweeper.

Bernie Harberts, mule, picket, isuzu
The old Isuzu street sweeper I picketed Brick to last night. It belongs to Ryan Crick of Crick Enterprises. Ryan and his wife Pam own McMillan Caftish Farm and Horse Camp. (Outside Greeneville, TN)
Bernie Harberts, mule, picket, isuzu
Bumper hitch? I tied one end of my picket to the bumper. In this case, I extended the picket rope with a piece of nylon webbing. The other end…..
Bernie Harberts, mule, picket, isuzu
… I attached to Brick’s front leg. I use a single hobble with a heavy duty swivel. The hobble is padded with a piece of fleecy you put on your seat belt. The swivel reduces kinking. The garden hose reduces the chance of rope burn.
Bernie Harberts, mule, picket, isuzu
Grazing bliss. Brick putting in some quality grazing time. In the background, the Isuzu she’s tethered to. Her tether is 60’ long so she has plenty of grass to choose from.

One parting bit of advice. Be sure to tie your mule off to a broken down looking vehicle. Or at least something with flat tires. You don’t want hear a cranking noise in the night and, in the morning, wake up to find that truck – and the mule you picketed to it – gone….

Thanks, Ryan, for letting us spend the night at your yard.

Posted Monday April 22, 2019 by Bernie
Where this story happened:

You should keep a make and model list. On the summer mule ramble, I believe we tied Polly to an old BMW with a tree growing out the roof. The owner Jay was telling us about when he used to drive it. It doesn’t take long for a vehicle to become just a heavy object sinking into a lawn or in to the woods.Then they are fair game for mule connection posts.

— Julia · Tuesday April 23, 2019 · #

I didn’t know that you were going to answer my questions and leave me comments. It is interesting reading your adventure on 8 hoofs (or is it 8 hooves?). How much does all of your gear weigh? I don’t remember if you mentioned the weight factor. Do your mules switch roles every other day? How far apart does the pickets have to be so they don’t cross each other and get tangled up? What kind of laptop do you carry and what size it is? I carry an Acer netbook and it’s fits nicely in the bag strapped to the back of my seat.

If you want to go solar with regards to your phone, check out LuminAid. They have a combination solar lantern and cell phone charger for $50.

I’m taking a couple much needed days off the road with some friends of mine in North Myrtle Beach, SC. Since yesterday morning (when I left Moncks Corner, SC), I had cycled 103 miles. Yesterday, I cycled a whopping 73 miles. That was in 12 hours and probably 3.5 days travels for you. My friend was too concerned about me cycling along US 17 north of Myrtle Beach that he came and got me. It’s hard to believe that I’m almost into my fifth state so far and I have cycled 905 miles already. When I cross into NC, I’ve decided to take the more familiar coastal route instead of going more inland. Debating on whether to take the ferry to Ocracoke Island and ride up the Outer Banks or not.

My two-wheeled steed Allison needs a break from being a pack mule and she also needs some tlc. At least, she doesn’t need to be hobbled every night but I do chain her up occasionally so people don’t wander off with her. When I do camp out, I lock her up to something like a tree and I pitch my tent next to her. When I do camp out, I don’t camp out in the open. I am more stealthier.

I’m more of a cold-food person. I’m not brave enough carrying a stove and fuel. I remember a guy who I met while walking the AT up in Vermont who lost his backpack because he didn’t allow his fuel stove to cool down long enough before he packed it up. He had just seconds to drop his backpack before it went up in flames.

Rev Hans Myors · Tuesday April 23, 2019 · #

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