Writing New Book

Mules Cracker and Brick, stars of my upcoming book, relaxing at home.

Sorry I haven’t written lately. I’ve been busy chasing mules, admiring an 8-legged lamb and having lunch with Robert, a 1000 pound, dead man.

Yes, I’m writing a new book.

Draft One of the new book: All the field notes have been transcribed. Now comes the fleshing out.

Mule Ramble Book

My new book is about my recent mule ramble from North Carolina to Idaho with mules Brick… Continue reading

Hawk Hucks, Woman Watches Movie

When the mules sull up and my pen doesn’t want to scribble I think of comments like Patty’s. They keep me going. Seems Patty was up late with her sick dog Hawk watching the Lost Sea Expedition.

Hawk hucks (Julia Carpenter sketch. Plenty more of Julia’s art and essays at ConsideringAnimals.com)



Patty writes: Wow! Thank you for sharing your amazing lives with others. Love this blog and your show which I stumbled upon late at night when my… Continue reading

Paul Compton: 1926 – 2019

He will blow his harmonica no more. Today I received word from Gerry Compton that his dad, Paul Compton, died December 5. I met Paul traveling through the outskirts of Shelbyville, Illinois during this summer’s Mules West ramble. Even in his nineties, he could still blow that harp!

Paul Compton: mail carrier, harmonica and poet. (Shelbyville, IL)
I snapped the photo above of Paul as he played me a tune on his harmonica. Click on the player for a listen.… Continue reading

Tractor Tire Mule Haul

Mowing the mountain top apple orchard I heard a “wobble, wobble, wobble” and the steering of the tractor went all wonky and I looked down and saw the front tractor tire had come off the rim.

Damn. A half mile of mountain trail separated me from the barn. We don’t own a four wheeler, spare tractor or four wheel drive truck.

Bummer: a flat tire a long way from home.

Down and Up

By chance, our forester Andrew Casey was… Continue reading

Dixie Faces

Friday, my wife Julia and I attended the Dixie Draft Sale. The Dixie Draft Sale is the biggest horse, mule, tack and horse drawn equipment sale in the south-east. Their catalogue is the only place I’ve ever seen the word “chattlel” used outside of a hand written Civil War last will and testament.

From the age of chattel: he stopped and looked at me while I was looking at the black wagon and said, “I could have bought a hearse… Continue reading

Dixie Dogs

Clydesdales, Meadowbrook carts and a Russellpit dog. Friday my wife Julia and I went to the Dixie Draft sale in Troutman, North Carolina. As a couple, this is an annual chance to catch up with friends. For me, it’s a chance to remember an ear ache and a soft ball line drive from the 1970s. And then there are the dogs.

Zipper dog

The Dixie Draft Sale

The Dixie Draft Sale is held twice a year – April and November… Continue reading

Dixie Dogs and Faces

Dogs in denim, coon skin hats and Daniel Boone beards. Today Julia and I attended the Dixie Draft Sale in Troutman, North Carolina. We didn’t come home with a pony but scored a lot of great photos. Check in mañana for the Dixie Dogs photo essay.

We met at the black wagon and he said, “I could have bought this hearse in 1970 for $70.”
Pocket dog.
My favorite wagon: it sold for $1,200
Sold!

Coming Tomorrow: Dixie Dogs

Plenty… Continue reading

I’m Writing You

Dear Marla, Jack, Dan (x2), Carter, Iris and everyone else who sent me a letter while I was out on my latest mule ramble,

This is what my desk looks like.

My writing desk/dining room table. Whew, what a mess: this pile includes a LesSchwab tire receipt, a tape gun, my journal and a copy of Stephen Ambrose’s “Undaunted Courage”

Still, I wanted to let you know I got your lovely letter. As you know, my wife Julia and I… Continue reading

“On a Mule Bound for Triumph” Article in Eye on Sun Valley (Idaho)

Did I ever tell you about the hundreds of miles of plastic flowers and dead snakes I encountered in my recent mule ramble? Enjoy this Sunday read that came out this week in Eye on the Sun in Sun Valley, Idaho.

BY KAREN BOSSICK

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Bernie Harberts encountered an early season snowstorm that dumped three inches of snow between the Hailey rodeo grounds and Triumph.

The snow was starting to stack up on the streets of Hailey when Bernie Harberts dismounted… Continue reading

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