Sailing Back to Horses

I have not always traveled by mule. When I was thirty, I decided that sailing around the world would be more interesting than sticking with my office job. I bought an old boat named Sea Bird and notified my employer that I was going sailing. I had just enough money saved to get going but not enough to make the whole trip without working along the way. I went anyway.

Sea Bird when I bought her. She was designed by… Continue reading

Hoof Boots in the Snow

This week we had our first snow of the season. It wasn’t a blizzard. We only got about five inches of snow. Still, it was fun taking Cracker and Pie for a spin in the white stuff. If you’ve ever wondered how hoof boots work in the snow, I think you’ll find this post interesting.

Heading out with Pie and Cracker.

About Hoof Boots and Me

None of my wife Julia’s or my horses or mules wear steel shoes.… Continue reading

Snow on the Pillows

This morning, Julia and I woke up with snow on our pillows. We sleep with our bedroom window open, year-round, and during the night, the season’s first snowstorm blew in. The boundary between the indoors and the outdoors is thin and that’s the way we like it.

Julia went out to feed the critters before coffee this morning. I took some photos you might enjoy. Yes, we’ll get to the coffee. Enjoy!

Pie hunkered down, tail-to the wind
The view… Continue reading

“Trash to Triumph” Book Update

Last day of the “Trash to Triumph” voyage. Here is my last day on the road after riding from North Carolina to Idaho. Sign up right here to hear when the book comes out.

A little over two years ago, I finished riding mules Brick and Cracker from North Carolina to Idaho. I am currently working on the third draft of the book. The title of the book is “Trash to Triumph”.

Writing the first draft… Continue reading

In Praise of Salamander Water Part Two: Keeping the Cistern on the Hill

Last week I told you how my wife Julia went to turn on the tap in the kitchen and we didn’t have water. I thought it might have been a salamander plugging up the works. It turned out our cistern was about to topple off the hill.

We get our water from a spring above our house. Here’s how it flows to the kitchen sink.
One of the salamanders in our cistern. Sometimes they stop up the plumbing and… Continue reading

On Becoming Harriet Bighorn

My wife Julia and I are thinking about our next trip. My way of getting ready for a trip is just leaving. Julia makes lists. One of the things on her list of things to do before heading out is, “Teach Pie and Magneto to pack and remain calm even when the pack saddle flips under their bellies or they see a bull elk or a mountain lion.”

Julia with my mule Brick, on the left, and her pony Magneto.… Continue reading

In Praise of Salamander Water: Part 1: The Dry Tap

“There’s no water in the kitchen sink,” my wife Julia told me recently and I knew it was one of two things. Our water comes from a spring behind our cabin. Either a salamander or a crayfish had gotten stuck in the plumbing or the cistern that gathered the spring water was empty.

A crayfish we found walking up the driveway one recent frosty morning. They sometimes get stuck in our water supply.
Julia in the kitchen the day we… Continue reading

Mule Mushroomimg: Hunting “Aeyer Schweumli” from the Saddle

My mom used to point them out to us as kids. We’d be walking through the forest in western North Carolina and she’d point down at an orange mushroom and say, “Lueg. As Aeyer Schweumli”. “Lueg” means “look” in Swiss German, her native language. Aeyer Schweumli is what she used to call chanterelles. *

Aeyer Schweumli: aka chanterelle. It’s also called “Pfifferling” in German. Pfeffer means “pepper” in German. The mushroom has a peppery taste.

My brother Christian recalls a… Continue reading

Pony Sunday: How to Exercise Three Mules at Once

Recently, my wife Julia and I exercised our small herd of three mules and one pony all at once. I thought you might enjoy a few photos of how we did it.

Three for the price of one: here, I’m riding mule Brick and leading Polly (L) and Cracker (R). We’re coming around a turn so everyone’s a little all over the show

Usually, when you think of saddle riding, you think of a person sitting in the saddle riding… Continue reading

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