Which Swarm Box Will Catch the First Swarm of Bees?

I put up four swarm traps this week in the hope of catching a swarm of wild bees. Of the four traps I put out – Walnut, Oak, Wisteria and Willow – which one do you think will catch the first swarm of bees?

More about each swarm box in just a sec

How to Catch a Swarm of Bees

Last year, I built a swarm box, caught a swarm of wild bees, and installed them in a horizontal bee… Continue reading

What’s it Like to Float Alone in the Doldrums

This week, I had a great chat with Atlas Obscura co-founder Dylan Thuras about what it’s like to be stuck in the Doldrums. When I say the Doldrums, I don’t mean depression, a funk or a case of the mid-winter blues. I’m talking about the capital D Doldrums, the windless stretch of the Atlantic Ocean on either side of the equator that’s known for trapping sailors for weeks at a time.

The Doldrums: that place made famous by the “The… Continue reading

How to Move Beyond the Pressure Box With Trust Technique Practitioner Julia Carpenter

My wife Julia recently became the first Trust Technique practitioner certified to work with horses on the East Coast. That’s a big deal and I’m so proud of Julia, especially since she’s already such an accomplished horsewoman.

Julia with her Haflinger Pie (L) and rescue Arab-cross Magneto

A Half a Century With Horses

Julia and I grew up with horses, have traveled together with them (like the time we spent a month and a half riding them to Virginia and… Continue reading

Introducing Photo of the Day

I’m excited to add a new feature to RiverEarth.com. It’s called Photo of the Day and features a semi-random photo of my mules, friends, travels, and the life my wife Julia and I live in the mountains of western North Carolina – posted every few days to the home page.

The first Photo of the Day. This is my buddy Ronald Hudson. I bought my mule Polly from him almost twenty years ago. I’ve since learned that when he says,… Continue reading

List of Podcasts, Interviews and Reviews Featuring “Two Mules to Triumph”

The #1 Apple Travel Podcast Atlas Obscura recently dedicated an entire episode to the story behind my upcoming book Two Mules to Triumph
The back and front cover of Two Mules to Triumph, about riding my mules 2,300-mile journey from North Carolina to Idaho.

It’s an exciting time for my new book Two Mules to Triumph. Word is getting out, buzz is picking up and seven podcasts have invited me onto their shows to talk about the book.… Continue reading

19 Million Mule Steps Wins WINNIE Award

Two pieces of exciting news. 1) My new photo book 19 Million Mule Steps was awarded a WINNIE award at the most recent EQUUS Film & Art Fest. 2) You can download a free copy.

19 Million Mule Step contains 103 pages of photos, sketches and musings that didn’t fit into my upcoming memoir Two Mules to Triumph. Both books are about my 2,300-mile Long Ride… Continue reading

The Hoof Boot Review: 3 Hoof Boots, 32 Days on the Trail

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Consumer Reports just won’t report on some things. These are the boots we’re reviewing. Here’s how they looked during our month-long mule ramble.We reviewed Cavallo, Renegade and Easy Boot hoof boots. Here’s how they held up after 32 days on the trail

What’s the best kind of hoof boot for your horse or mule? My wife Julia and I rode from North Carolina to Virginia and back with three brands of hoof boots. This hoof boot review is what we… Continue reading

Lessons from Bogging Hodge the Horse in New Zealand

Many years ago (2001) I was helping Allan Crawford muster cattle on the North Island of New Zealand. The cattle were scattered through a low range of mountains covered in tea tree scrub and crisscrossed by murky creeks. Allan and I split up to circle a mob of cattle scattered across a mountainside a half an hour’s ride away. Allan was riding his horse Dancer and I was riding Hodge, a fleabitten… Continue reading

How Adeline Hallot Went From Cart Traveler to Horse Traveler: Part 2/2

What’s it like to spend three years traveling from France to Spain with two dogs, two horses, a mule, a cat and a chicken? You should ask Adeline Hallot, because that’s exactly what she did. My wife Julia and I visited with Adeline this summer and got her story. This is Part 2 of the two-part series I’m writing about her. You can read Part 1 here.

Adeline and her horse Gezi (Adeline Hallot photo)
Adeline and her horse Gezi (Adeline Hallot photo)
Adeline Hallot with her… Continue reading

What it’s Like to Ride a Mule Through Casper, Wyoming

I’d been riding my mule Cracker and leading my pack mule Brick across Wyoming for days, heading from North Carolina to Idaho, where my wife Julia’s brother Nick and his wife Carolyn live.

Some days, I stuck to the gravel roads and went for hours without seeing any cars.

A low-traffic Wyoming road

Others, I led the mules through wind-swept plains that stretched for miles in all directions.


One morning, I crested a hill. The valley on the other… Continue reading

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