Finally a Mule Team – East Bend, NC

Growing up, one of my favorite pictures in my parent’s house was a photo of a man cultivating tobacco behind his mule.


(One of) the photos that got me thinking run-away thoughts as a kid (Photo by Jack Jeffers 12/4/74)

That old man was slim as a tobacco stake and the great old mule he walked behind had a notch missing from his ear. The man’s cultivator was one of those old wooden ones that relied on river rocks to… Continue reading

Finally a wagon (well, sort of…) – Virgilina, VA

The big news is I have a wagon. Sort of.

I can thank Mike Walker for that.


“Good luck, Bo!” were Mike’s parting words (Mike and Pam Walker, outside Virgilina, VA)

Mike’s the guy that sold me mule Woody for my trip across America. I ran into him recently at Benson Mule days, and when I told him I was in the market for a wagon he said “Bo, I’ve got just the wagon for you. It’s gonna run you… Continue reading

The Next Buck-a-Pound Trip – Southern Pines, NC

Welcome back everyone!

Ok, so I’ve been off-line for the past few months catching my breath from Woody and Maggie’s cross-country ride. I might as well fess up right now.

I’m running away again.

This time I’m thinking mule team and wagon; start in North Dakota and just head South. No time frame, no route, just start after the snow melts and head toward the Gulf Coast.

Bob Sundown put it into my head.


Bob Sundown and dog Skeeter: The… Continue reading

Journey's End: Making the Other Side – San Diego, CA


Joining waters

After thirteen months on the road, mornings start like this.

I draw the needle from inside my hat band, thread it with dental floss (waxed) and suture the newest rip in my britches’ seat.Then I tuck my shirt in with greatest care, making sure the tail reaches well south of the repair in case of floss failure. I’ve long given up underwear. I’m down to an extra blue shirt, two bandanas and a pair of socks, none of… Continue reading

Busted flat in California – Salton Sea, CA

The potato truck roared toward us and left Maggie with one decision, leap into the irrigation canal or plunge down the road bank.

Maggie chose dust over drowning, took her buggy airborne and belly skidded to halt in the date palm grove.

The truck billowed by a flattened Maggie and Woody just stared. She lay there in the dirt and palm fronds, wrapped in tugs and breaching like a poorly tied hay bale. Then out shot her front legs and… Continue reading

Salvation Mountain – Slab City, CA

LOVE” rose huge and pink from the airborne desert sands. Above it in red the words “GOD IS” and crowning the three worlds, like a s sabre stabbing a cake, a telephone pole cross.

I rode closer.

I’d been in the desert four days. I was down to five pounds and four gallons of desert currency; grain and water. But this I had to investigate.

I reined Woody to the base of the mountainous explosion of wind… Continue reading

Along the American Sahara – Cactus, CA


Alone

They once called it The American Sahara, that line of sand dunes that drifts from Yuma toward the Salton Sea.

Then some geographically correct person re-baptized them the Imperial Dunes. As in the Imperial Valley where they grow truck loads of lettuce and alfalfa. Suddenly the dunes sounded tamer. Smaller. It sissifies mountain of sand to re-name it after a garden, even if it’s one of the nation’s biggest carrot producers.

But just what is large? Does the name… Continue reading

The Official Center of the World – Felicity, CA

“Now stand on the plaque and make a wish” Norma informed me as I approached the bronze circle. I stepped into the ring of raised lettering that read “Official Center of the World” and tread onto the dot at the center. This was it. I closed my eyes. I made my wish.

Then I asked Norma, sort of cowering, “Hey, Norma. Has a mule ever stood at the center of the world?”.

And my wish came true.

Magnolia first, and… Continue reading

The Official Center of the World – Felicity, CA

“Now stand on the plaque and make a wish” Norma informed me as I approached the bronze circle. I stepped into the ring of raised lettering that read “Official Center of the World” and tread onto the dot at the center. This was it. I closed my eyes. I made my wish.

Then I asked Norma, sort of cowering, “Hey, Norma. Has a mule ever stood at the center of the world?”.

And my wish came true.

Magnolia first, and… Continue reading

The Sound of Desert Greening – Mobile, AZ

Last night I heard spring arriving.


The sound of spring on the ground

All winter, it’s been a struggle to keep Woody and Maggie fed.

I can haul some grain on Maggie’s cart; sometimes a few flakes of hay. But as soon as I pitch camp, I tether Maggie by a front leg and turn Woody loose. That way they can browse a bit and add the odd wisps of dry Med grass or mesquite twigs to their meager rations.… Continue reading

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