Framed up and Street Legal – Southern Pines, NC

Woody taught me everything I needed to know about wagon design. Strength comes first followed closely by light weight.

Woody strength testing the Forest Service bulldozer he’s tied to. (Forest Service Station, Catherine Lake, NC, May 2004)

Occasionally, when he was tied up and couldn’t get to Maggie, he leaned into his halter with enough force to break the lead rope.

With Jack and Bill I thought it was different. After all, they were older than Woody and came from… Continue reading

The First Sparks – Southern Pines, NC

I decided my wagon should have a light steel frame covered in thin plywood. After all, what other material could survive a captain who’d steered past charges onto shipwrecks?

Beaching…a common theme in my travels (Sea Bird cast up on the beach outside Darwin, Australia. Yet again…)

A ship wreck that Sea Bird actually missed. It was too far up the beach. (Yes, that’s Sea Bird resting on the beach.)

While it’s often true that past performance does not guarantee… Continue reading

Title Suggestions With Mule Woody's Comments – Southern Pines, NC

Thanks everybody for your help. The title suggestions are rolling in! Here they come…in no particular order. Keep sendin’ em and I’ll keep posting em.

10 Legged Journey: Woody, Maggie and Me.
Many Hearts for Ten Legs
The Mule That Walked to the Center of the World
10 Legs, Will Travel
Are we There Yet?
From Atlantic to Pacific with Oats for Fuel
Half-assed Journey Across America
Long Miles with Long Ears
Bullet Holes & Bumblebees: A Story of… Continue reading

Blueprints? We Don't Need No Stinking Blueprints! Southern Pines, NC

It occurred to me after I razed my wagon that I hadn’t have a clue about how to build a new one.

Then I remembered Vernon Laman.

Vernon and Smoky in their home made wagon (Artesia, New Mexico)

I met Vernon in Artesia, New Mexico. He was in his eighties, had driven trucks for a living, and after he retired, he built a wagon out of a twenty dollar VW carcass. He joined us for a day on the road,… Continue reading

Help! – Southern Pines, NC

I’m just wrapping up my book about Woody and Maggie’s ride across American and I’ve run up against a very embarrassing problem.

I can’t think of a dern title.

This is where I need your help!

Got any good notions for a snappy title?

The book covers my journey across America by mule and pony. It’s about all the good people we met along the way like the meth queen that put us up and in the morning I discovered… Continue reading

Signs of Rot – Southern Pines, NC

It started innocently enough as it usually does. It was a fine day, a bit rainy, and I decided that I should introduce Woody, Maggie, Jack and Bill to my new wagon.

The (soon to be) last supper (Southern Pines, NC)

I scattered some buckets out, doled feed into each and my mounts dug in. In the idle moments I looked closer at my wagon.

“Funny” I thought to myself, “that corner looks wet.” When I stepped closer it was… Continue reading

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 its 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

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