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Total Vehicular Destruction in Two Acts

Act One. The Blowout

It’s after dark, I’m driving, and the caffeine jitters are kicking in. My wife Julia and I are heading across the desert in our Subaru Crosstrek, towing our tiny red gypsy wagon. We’re outside Idaho Falls, pushing through the night to get to Hailey, 130 miles away.

Our rig: a 2015 Subaru Crosstrek towing a homemade vardo gypsy wagon I built on a $250 trailer I bought from Northern Tool. This is the same wagon my… Continue reading

Me Hue Man: New Name, New Tattoo

She stepped out of the night and came over to where Julia and I were chatting around the picnic table. Our homemade gypsy wagon trailer was parked next to us. It was hard dark, and the woman’s long black hair covered her eyes.

She stepped out of the night
Looking into our gypsy wagon at night.

She said, “your wagon is so cute. I’ve been thinking about building a teardrop.” A teardrop is a small trailer, often homebuilt, that has… Continue reading

BioLite Stove Review: Now We’re Cooking With Wood

My wife Julia and I have used a BioLite stove on our latest car camping trip. Who knew you could use twigs and pine cones to boil pasta and charge your phone? In this post, I review the BioLite cook stove. Read on to learn if cooking and charging your phone with a wood-fired stove might work on your next camping or road trip.

Our BioLite cookstove. Here, in Maximum Overdrive Liftoff mode. In this photo, I have just lit… Continue reading

Lesbians, Furries, Kissing Men, and A New Belt in the Sandhills of Nebraska

My wife Julia and I left western North Carolina in our homemade gypsy vardo wagon and arrived four days later in the Sandhills of Nebraska, where we spent the night in a cabin owned by a rancher and his wife. They own a leather shop, and I asked her if she could make me a new belt. “Sure,” she said and told me to drop by the leather shop the next morning.

The rancher’s wife and her children
The cabin… Continue reading

From Starved to Star

The transformation of Magneto

A kind soul rescued him from a herd of eighty feral horses, some of which were starved, others of which had broken legs. And yet, he survived. Read the amazing story of Magneto the Magnificent, my wife Julia’s new horse, at her blog Saddle Under the Stars.

Little Red Vardo Gypsy Wagon Road Trip

This week, my wife Julia and I hitched our little red vardo gyspy wagon to the Subaru and headed west. It’s the same wagon my mule Polly pulled across most of Newfoundland and then through Pamlico County in eastern North Carolina. It featured in the “Our State” / UNC-TV’s episode “Mule Rider” which won a regional Emmy Award for director Morgan Potts.

Loading up L’il Red. I also call it the Newfie Wagon because my mule Polly pulled it across… Continue reading

Why You Need a Hay Moisture Meter

If you…

  • think the horse hay you’re buying is dry but don’t know the exact moisture content (ex: 12 %)
  • pride yourself in being able to stick your hand into a bale of hay and say, “this hay is dry”
  • wonder why the hay you bought in August smells stale by the next April

…then you need a hay moisture meter (also called a moisture tester).

The inside of our hay barn

How do I know this? Because I’ve made… Continue reading

Snake Bites Mule

Snake bites mule: Brick tangles with a non-poisonous black snake.

A while back, Julia and I rode spent six weeks traveling with two saddle and one pack mule from our farm in western North Carolina to Virginia and back. We posted a lot of stories on this trip but here’s one I never got around to sharing with you.

Julia was riding a mule named Dusty we’d borrowed from our friend Ronald Hudson. I was riding my mule Brick. As… Continue reading

Casper the Super-friendly Cat up for Adoption

AUGUST 26: CASPER UPDATE Great big thanks to our neighbor Brandon Lane Darrin who recognized Casper, the mucho-cool cat who showed up at our barn this week. It turns out Casper is “Kit Kit”, our neighbor’s cat. He disappeared in late March and has been reunited with his family, a mom and dad and three kids. A great ending to the story. Our barn’s a little quiet now since he left….

Casper is a trusting cat. This photo was taken… Continue reading
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