The Long Journey Home

Howdy Sunday. Today the mules and I start our long journey home. From Hailey, Idaho, where we ended our mule ramble, we head back toward western North Carolina, where we started our journey 7 months ago.

Wheels removed from the trailer after I noticed there was less tread left than I’d hoped.

This time, instead of walking, we’re heading up the road in our beloved 1992 diesel Dodge. We would have left sooner but after checking over the rig (1992 Brenderup trailer) I discovered some spots on the tires balder than the top of my head.

Nothing says “junky” like a trailer on blocks in a nice neighborhood. (outside Hailey, Idaho)
Ahh…… That’s better. The wheels – with new tires – back on the trailer.
All our gear – from saddle to bivy bag – crammed in to the front of the Brenderup trailer.

Where were the mules during all of this? Hiding out in far corner their new pasture of course.

Can you spot Brick and Cracker? Hint: they’re in the dead center of the picture where…
…they were having a high old time playing with each other. Good thing they have all this pent up energy going in to their trailer ride home. They’ll need all the snap they can muster standing in their swaying trailer these next few days on the road.

About the Towing Rig

I know. To some, our transport seems meager compared to the big trucks and living quarter trailers many folks use these days. I’ve owned this 1992 D250 Dodge 15 years. There’s something comforting and hypnotic about its 12 valve, computer free Cummins diesel heart purring away as it pushes us up the road. It’s rarely let me down on numerous cross-country drives and even 2 forays in to Canada. I’d like to think I’d hang on to it even if I won the lottery (which I don’t play).

My beloved old Dodge pickup truck and Brenderup trailer. Both are 1992 vintage.

There’s also something comforting about hauling my mules with gear that doesn’t cost too much. Between the truck and trailer, I have less than $9k sunk in to the purchase price of reliable equipment. I would, and have, driven this truck tens of thousands of miles across America and beyond.

Yes, $9k is a chunk of change. But it’s not $50k which is what you’ll pay for a new base model Dodge with the Cummins diesel. Oh, and don’t forget to add another $15k-plus for the new aluminum tag along trailer. That adds up to $65k, a long cry from 9,000 smackers. And we’re just talking a 2-door pickup and a small trailer. Man up to a new dually Dodge and aluminum living quarter trailer and you could easily sail in to the $100k to $150 range.

That just doesn’t sound like a fun way to haul 2 cheap mules around. Besides, you can buy a whack-load of new tires for your old trailer with what you’d save over buying a new one.

The Route Home

It’s 2,200 miles from Hailey, Idaho back home to Lenoir, North Carolina. From Hailey, we plan to head east toward the following places where we’ll spend the night:

  • Rawlins, Wyoming
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • St Louis, Missouri
  • ??? (Maybe Nashville, TN, maybe Lenoir, NC)

It feels good to head home. It feels good to know that – barring breakdowns and the unforeseen – I’ll be home with my wife Julia toward the middle of next week.

Enjoy your Seventh Day.

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Danny Coffey
Danny Coffey
4 years ago

Have a safe trip home. It has been great keeping up with you. Stop in if you are ever near.We came through the tunnel in Cumberland Gap ,Tn

Katrina
Katrina
4 years ago

Have a safe and happy journey!

Mary Anna
Mary Anna
4 years ago

Have a safe and pleasant trip home, after such a grand adventure.

Elisha Stanley
Elisha Stanley
4 years ago

Safe Travels. I like your simple and dependable way!

Christian
4 years ago

Oh man – such great news! I’m guessing you’re putting into various ports of call from your various expeditions? Added bonus, for sure! Looking forward to riding virtual shotgun…

C

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