Watch "Mule Rider" on UNC-TV

Fancy life in a mule wagon? Last winter, mule Polly and I hit the road with a film crew from PBS North Carolina. We spent the better part of a week traveling the back roads of eastern North Carolina – from Oriental to Aurora. Through the dormant potato fields, past the moored shrimp boats and giant rusting anchors. We visited with net maker Virgil Potter and guitar picker John Carawan.

What the film crew captured that blustery week recently aired as the “Mule Rider” segment on the “Our State” TV program. It’s the most authentic look in to wagon life I’ve seen. Plus, it won and Emmy Award. Great job guys!

You can watch “Mule Rider” right here.

Join mule Polly and me for a mighty mule wagon trip.

Map note: map shows location of Mayo’s Supplies outside Hobucken, North Carolina. Polly and I spent a windy night in the pine grove across the street from the commercial docks. In the “Mule Rider” program, this is where you see the “Sorry I missed you” note.

2013-10-07 15:59:04

Hi Bernie,

I so enjoyed the Mule Rider segment of the UNC-TV production. Well done by the camera crew, production crew…but the best were the stars, Polly and you. Thank you for sharing it.

MaryAnna (SW Central British Columbia, Canada) – with Donkeys growing up, slowly, to pull my yet to be built Caravan.

2014-05-14 00:41:36

Hi Bernie,

I visit this blog and and watch the UNC-TV production of Mule Rider at least once a month…for the pleasure and the smile my face makes, and the tear in my eye every time I see those kids run to the window and say “Hi Polly” outside. It is a beautiful film and it carries my traveling heart off down the road with you.

My kids didn’t get raised with a mule, but they were raised on the cart or harnessed donkey as we traveled in the country of upstate NY in the 1970s, and they got to travel on horseback and in the Datsun Conestoga wagon down the roads, and across the country, and a horse drawn cart down the gravel roads, dirt roads and trails of British Columbia, Canada. One of my three children has horses with his wife and daughter. They chose more conventional lives then me, after growing up in the country and five years in the wilderness with me…but then, I lived a much more conventional and easy life as a girl, and dreamed of the wild life I am so glad came true. They grew up in that wild life and thought they were missing something and had their own dreams to follow and make come true.

A horse drawn Caravan is still in my future – I have the horses, and the donkeys to pull the caravan when I get over 70 years old (they are young now)…slowing down even more. I have traveled lots on horse back, driven horses professionally now and then over the years, or hauling my horses in an old truck with trailer to work on ranches as cook and cowgirl, after the kids flew the nest and left me alone. The horses and I slowed down 9 years ago to a quieter, more sedate, work-a-day life…in the country. But retirement, for me, will not be an RV, it will be a Caravan…that has been the dream and the plan…and as my heart sings, watching you and Polly going down the road and meeting and visiting people, I want to be in a similar picture and have it be my life.

Thanks for living your values and being one of the rare ones, showing the way.

Paula McKinnon
2015-06-09 14:24:59

It was awesome to meet you at the farm today at the Schiele Museum. I have forwarded your webpage to our Education department. Look forward to hearing from you again!

2015-06-14 22:12:12

Thanks for spending the time with us on your lunch break. If we’d had mule Polly with us, we could have hitched her to the Museum’s wagon for a lunch time tour of the Shiele’s fabulous building collection! Keep in touch. Regards, Bernie


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[…] trailer mule Polly to eastern North Carolina to film the Emmy award-winning PBS North Carolina segment “The Mule Rider“ […]

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