The Lost Sea Expedition TV series is about a voyage I (Bernie Harberts) took across America with my mule. The series was filmed with only the gear I carried in my wagon – no film crew, support team or sponsor. I slowed down to explore a sped up world as only a man alone can do.
Out there in my tiny wagon, I filmed what I lived: tumbleweed gales, snow storms, the highs of Badlands Blue and the low of Prairie Fever. I lived among the people I interviewed – ranchers, Lakota elders, scientists, creationists and and every day folks.
The goal of my voyage was to capture the wandering life, explore a little known part of America, and bring the experience home to you. The Lost Sea Expedition does that. When it is complete you’ll be able to “walk” across the United States with me in 4 half-hour TV segments. Instead sound bite glimpses of county, like you get on some social media and the news, you’ll feel like you spent a year absorbing it first hand.
Still, the voyage isn’t quite done for me. I need to bring the TV series the final distance – get it paid for and on TV.
Turning the footage shot in the field in to a TV series has been a huge project. The Lost Sea Expedition is currently in production. It is being produced for public television which means I have to come up with all the money to make this happen.
This is where you can help. Please make a donation to help complete the series. Just $25 would buy half an hour of audio engineering. With your help, I’m confident we’ll raise enough money to finish this project in short order. I want you to see this series as soon as possible so let’s get going!
In the meantime, all the latest info about the voyage and TV series – from video shorts to where you can catch up with mule Polly and me – is in the Latest News section. Have you seen the one about the mummified….thing…
Looking back on our travels, it’s easy to just remember the eyeballs. Smiling eyes of a new friendship on the road. Blood shot eyes of late night encounters. Eyes worn dull by time. Eyes sharpened by experience.
It’s easy to overlook the hands.
The wagon voyage behind the Lost Sea Expedition series took me right down the Great Plains, from Canada to Mexico. In the 1950, textbooks still referred to much of this land as the American Sahara. More recently, hurried motorist and folks that don’t know better call them the Drive Through States.
It’s also part of the Grain Belt.
If you think in terms of where this country’s calories come from, this would be the wide base of the caloric pyramid. Think corn, milo, wheat, soybeans, wheat, oats and peas. Much of this goes to the table. Even more gets run through cows and pigs and gets turned in to milk, beef, pork chops and bacon.
It’s hard, physical country and marks people from their eyes to their hands – especially their hands.
One day, Polly and I took a lunch break at the grain elevator in Tokio, Texas. This cheered Polly immensely as she had her choice of millions of pounds of milo. Milo, a close relative to sorghum, is used by feed lots to fatten cattle and bio fuel plants to produce fuel. To Polly, it looked like a million pound buffet.
After Polly ate her fill, I visited with employees Manual Cantu and Daniel Christensen. They were in the break room finishing their lunch. They told me from October to November, they weigh and unload the grain trucks that bring milo grain to the elevator. There, it gets reloaded on other trucks that haul it to nearby cattle feed lots.
We finished our lunches. I got up to leave and shook their hands by the door. There fingers felt bent, twisted, gnarled and rough. Like roots that had been broken, grown back, been broken again and healed a little more bent than last time.
When they let my hand go, I saw why. The bones in their fingers were out of line, the veins ropy. “The hands of a working man” Daniel called them.
I fired up my voice recorder to get the story. Maybe I’ll play it for you one day.
Manual and Daniel went back to work. Polly and I walked West.
I still think of Manual and Daniel and their hands from time to time. I’d like to shake their hands again. They really were the hands that feed America.