One of the main reasons it took 14 months to travel across my mule Polly is that I relied on word of mouth – not technology – to find my way from Canada to Mexico.
I didn’t have a smartphone, GPS, wifi connection, digital maps or sat phone. Instead, I wanted to interact with people. That’s how I ended up on the receiving end of a sketch map and the giving end of three jars of honey.
You see, as I traveled from Canada to the Mexican border with my mule Polly, I just wanted the voyage to unfold. Let it grow by twists and turns. I never set out with a master plan or a wagon full of electronic equipment. I didn’t want to know what the road ahead would look like.
No, I just hit the road with my movie gear, a vague notion of which way I should head every day. Keep the sunrise to my right kind of stuff. Keep filming.
In Beach, North Dakota, I met this huge biker looking dude. His name was Skip Beach. He rode a chopper with a Maltese cross mirror and paid the bills by hauling, among other things, bees.
Yes, honey bees.
I had a great yarn session with Skip and I told him of my rambling ways and he asked me where I was going next. I told him I wasn’t sure which of the many back roads I should take.
About dark, he whips out a piece of paper and three jars of honey. Tells me I should bring the honey to his buddy. Sketches a hand drawn map out for me and sends me on my way. Voila. I knew where I was heading after Beach, North Dakota.
The next day, Polly and I headed out with three jars of honey in our wagon and that sketch map in my pocket. It was clear where we needed to go.
Skip and I are still in touch. I don’t think that would have been the case if I’d always known the road ahead.