Bernie Harberts and mule Polly interview on “Carolina Hoofbeats” TV show

Note: Program has been rescheduled to air July 29: Here’s your chance to prepare for your next adventure! Join “Carolina Hoofbeats” host Rose Cushing and me as we take a look at the voyage behind the “Lost Sea Expedition” TV series. You’ll meet mule Polly and tour the wagon she pulled from Canada to Mexico.
When: Sunday,July 29  / 7:30am

Where: Channel CW22 (Raleigh, NC)

Streaming: If you don’t catch it on TV,  you can stream the episode on Roku’s “Farm and Ranch TV Network” (coming early August 2018)

 

Letter from the Lost Sea Expedition

A letter for you, straight from the Lost Sea Expedition wagon (Otero County, NM)

 

“Polly’s tied up in the wind to a road sign that says “Pinon Creek Rd” – a road that leads from dust to more wind.”

That’s how the letter started. I posted it from a gravel truck crossing Crow Flats instead of the post office.   Here’s a letter to the outside world from the Lost Sea Expedition wagon. Continue reading “Letter from the Lost Sea Expedition”

“Have you lost your damn mind?” The Illustrations Behind the Lost Sea Expedition

Turtle Island: the Lakota origin story as painted by Charlie Frye. From the Lost Sea Expedition Series (Charlie Frye illustration)

“Bernie…..have you lost your DAMN mind?” That’s what folk artist Charlie Frye said when I asked him to paint 30 paintings for the Lost Sea Expedition the series about my 14 month wagon mule voyage across America.

Charlie with some of the 30-plus paintings he created for the Lost Sea Expedition series on Rocky Mountain PBS, Amazon and Vimeo.
Charlie with some of the 30-plus paintings he created for the Lost Sea Expedition series on Rocky Mountain PBS, Amazon and Vimeo.

But I know Charlie’s about more than roosters, rusty trucks and bootleggers.  Then Charlie started painting. Here’s more on how Charlie went from painting owls to dead fish.

 

Skip’s Honey Map

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.

Bernie and Polly take a break on the road
Bernie: “Which way is it to Mexico, Polly?” Polly: “Just keep walking……” Outside Beach, ND

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.

Continue reading “Skip’s Honey Map”

The Last Wagon Journal Entry

Bernie's Optimus Ranger 8R stove in the Texas desert.
The last night on the road. The flame in the foreground is the Optimus Ranger 8R gasoline stove. I used the the ancient, $35 stove, to cook almost all my meals on the entire Canada to Mexico journey.  The tripod used to to film the Lost Sea Expedition is next to water jug I used to carry water in to the desert. Look closely behind the wagon and you can spot a bale of alfalfa hay. The water jug and hay make an appearance later that night in my journal. (Sierra Blanca, Texas)

March 9 marks the anniversary of my last day on my wagon voyage across America – the journey that became the Lost Sea Expedition series.

Most nights in my wagon, I wrote in my journal. Tonight, reading back over those entries here in my cabin in Western North Carolina, those notes seems like a missive from another era. Continue reading “The Last Wagon Journal Entry”

Time Lapse Cattle Guard Crossing

Time lapse of mule Polly and I crossing a cattle guard in the New Mexican desert. The cattle guard is made of railroad ties spaced about 9″ apart. That means Polly’s hooves would have fallen between gaps – the reason I had to unhook her and lead her around.  For a while there, she had me pulling the wagon a spell on our voyage across America. Smart mule!