Keystone Gallery “Lost Sea Expedition” reunion

Bernie visits with Barbara Shelton and Chuck Bonner
Cast reunion: Mule Polly and I (center) visit with fossil hunters Barbara Shelton and Chuck Bonner. Polly and I spent time with them on our wagon voyage across America. They operate the Keystone Gallery south of Logan, KS. Barbara featured in the Lost Sea Expedition series. You can also check her out in the official Lost Sea Expedition trailer.

Call it the first Lost Sea Expedition cast reunion.  Last night mule Polly and I spent the night with Barbara Shelton and Chuck Bonner. I visited them during the wagon voyage that became the Lost Sea Expedition series.  Barbara appeared in the TV series, including the Official Trailer.  Look for her in the trailer that follows.

Continue reading “Keystone Gallery “Lost Sea Expedition” reunion”

Missouri Feedlot Miracle

Bernie travels through Nashville by truck
Nashville at 55 mph: We’re barreling along in my ’92 Dodge, heading toward Colorado. I was going too fast to spot any country music cliches (guitar, old dog, country boy, momma, torn jeans, broken down pick up truck. ) Look really closely and you can see the trailer in the mirror.

Mule Polly and I are heading to Colorado with our truck and trailer. Once in Colorado, we’ll meet with companies, individuals and foundations interested in underwriting the Lost Sea Expedition, our upcoming series on Rocky Mountain PBS. Thing is every night we need to find a place to sleep. As recently as late this afternoon, I didn’t have a clue where we’d knock off for the night.  And it worked out fine. Just like it always does…. Continue reading “Missouri Feedlot Miracle”

Almost Nashville

Kristi and Stacy Holland put mule Polly and me up for the night. They are truck drivers. Kristi isn’t driving any  more. Stacy is. Toby, the St Bernard, is giving me the ‘Hey, I smell ham and beans on your breath and I didn’t get any…” look.

Day One: it started in Western NC and ended on a couch full of dogs and great human outside Nashville, TN. Thanks Krisit and Stacy for putting us up the first night on the road!  This morning it’s back on the road with the truck and trailer and mule Polly. Headin’ to Colorado you know!   Post Script: We found a place to spend the night. Thanks for the hay Fred. Continue reading “Almost Nashville”

Sunday Morning Paint Job

Sand dust on Bernie's hand.
Stay Calm. Paint On. Sanding my wagon this Sunday morning.

It’s 7:00a Sunday morning. I should be freaking out. In less than 24 hours, I load mule Polly on to my trailer and we head to Colorado. That’s 1,500 miles way from North Carolina. We don’t have a clue where we’re staying each of the 4 nights on the road. Instead of panicking, I’m going to paint my wagon. Continue reading “Sunday Morning Paint Job”

Heading to Colorado


Mule Polly and I are getting ready for a 1,500 mile road trip to Denver, CO. We live in Lenoir, NC.

In recent posts, I’ve alluded to getting mule Polly in shape for an upcoming trip. Pulling logs for firewood, driving her to the mailbox. Here’s the real reason I’m muscling her up. Mule Polly, the Lost Sea Expedition wagon and I are heading back to Colorado.

The Lost Sea Expedition, the 4-part series about my Canada to Mexico wagon voyage, has been chosen to premier on Rocky Mountain PBS.  I figured in the months leading up to broadcast, it would be great to take mule Polly and the wagon on the road in Colorado. Meet with folks where the Lost Sea Expedition series will run. Visit with underwriters and viewers. Give wagon tours. Hell, maybe even give some slide shows on the wagon awning.

Bernie and his mule Polly on the Colorado state line.
Mule Polly and I arrive in Colorado during the Lost Sea Expedition wagon voyage from Canada to Mexico. The 2,500 mile voyage took 14 months.

So when do I leave? Soon. I’m thinking it will take a few more days of  packing and tending to the farm. Then it’s time to hit the road!

Here’s the rig I’m hauling Polly out to Colorado aboard. Yep, that’s my trusty 1992 Dodge hauling a home made-(ish) trailer. You can see the yellow Lost Sea Expedition wagon aboard.

Right now, things are sort of crazy getting ready. The transmission on my Dodge just got rebuilt after a quarter century of faithful service. I need to a vet certificate for mule Polly to ease her way across state lines.  Still, I’ll be posting details of our voyage out to Colorado. Who knows, maybe we can catch up on the way!


I’m embarrassed. I’ve been so focused on fund raising for the Lost Sea Expedition TV series that I failed to notice friends have been hitting that  yellow “Donate” button. Soooooo….a hearty Thank You to everyone who’s chipped in! Now you can check out your name on the page. Oh, Thanks again!

Charlie Frye painting on the big screen

The world’s biggest Frye: Charlie Fye’s painting of a mosasaur. This marine lizard swam in the ancient sea that once covered Kansas. The image projected on a theater screen is much larger than the image painted on a board. (Oriental, NC)

Folk artist Charlie Frye painted all the paintings for the Lost Sea Expedition series. During last weekend’s Lost Sea Expedition program in Oriental, NC, we projected some on stage. They looked huge (and great!).  That’s me sitting on the stage. Now I know what it feels like to be a baitfish.

Oriental Thanks

Big Jack: Oriental dog-about town Jack of fame made an on screen appearance during Friday night’s performance.

Great big thanks to the 70-plus folks that attended Friday night’s Lost Sea Expedition program.  We’re currently raising $20k (yes, $20,000) to get the 4-part series up to Public TV specs.  Last night’s coverage charge ($5 per head) and donations all went directly toward that goal. We’ve now raised $9k. Only $11k to go……..!

The Old Theater in Oriental, NC. It was a real rush to take to the stage shared by legendary acts like Leon Redbone, Roger McGuinn of the Byrds and John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

Thanks to Lynn and Art Whalen for setting us up at the Old Theater. Kudos to Keith Smith and Melinda for getting the word out on

This coming week mule Polly and I get back to training. More on the upcoming road trip soon.