About the Lost Sea Expedition TV Series

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.

Bernie and his muile Polly in the New Mexican desert. The film footage of their voyage became the basis of the Lost Sea Expedition TV series.

Hi. I’m Bernie Harberts and this is my mule Polly. We traveled and filmed our way across American in our wagon. That footage is now being turned in to the Lost Sea Expedition TV series. (Hope, NM)

USA iDraw Labeled Route Complete JPEG export

The 2,500 mile route we took across America. The voyage lasted 14 months, covered 10 states and spanned 4 seasons.

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.

The Lost Sea Wagon parked on Hurley Butte, South Dakota.

The Lost Sea Expedition TV series lets you absorb some of the remotest parts of America, like Hurley Butte, South Dakota.

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…



Series Credits

The Lost Sea Expedition is the story of a solo mule wagon voyage across America. Though Bernie and Polly traveled alone, it took many people and communities to turn the experience in to a series for Public Television. This is where we thank them. The credit list is ongoing. If you were part of the Lost Sea Expedition series and didn’t find yourself on the list (hey, some days Bernie forgot to hook Polly’s traces chains too…) then drop us a line.

Bernie's boot used a tripod.

Some things you can improvise, even do alone, like filming. For other things, like weaving that footage into a great TV series….? Well, that takes lots of help from other people.

Fiscal Sponsorship Provided by The International Documentary Association

Fiscal Sponsorship Provided by The International Documentary Association

On-camera Credits

In appearance: Nola and Perry Stratton, Doug Smith, Tama Smith, Neal Larson, Pete Larson, Ben Rhodd, Twilla Merril, George McKillip, Mike Everhart, Barbara Shelton, Chuck Bonner, Duane Ackley, Charles Howard and Joe Taylor

Special Thanks

Will and Deni McIntyre / will & deni media / macfoto.com

Ronald and Linda Hudson: for selling me Polly

Mel Wyatt and Beth Clarke: for letting me build a wagon in the garage

Melinda Penkava and Keith Smith

Towndock.net – hosting

Christian Harberts – web design

Kelly Tyler-Lewis – consulting


Tim Larson: Black Hills, SD footage of Polly galloping with wagon


Charlie Frye / Frye Art Studio / Lenoir, NC / facebook.com/fryeartstudio

Bernie Harberts – US and regional maps


Karen Cantor – “Snowflake Bucking” – singingwolfdocs.org

Catherine French – “Jockey Bernie” -catherinefrench.photoshelter.com

Sue Smithson – “Bernie, mule Woody and pony Maggie”

Solomon Butcher – “Solomon Butcher”, “Chrisman Sisters”, “Mitchell Sod House”, “Rawding Family Sod House” from “History of Custer County, Nebraska” Butcher, Solomon (1919)

Filming Locations and Assistance


Radville, Saskatchewan – Ray and Jeannette Galarneau, Jeannette Verhelst, Scott McCleod, Zennie Hoffert. Sandra, Fred and Bryce Howells

Neptune, Saskatchewan

Lake Alma, Saskatchewan – Allan Tytlandsvik


Plentywood – Terry Wagner,

Sunrise Drive-in Theater, Plentywood – Nola and Terry Stratton

Antelope – Ronald Ueland

Pennington Ranch – Robert Irwin, Megan Pennington, Ian Pennington, Greg Pennington, Charlie Pennington, Rhonda Pennington, Jake Pennington,  Katie Jununen, Fred J Roedeske, Dave Hatter, Duff Jarrett Fitzgerald


Alzada – Stoneville Bar and Saloon



Waugh Ranch

North Dakota

Beach – Skip Beach, Bijou Theater, Emanuel Culman

Sentinel Butte – Robert and Delores Olson

South Dakota

Hill City – Timothy Larson, Tim Nimmo, Kristin Donnan Standard, Ian, Grant and Kyle Standard, Jared Hudson, Bob Farrar, The Black Hills Institute

Borderlands Ranch, Hill City -Linda Kramer and Borderlands Ranch


Porcupine – Fawn White Face

Wanblee – Basil, Stephanie and Azairea Broken Rope, Stephanie Broken Rope

Belle Furche – Rick Peters

Hurley Butte


Minor Ranch


Seneca – Sandy and Eugene Hansen


Litchfield – Trent and Kelli Loos


Hays – Sternberg Institute


Logan County

Russel Springs – Larry Haverfield


Walsh – Derril and Duane Ackley




Crosbyton – Mount Blanco Fossil Museum – Joe Taylor

Tokio – Michael Joe Christesson, Manuel Tantu

Brownfield – Bill Larue,

Happy – Kyle Odom

Dell City – James Klingberg

Hudspeth Flats

Fort Hancock

New Mexico

Lovington – Joyce Galewood

Maljamar – Albert Ozborne




Black Hills Institute, Hill City, SD

Sternberg Museum, Hays, KS

The Long Riders Guild – thelongridersguild.com

Theme Music

 Pierre Gerwig Langer – “Bonebreaker” –  beatsuite.com