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….

I’m blessed with a free-and-easy way of finding lodgings for mule Polly. While there’s a whole industry that’s sprung up to cater to equine travelers (think camp ground for horses where, instead of renting a cabin, you rent a stall), I take a more direct approach.

Some nights, like last night, some folks got in touch with me and offered me a place to stay.

Other nights, like tonight, well, let’s say I hadn’t a clue where I’d sleep.  That’s when I fell back on the old “Howdy, I’m Bernie and this is my mule Polly and we’re headed to [insert place name here].” gig.

It goes like this. I drive along a back road. I stop at a house/ranch/feed lot/farm/restaurant/general store/police department.  You know, just about anywhere I see a person.

And I just introduce myself, explain that I’m looking for a place to put my mule Polly up for the night.

And then a miracle happens. Almost invariably, that person will either a) invite me to spend the night with them or b) send me on to someone who could put us up.

Scenario “b” is what happened tonight.  Which is why mule Polly is munching on clover at a Missouri stock yard between St Louis and Columbia. Oh, clover and orchard grass. Thanks for the bale of hay Fred !

Here are some pics.

Bernie's rig parked for the night
From here, well, this stock yard doesn’t look too promising. Mostly just a huge parking lot with a fringe of grass. But look closely and you’ll spot my truck and a head down mule Polly….


Mule Polly eating hay.
….munching on a beautiful bale of Missouri hay. Thanks Fred!
Mule Polly at a stock yard.
Mule Polly moments after she stepped off my trailer after a 7 hour ride from Nashville, TN. She looks like she’s headed to the starting gate of the Kentucky Derby. Pretty fancy for a Missouri stock yard.


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