Dino napping

Harvey McPherson (Creston, South Dakota)
Harvey McPherson (Creston, South Dakota)

Traveling across the ancient sea bed of the Western Interior Seaway, when I wasn’t filming the Lost Sea Expedition or looking for marine fossils, I was always on the lookout for a good place to sneak a nap. Enter Harvey and the dinosaur.

The Lost Sea Expedition is the 4-part series about my mule wagon voyage across America. The series will premier on Rocky Mountain PBS the end of this year.  Though mule Polly and I are back in North Carolina, one thing hasn’t changed since the days of walking, day after day, across America.

Most days, I take a nap.

Bernie Harberts and his mule Polly in South Dakota.
Break time in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I have unhitched mule Polly and picketed her out so she can graze while I ….. take a nap.

23 Minutes

Most days, when the sun is at its highest, I put my head down for 23 minutes.  23 minutes – that’s long enough to fool my brain in to thinking it’s been asleep for hours.  It’s also short enough to satisfy the efficiency expert inside me that I haven’t frittered away half an hour.

This need must be wired awfully deep in to the reptilian (or sloth) part of my brain.  Traveling from Canada to Mexico with mule Polly, even if I was filming, about the time early afternoon rolled around, the Land of Nod came calling.

This made for some fun napping opportunities. Here is one of them.

Dino Napping

While passing through Creston, South Dakota with mule Polly, a dinosaur caught my eye. Of course I had to pull over and investigate. In short order, I found Harvey McPherson. Harvey runs the ranch owned by Ken Wilson, where the dinosaur lives. In a addition to caring for the ranch’s red angus cattle, Harvey’s become a sort of on-site dinosaur guide.

Harvey and the dino
Harvey and the dino
It took me a while to convince Polly that this dinosaur was a herbivore.
It took me a while to convince Polly that this dinosaur was a herbivore. All the gear used to film the Lost Sea Expedition series was carried in the yellow wagon. The 100 watt solar panel on the roof powered all the equipment.

Harvey explained how the dinosaur had been built of wood lathe and cement. The thin strips of wood defined the dinosaur’s shape. A thin layer of cement acted as a skin. Red reflectors served as eyes and the tail…well, that I found just too hard to resist.

After Harvey left, I stretched out on dinosaur’s tail for a snooze. Terrific.

Bernie Harberts with dinosaur
Self portrait with dinosaur. Next time you find a dinosaur, I suggest you call a nap break.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a 23-minute meeting to attend…


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