Bubonic Prairie Dog Plague

The warnings were dire. Heading by wagon in to the South Dakota Badlands, folks told me, “your mule will catch the bubonic plague that’s killing the prairie dogs.”

Damn. I’m thinking 14th Century Black Death and here I am walking through it with my mule.

I’ve always valued local knowledge over guide books and online expertise. Walking across the USA alongside mule Polly, I pretty much blocked out all digital media. Instead, I relied on what my eyes told me. What folks told me, face to face.

If a rancher told me there was a stock tank 2 miles down the road, chances were good, after half an hour of walking, that my mule Polly would be guzzling water from the promised source.

But bubonic plague?

I did some asking about. Turns out that, yes, the plague had been found in the prairie dog towns ahead of me. But no, chances were slim that mule Polly or me would be infected. So I just kept rolling.

And that was the lesson. In most cases, if people tell you how scary something is, it’s their fear they’re projecting, not real danger on the ground. If I’d stopped my wagon every time I was warned about bubonic plauge / strangers / mean people / wild animals I’d have never gotten across America.  There would have been no Lost Sea Expedition TV series.

Turns out, when I lived among them, prairie dogs were damn cute, tumbly companions! Check out the video.

And no, Polly and I didn’t get the bubonic plague…..

(Be bold. Spread the word of the upcoming Lost Sea Expedition TV series. Please share with the social media links we’ve put up. Thanks! Bernie)




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