Bernie, Adventure and Mules

Bernie Harberts with his mule Polly, who appeared with Bernie in an Emmy Award-winning public TV program (Floydada, TX)

Bernie Harberts is a filmmaker, author, husband, adventurer and subject of an Emmy Award-winning TV program. He is also a speaker and filmed, edited and produced the Lost Sea Expedition, the award-winning documentary about traveling from Canada to Mexico with his mule Polly.

Bernie’s Travels

Bernie has sailed alone around the world, traveled twice across America by mule, pedaled a ten-dollar bike around Tasmania, walked across Newfoundland with a mule, and sailed a wood ketch from the Falkland Islands to South Georgia Island, off Antarctica. Most recently, he spent six months riding two mules from North Carolina to Idaho.

When he’s not adventuring by boat, mule or foot, Bernie and his wife Julia call western Carolina home.  He’s written about his journeys for twenty years at

Bernie's sailboat Sea Bird becalmed at sea.
Sometimes Bernie calls the sea home. This is his old sailboat Sea Bird. He bought her for the price of a used pickup and spent five years writing and filming his way around the world aboard her.


Bernie's cabin in Western North Carolina.
When he’s not afloat, in a saddle or rolling in a wagon, Bernie and Julia live in a cabin in Western North Carolina.

Bernie grew up in North Carolina and went to NC State University. He spent four months riding a mule across North Carolina and shared these stories with thousands of people as a North Carolina Humanities  “Road Scholar”.  PBS North Carolina and Our State Magazine joined Bernie and his mule Polly for a wagon ride through eastern North Carolina. That episode, “Mule Rider”, won an Emmy Award.

Taking the Spirit of Carolina Adventure Nationwide

For the Lost Sea Expedition series, Bernie traveled fourteen months across America in a wagon. Just as he did in North Carolina, he explored things that are particular to an area. This time around, it was horse breakers, Lakota elders, sod hut dwellers, ghost towns and a vanished sea that caught his eye.

He filmed the whole voyage himself, a first-ever for a cross-country wagon voyage. That footage became the award-winning Lost Sea Expedition documentary. The 4-part series premiered on Rocky Mountain PBS.

Watch the Lost Sea Expedition

Stream the Lost Sea Expedition on Amazon.

Get in Touch

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“Two Mules to Triumph” is Bernie new book about riding his mules 2,300 miles from North Carolina to Idaho.

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