Friday, May 10, 2013

Joice or Bust!!

We anticipate arriving at our final destination of Joice, IA tomorrow afternoon, around 2:30 or 3:00 p.m.  Our wagon will be joined by other wagons and likely some outriders  We feel so fortune to have a wagon train as we pull into town!

I (Joe) grew up in Joice and I'l looking forward to seeing family members and old friends tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone that has supported us along this journey!  We couldn't have made it without all of you.  Your kindness and generosity has made this experience so meaningful and special to us.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rufus has a sore neck

Last night Rufus seemed to have a sore neck under his collar.  When I checked him his morning and attempted to put on his collar he was even more sore.  He would not be able to wear his collar today and I'm not sure when he will be able to.  Thus began a day of trials.  As of mid-morning today, I wasn't sure if we would be able to continue of journey.  We were staying in one of the most primitive locations we've stayed in yet and had a injured mule.  Things weren't looking good.  We were 6 miles north of Granada with about 70-80 miles to get to our final destination of Joice, IA.

After making several phone calls seeking advice and help we learned that Merrill Bernau of Emmons, MN would be our guardian angel for today.  Merrill is the neighbor and close friend of my relations Marion and Hubert Iverson.  Because Rufus couldn't pull the wagon, we decided it was best to travel to Merrill's home and give them a rest until we decide our next step.  Merrill arrived at our location with a stock trailer for the mules and his friend brought a flatbed trailer for the wagon.  We got loaded up and Merrill drove us to an 80 year old veterinarian in Bryceland, MN.  He took a look at Rufus and advised us not to drive Rufus and to allow him to heal.  Ultimately, Merrill's friend found us a mule that had been on load to an Amish family in southern MN and was available to join our healthy mule Rowdy to finish the trail.  By chance, the new mule's name is also Rowdy!  We plan to get Rowdy (the newest version) tomorrow and have Rowdy and Rowdy practice driving together.  If the mules can work together, we will be headed to Joice on Saturday.  The mule community will be joining us on our final leg.  We'll be accompanied by other wagons and outriders as we arrive in Joice!  We'll be heading down through Scarville, IA to Lake Mills, IA and finally on to Joice.

Earl and I are staying with my relations Marion and Hubert Iverson.  We are warm and safe and so very much appreciate the kindness shown to us today and throughout this trip.

Good Night from the trail.

Joe and Earl

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Rolling Mules!

Today we are staying SW of Lake Crystal.  We did between 25 and 30 miles.  With any luck we'll get to Grenada or awfully close tomorrow.

We're at with a family that owns a large farming operations. As we were traveling along today, Tim (our host) came roaring up to us on a 4-wheeler and asked if we would like to stop on his property for the night.  When agreed and when we pulled in it was like a welcome wagon!  There seems to be an informal network that knows we are coming.  We had staff from the Lake Crystal news station interview us.

The weather today was gorgeous.  We had to water the mules a couple of extra time due to the warmer temperatures.  When they start heading into every driveway you pass, you know their getting tired.

The mules LOVE to roll once we stop for the day.  I can hardly get the harnesses to rolls on the ground.

We received several generous donations from people passing by our wagon along the road.  Most people have a personal connection to Hospice.

Good Night from the Trail.

Joe and Earl

Monday, May 6, 2013

We're clean!

Last night we stayed with Tim and Mary Waibel in Cortland, MN.  It was luxurious!  We took showers, the first in a week!  We also got to sleep on beds with sheets.  Wow did it feel great!  We also got a chance to wash our clothes.
The glorious shower.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sleeping in a chicken coop

Hotel Chicken Coop
We’re camped out about 5-10 miles north of New Ulm and will be sleeping in a chicken coop tonight.  The weather was beautiful today.  Dwayne Berghart’s brother –in-law and sister-in-law brought us out to dinner in Fairfax, MN.  In addition to taking us out to dinner, Chuck and Marion Firrle brought us hay and a couple of lead roads, which were needed as a result of Rufus and Rowdy's adventure on Friday night.

Tomorrow we’ll be heading to lake crystal.

The view from the coop
This has been a trip of a lifetime with many spiritual moments along the trail.  Everyday we are stopped by people to make donations.  Our travels seem to have become word of mouth in the communities we travel through.  One woman stopped because she had heard we were near while attending church.

The wagon parked outside the coop
We've met such kind and generous people along our trip.  Today, we were cruising down the road and a woman was driving the opposite direction.  She looked back in her rear view mirror and thought one of our wheels looked loose.  She stopped and shared her concern about the wheel.  Sure enough, she was right.  One of the rear steel rims was coming off the wheel.  We ended up pulling into a farm and the owners greeted us and we explained our situation.  The owner used his equipment to jack up the back of the wagon and in a few minutes the wheel was fixed, just like professionals! They were the friendliest and kind people and they were there just when we needed them.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A quiet day

We laid low all day due to misty cold weather. We were in cold in the camper.  After inquiring with a the family that owns the property we are staying on, we were able to borrow truck and head to a small town near by.  We had a late and leisurely breakfast, eating and getting warmed up.

Later in the day we were invited by a couple of locals to join them at their house for dinner.  We had a good dinner and one of our hosts was a musician.

Good night from the trail.

Joe and Earl

Friday, May 3, 2013

We caught a couple of runaways...

It was an eventful evening tonight.  We found lodging with a family southwest of Hutchinson, MN.  After unharnessing the mules we decided to let them graze.  With halters and lead ropes on them they happily grazed until...they decided to hit the road.  Around 6:30 p.m. Rufus was the first to head out and then Rowdy decided he wasn't going to be left behind.  They went nearly 3 1/2 miles down the road and were finally cornered with help from local Sheriff's department and several neighbors.  When it was all said and done we were home and in our sleeping bags by 10:30 p.m.  We are all safe and sound.

We did travel about 25 miles yesterday.  It was bone chillingly cold during our travels.  We are wishing for warmer temperatures soon.

Good night from the trail.

Joe and Earl