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Stories from Bernie's current trip - a mule voyage from Canada to Mexico

Roger Haldenby Talks Lost Sea Cotton
January 30, 2009


Cotton in the ditch
Lorenzo, Texas

Traveling across the Lost Sea, the marine fossils underfoot change significantly from state to state. In Kansas, it was fossilized clams in fence posts. In South Dakota, it included mosasaurs..

Here in the Texas Panhandle, the roadsides are littered with white tufts of cotton. A few feet below mule Polly’s hooves, the creatures that died in the Lost Sea, or Western Interior Seaway, settled to the bottom and formed caliche.

With us today to make the connection is Roger Haldenby.


Roger Haldenby
Lorenzo, Texas

Roger’s name might sound familiar with some of you. For those of you who’ve read the book “Too Proud to Ride a Cow” available at the General Store he’s the character with the British accent and “the aura of a barn stormer who’d survived”.

Earlier this week, as mule Polly and I were traveling beside a cotton field along a farm to market road, whose car should pull up alongside my wagon? That’s right, Roger’s.


Roger with cotton plant

We visited a while and, cotton plant in hand, Roger explained High Plains cotton and the soil and water it thrived on – and how it all tied in with the Lost Sea.


Cotton bole

Roger’s point was this. Though cotton as a material hasn’t changed for hundreds of years, the way it’s grown sure has. To listen to Roger talking on the side of the road, click on the audio player below.


Field recording notes: This interview was recorded on the side of Texas Farm Road 380. Pardon any passing trucks or Sandhills cranes.

Thanks, Roger, for taking time for a roadside chat. Roger works for the Plains Cotton Growers Association. To visit them online click here.

Posted Friday January 30, 2009 by Bernie
The Lost Sea According to the Bible and Joe Taylor
January 23, 2009


Creationist Joe Taylor
Owner of Mt Blanco Fossil Museum
Crosbyton, Texas

Over the past 13 months and 2000 miles, I’ve traveled by wagon from Canada to Texas asking folks about the Lost Sea, the great body of water that once covered the Great Plains. Where did the marine fossils, like a chunk of coral from landlocked Crosbyton, Texas, come from? And how old are these artifacts – thousands, millions, or ten millions of years?


Fossilized Texas Panhandle coral found hundreds of miles from the ocean
Mt Blanco Museum
Crosbyton, Texas

This week I visited with Joe Taylor, owner of the Mt Blanco Fossil Museum in Crosbyton, Texas, for some answers. Joe is an unabashed Creationist. His museum’s motto is “Digging up the facts of God’s Creation: One fossil at a time.”


Mt Blanco Fossil Museum
Digging up the facts of God’s Creation

Joe feels that when it comes to explaining the Lost Sea, a person “has to look to the Bible for answers” and make up their own mind. Above all, there’s one point Joe wants to get across: the world is 6000 years old, not “millions as the Evolutionists say”.


Noah’s Ark (L) and Joe Taylor

For proof, Joe points toward the Old Testament, how the world was created in 6 days. How with Adam and Eve’s coming, sin swept the world, followed by a Great Flood, in which only Noah, his family and the animals (2 of every unclean and 7 of every clean – including dinosaurs) were saved.

What this means in terms of a time line is this. The world was created 6,000 years ago. The Great Flood, or what I call the Lost Sea, occurred 4,500 years ago. To think the world is any older is “poor science, half science, old science or no science at all”.

To listen to Joe’s Biblical take on the Lost Sea, click on the player below.




And with that, mule Polly head back into the dusty Lost Sea, looking for more clues on its age, origins and the folks that inhabit it today.


Into that dusty Lost Sea
Blanco Canyon
Outside Crosbyton, Texas

Post Script. Thanks Joe, for sharing your museum, thoughts, fossils, pictures and church with me. To visit Joe Taylor’s Mt Blanco Museum, click here

Posted Friday January 23, 2009 by Bernie
Where in the Lost Sea has Mule Mule Polly Been?
January 20, 2009

It’s sometimes hard to keep up with where mule Polly has pulled the Lost Sea wagon. We’re crossing the Lost Sea, after all, right? To guide us, mule Polly rely on old fashioned paper maps. Nope, you won’t find any of those digitally sterile online computer maps here. Rather, you’ll find a photograph of the wrinkled atlas that’s bounced through hail, snow, dust devils, herds of antelope and three pickled prairie shrimp.

Below is a photo of our wagon map showing progress from Neptune, Saskatchewan to Lorenzo, Texas.


From Neptune, Saskatchewan to Lorenzo, Texas
2000 miles
9 states
13 months

Here’s a closeup view of Texas.


Texas Progress as of January 20, 2009

Currently in Lorenzo, Texas, we’re bracing for the Chihuahua Desert ahead. Final destination? We’re thinking a run into Artesia, New Mexico is in order. Then it’s south for Porvenir on the Mexican border. Hang on pilgrims!

Posted Tuesday January 20, 2009 by Bernie
Wrappin' up like Shi
January 15, 2009


13 degrees
Outside Happy, Texas

Mule Polly and I are traveling from Canada to Mexico looking for marine fossils.

It’s mid-January on the Texas High Plains. Mornings, Polly and I wake to temperatures in the teens. Then we hit the road. What’s a mule traveler do about that super-cooled Arctic wind howling down the gap between coverall and exposed neck?

Well, you could reach for one of those sissy neck warmers, those tube looking things that resemble the turtleneck part of a turtleneck sweater. Slip it over your head, snug it up around your neck and chin. Fine. Problem is, you’d just look every other snow bunny wearing a poly blend neck warmer made from recycled soda bottles.

Or you could do what Shi Hurst does.

He goes for the bandana.


Shi and Beck Hurst
Outside Umbarger, Texas

Shi and Becky Hurst ranch outside Umbarger, Texas. On a recent frigid morning, while I was treking up the road with Polly, they pulled alongside in their pickup and gave me a ranch-sized bandana. Now we’re not talking one of those hankerchief-sized red or blue bandanas. Nope, we’re talking a man-sized bandana. It was hand-cut from a bolt of black silk, the edges hemmed with a zig zag stitch on a sewing maching. And it was big. Corner to diagonal corner, it spanned the breadth of a man’s reach. That’s how cowboys keep warm in the Lone Star winter wind.


Bandana the breadth of a man’s reach.

In the following photo series, I’ll show you how to tie one of your own. You’ll need a giant bandana. If you don’t have one, just go down to the the fabric store and have them cut you a 2-foot square piece of light cloth. Hem the edges and you’re set to tie.


1) fold bandana


2)twirl bandana like a jumprope, turning it into a sausage


3)wrap around neck


4)tie first overhand knot


5)tie second overhand knot


6)Optional: have mule inspect your Texas neckware

You’re done. Free at last, to walk through that winter Texas wind, properly attired.

Thanks, Shi and Becky, for the Lone Star neck warmer.
Thanks, too, to Tony and Pamela Ricketts of radio station KFLP in Floydada, Texas, for helping get this post online.
To visit KFLP click here.

Posted Thursday January 15, 2009 by Bernie


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