Tiny Homes on the Move Book (130)

Steven's House Box on Wheels in San Francisco Bay Area

Dear Lloyd,

My name is Vera, from San Francisco. Last night I attended your presentation at Mollusk surf shop. I want to thank you for a wonderful evening. On my way home I thought about a very special home that I think you may be interested in.

About a month ago I was biking home and I passed an incredible structure on wheels on the side of the street. I saw a man on the sidewalk doing some woodwork next to it. I was so curious about this beautifully made structure, so I decided to return and talk to the man. His name is Steven, he’s been homeless on and off his whole life. Although, I’m not quite sure you could call him homeless anymore because now he has his box (that’s what he likes to call it). Steven’s box is set on wheels. It is made entirely from materials he has sourced around the city.

I ended up talking with Steven for three hours. Well, I mostly just listened to him. I have a few photos of his box that I’m attaching here, but they really don’t do it justice. He is incredibly innovative, he built his own heater/stovetop and has figured out a way to get clean running water (although the fire chief made him get rid of the stove after complementing his ingenuity). He stained the wood on the exterior a beautiful color using a mixture of steel wool and vinegar. He even has a number and planter box at his front door. Maybe someday you’d like to meet him yourself. He’s helping build boxes for some of his friends now too.

Have a wonderful day, thanks again for your inspiring work.

p.s. Unfortunately I did not take a photo from the other side of the box which has the stained boards of wood that look similar to the sliding front door.

Best,

Vera

Post a comment (1 comment)

Bernie Harberts and His Lost Sea Expedition Series

Bernie Harberts and his mule Polly were featured in the “On the Road” section of our book Tiny Homes.

“I’ve sailed alone around the world, traveled across America by mule (twice), pedaled a ten dollar bike around Tasmania and walked across Newfoundland with a mule. Most recently, I sailed a wood ketch from the Falkland Islands to South Georgia Island, off Antarctica. From there, we sailed 3 weeks across the iceberg laced Southern Ocean to South Africa.…

For the Lost Sea Expedition series, I traveled 14 months across America in a wagon. Just as I did in North Carolina, I 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 my eye.

I filmed the whole voyage myself – a first ever for a cross-country wagon voyage.…”

lostseaexpedition.com/

Post a comment (1 comment)

The 2,500-Mile Across-USA Expedition of Bernie Harberts and His Mule Polly

Hi Lloyd,

Last we spoke, I was telling you about the “Lost Sea Expedition”. It was just mule Polly and me traveling across the USA in our wagon. We were looking for stories behind the Lost Sea, the ancient seabed that once covered the Great Plains.

I filmed the journey without a film crew, support vehicle or sponsor. I charged my camera gear off the solar panel bolted to the wagon roof. Now, that footage has been turned in to the “Lost Sea Expedition” TV series.

First, a bit about the journey:

As I bumped across the USA in my wagon, I folks what they knew about the Lost Sea. Early on, a Lakota elder told me about “buffalo stones” – fossils from a marine creature called a baculite. From there, the story took off in all directions. I thought I was looking for a vanished sea. Instead, I unearthed an all-American web covering topics as far ranging as the Ogallala Aquifer, Creationism, Evolutionism, Prairie Fever ,and Depression-era horse breaking.

Who knew that diving in to the origins of a long vanished sea would turn in to a journey to the heart of America?

2,500-mile wagon route across America

I think I dove so deep in to the fabric of America because I went so small. I traveled in the manner of our ancestors, men in wagons with time and high hopes but not much money. I built the wagon myself. It was so tiny, I could heat it with a few candles and my mule Polly could pull it alone. It was big enough for my film gear, a few clothes and some food…just.

Photo: A visitor checks out the wagon. At just over 30 inches, it soon became clear why my friends referred to it as the MRI machine (or the porta-john).  Damn, I could barely roll over in that thing, a task that got tougher and tougher the higher I  piled the sleeping bags!


Out there rolling across the land, I learned that the smaller you travel, the more you expose yourself to the weather, the heat, the cold, the ups and downs and the people you meet along the way. Because my mule needed to eat and drink every day, I was limited in how far I could travel every day. On average, I went 8 to 10 miles before knocking off for the night.

That meant every day, wherever I was a few hours before dark, that’s where I spent the night. That also meant I knocked on a LOT of doors asking my well prepared line, “Hi I’m Bernie and this is my mule Polly. Do you have a place we could camp for the night?”

And that, that dependence on strangers met along the way, that documenting all weathers, animals and climes, is what gives the “Lost Sea Expedition” such incredible insight in to America.

Photo: The wagon had a tiny window at each end. The round one framed the scenery like a ship’s porthole.

I made the “Lost Sea Expedition” for all those people who dream of adventuring, running away, or just taking a break from life’s responsibilities. I made this series for all the folks I met on the road who said, “Man, I’d love to do what you’re doing but…” and then they’d give me reasons why they couldn’t break free. Hopefully, it will inspire others to finally break the bonds of what’s keeping them back.

Plenty more about the Lost Sea Expedition at lostseaexpedition.com.

Post a comment (3 comments)