BEMIDJI  (AP) — Two Bemidji men plan to hitch a pair of mules to a covered wagon this month and take a 340-mile trek to Iowa to raise money for hospice programs.

Joe Dahlby and Earl Speckman have been planning the trip for three years. They'll head for Dahlby's tiny hometown of Joice, Iowa.

The mule power will be provided by 4-year-old Rufus and 5-year-old Rowdy. Dahlby says they can be unforgiving but they're lovely animals.

They plan to take back roads as much as possible to avoid traffic. They're asking for pledges to support hospice care.

Dahlby is a former hospital executive. He says it's a high calling to care for people at the end of life and make sure they can have a good death.