Latest News

fullsizeoutput_73aFebruary 14, 2017 The poles of our tent broke. The perfect sized tent for us is a one-person tent that is 5 feet wide by 6 feet long approximately 42 inches high.Does anybody have a dome tent these dimensions with fly cover that they are no longer using? Looking for tent before the next big storm hits this Thursday. If you have a tent this size or know where we can find one this size in Bakersfield, send us a message. Thank you.

DSC_3525February 7, 2017 At 37 years old and by my side for the past 31 years, Lady is too old now to haul a load all day so we left her temporarily with some great folks until we find a permanent retirement home. Read more here.

AB 062916.pptxJune 29, 2016 The Mules have traveled up and down the state for the past two years delivering the DOE to over 140 city halls and the state capitol speaking to the absolute necessity for a multi-use trail system in this state and country. We were given a vision and asked to give our hope, faith and energy to that vision and stuff would happen and stuff is. This bill before the legislature is that stuff and it is extremely gratifying to us. ~The Mules
For the first time in 14 years, a California Senate and Assembly Bill (SB 317/AB 2444) is moving through the California legislature. It just passed the Senate and Finance Committee. When Legislators return from their summer break in August, AB 2444 will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee. This bond will generate funds to create and improve parks and recreation areas as well as create trail networks that provide access from neighborhoods to parks connecting communities.
CALIFORNIANS TAKE ACTION JULY 31, 2016: contact your State Senator to let them know that you Support Parks Bond SB 317/AB 2444 [Find your state senator contact info here:]
If you are in San Rafael, have your voice heard and attend a hearing in person on Thursday, June 30 from 2-4pm. Info in photo (click on photo to enlarge for location details).
Read about AB-A2444 California Parks, Water, Climate, and Coastal Protection and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2016 here:
13129029_1723414761267799_1034009586_oMay 2, 2016 USA v JOHN SEARS UPDATE: We were the first case heard this morning at the United States Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit in Pasadena. Since this was the oral argument where the panel of three judges heard from both sides, no final decision was made today by the judges. The time period to receive a decision is unknown. Again, thank you all who follow our journey, share and like our posts, and continue to send us positive messages and energy.

My pro bono attorney Dan Kapelovitz and myself

My pro bono attorney Dan Kapelovitz and myself

To view the United States Court of Appeals courtroom video of the oral arguments, click here:
To hear post-court discussion between John Sears and pro bono attorney Dan Kapelovitz, click here:

Oral Argument Before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. John Sears on May 2, 2016, Regarding Mr. Sears’s Constitutional Right to Travel With Mules
For more than three decades, John Sears and his mule companions have traveled throughout the Western United States by foot. They walk all day every day, migrating south to San Diego in the winter, then north towards Sacramento in the summer. Mr. Sears considers this way of life, which has been around for hundreds of thousands of years, to be sacred.
In 2014, after Mr. Sears and two mules walked approximately 20 miles, he found an uninhabited area to rest for the night. Two park rangers woke him and ordered him to leave or be arrested. Mr. Sears refused to leave because he knew that walking through miles of wilderness in the dark would be unsafe for both him and the mules. Mr. Sears was arrested and charged with disobeying a government employee and illegal camping – both federal offenses with a potential six-month jail sentence, $5,000.00 fine.
On November 6, 2014, Mr. Sears defended himself before a magistrate judge, who convicted him of both offenses. With the help of pro bono criminal defense attorney Dan Kapelovitz, who will be arguing the case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Mr. Sears has appealed this conviction based on the following grounds:
1. Mr. Sears’s arrest and conviction were in violation of his constitutional right to travel;
2. Mr. Sears should have been found not guilty based on his necessity defense because overwhelming evidence showed that leaving his campsite in complete darkness after walking approximately 20 miles would have put his life and those of the mules in danger;
3. Mr. Sears should have been entitled to a jury trial under Article III, Section 2 and the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution; and
4. Mr. Sears was wrongfully convicted because he lacked the requisite intent to commit either offense, and was never provided with adequate notice that his actions were unlawful, or even that he had entered federal land.
What: Oral Argument in United States v. John Sears, Case No. 15-50192
When: May 2, 2016, 9:30 am
Where: The Richard H. Chambers U.S. Court of Appeals, Courtroom 1, 125 South Grand Avenue, Pasadena, California 91105

Mr. Sears and his appellate attorney Dan Kapelovitz are available for interviews.
For more information on this case, visit or contact Dan Kapelovitz at e-mail or at (323) 839-6227.


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December 4, 2015: The Mountain Pioneer. The Mules were featured on the cover and five page article of the December 2015 issue of Mountain Pioneer, a newspaper in Frazier Park, CA. See the Media page of this website for the other pages.

October 26, 2015: National Mule Day. October 26 marks the 30-year anniversary of the holiday. In 1985, under the Reagan Administration, the National Mule Day Bill was designated and signed into effect on the exact 200th anniversary since the America’s first mule was gifted to George Washington. The American Mule Museum has more information on the history of the mule.

September 19, 2015: Mules on Agenda for Golden Gate Bridge District Meeting. On August 24, 2015, the Mules wrote a letter to the Golden Bridge District Board of Directors. The next day, I walked across the Golden Gate Bridge and hand delivered the letter and DOE to the assistant clerk of the Bridge Board. In our letter, we requested he Bridge Board to revisit animal policy. On September 11, 2015 Bridge Board of Director meeting, the Mules letters were listed as Agenda Item 13.2. We appreciate that our letter was not ignored. Our 8/24 letter posted here.



September 14, 2015: Pack Box Request. I’ve used these Ralide West pack boxes for about or over 25 years. These were made in West Yellowstone. The boxes are cracked and don’t have much life remaining in them. Does anybody have any pack boxes the same or similar to this that no longer use that are 20″ high, 22″ long and 10.5″ wide? Seeking two pairs that with these specific dimensions. I originally purchased these pack boxes at Bishop Mule Days about 25 years ago. I think that quite a few of these were made back then and there must be a pair of these no longer used from former packers. Most likely these people may not use Facebook. Seeking help of our wide audience to share with old time mule packers that you may know. Soft packs are not rugged enough for our daily use. And, the new pack boxes are too large. If any leads, please message 3 Mules via Facebook or email Thank you.
Pack boxes
September 11, 2015: We left Santa Cruz and are on our way to Watsonville to deliver the DOE. Will be blogging more about our stay in Santa Cruz soon. Stay tuned.
August 25, 2015: The Mules’ arrived in San Francisco in the afternoon. For full story, click here.
August 24, 2015: The Mules’ follow-up letter to the Golden Gate Bridge Manager and Bridge District Board of Directors. The 3 Mules are going to the north Vista Point of the Golden Gate Bridge where they will be watched by a friend, while the Monk walks across the bridge to the Bridge District office on the south end to deliver this letter and DOE to the Bridge Manager and Bridge District Board of Directors. We will also be sending copies of this letter to Governor Jerry Brown, Mayor Ed Lee and various news outlets that have been following and inquiring about our journey.
GGB p1



























August 18, 2015: The Mules did not cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Read more here.

August 12, 2015: The Mules are trying to obtain permission from bridge authorities and CHP to cross the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge



June 17, 2015: The Mules arrived at the California State Capitol building in Sacramento to deliver the Declaration of Emergency (DOE) to Governor Jerry Brown.

6/18/15 State Capitol

6/18/15 State Capitol


6/18/15 State Capitol

6/18/15 State Capitol











May 6, 2015: Letter from Wildlands Conservancy
From April 17 to 27, 2015, the Mules were invited to rest and stay at Wind Wolves Preserve in Bakersfield. See photos of our stay posted here. Today, we received a nice letter from Dan York, Vice President of The Wildlands Conservancy.

Wildlands Conservancy letter




























OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMarch 27, 2015: 3 Mules visit historic Mission San Buenaventura
The Mules stopped by Mission San Buenaventura, founded on March 31, 1782, it was the ninth Spanish mission established in California, and the last to be established by Father Junípero Serra.

Stated on Wikipedia: “Some animals at San Buenaventura were cattle, horses, sheep, donkeys and goats. The cattle were very important because they provided food, oil and hides. In the year of 1818, 35,274 cattle wandered over the mission lands. A little time after January 7, 1831, the animal population decreased to a low of 4,000 cattle, 3,000 sheep, 300 horses and 60 mules. In July 1839, Inspector-General E.P. Hartnell found 2,208 cattle, 1,670 sheep, 799 horses, 35 mules and 65 goats.”

The Mules returned to Ventura yesterday to deliver letter contesting Animal at Large citation received near this historic location where livestock once roamed.

March 20, 2015: 3 Mules speaks to Anacapa School’s Breakfast Club
Mule and the mules were invited to Anacapa School in Santa Barbara to speak to the students in their Breakfast Club. The school has a guest speaker at least once a week, sometimes more per week. They’ve had many renowned speakers, including an astronaut (who orbited around the world), Ambassador Wilson (Valerie Plaine’s husband) who testified that there was no nuclear material coming from Nigeria as President George Bush claimed, judges, artists, business people, and non-profits. On Friday, March 20, the students had the opportunity to meet Lady, Little Girl and Who-dee-doo up close, followed by question and answer session with Mule. Santa Barbara Press-News wrote article about this visit (posted here.)

Anacapa School






























Photo credit: John McDonald
Anacapa signage cs John in classroom WS girls petting Lady

ws John in classroom

girls petting WhoDee















March 9, 2015: Certificate of Recognition to the 3 Mules from City of Norco
On March 5, 2015, city of Norco’s Mayor Herb Higgins e-mailed 3 Mules, stating: “We read your letter last night at the Norco City Council. We as an animal loving community take pride in the fact you stayed with us on your journey. It is with hope you do accomplish your mission. We in Norco salute you on your journey and wish you much success. Herb Higgins, Mayor of Norco”

On March 9, 3 Mules received the following Certificate of Recognition from City of Norco.

Certificate of Recognition City of Norco


March 6, 2015: Mules Appealing the National Park Case: United States of America v. John C. Sears
The Mules announced that they are working with attorney Daniel Kapelovitz on appealing the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area verdict from November 6, 2014 trial. Read about why Mr. Kapelovitz is helping to appeal Mule’s case pro bono along with details about the appeal posted here.

February 25, 2015: New mule added to the pack
While in Norco, 11-year old John mule named Who-dee-doo was added to the pack. Read more about it here.

February 23, 2015: City of Norco hospitality
Last Saturday morning, we delivered a copy of the Declaration of Emergency (DOE) to Corona City Hall. Afterwards, we walked north on Main Street to deliver the DOE to Norco City Hall. While we were taking a grazing break on the side of the road, this gentleman in the photo introduced himself and said that he was aware of who we were. Geoff Kahan is on Norco’s Parks and Recreation Commission and arranged for us to stay at the George Ingalls Equestrian Center to get under cover out of the rain. We also want to thank Patty for helping us get settled in Norco. Plenty of green grass for the mules to graze in the hills above the equestrian center.

The City of Norco is also nicknamed “Horsetown, U.S.A”. As a horse community, few sidewalks exist and instead, there are horse trails. Riders can ride to town and tie their horses (and mules) at the many hitching rails and corrals placed close to businesses. Thank you Geoff, Patty, and citizens of Norco for your hospitality to the Mules.

Geoff Kahan Norco Norco Equestrian Center Norco Equestrian Center Norco hills






February 12, 2015:  30,000 Facebook “Likes” milestone 021215 30000 Facebook Likes reached
3 Mules Facebook page reached its 30,000 likes milestone. The Mules use Facebook as well as this website to share our way of life that we’ve been living for the past 30 years. We exercise the freedom to live outside and move freely in all directions, north, south, east and west, one step at a time all day every day as our ancestors have done along with the Grizzly Bear, Wolf, Elk, Deer, Lion, Salmon – long time companions that humans have lived with on earth for thousands of years.

Over the years, we have seen this freedom under attack, with the Megatropolis expanding its borders into open space due to overpopulation, diminishing Earth’s natural resources. Freedom has been reduced with laws and municipal codes created that prevent freedom of travel by foot on public roads and that disallow sleepings outdoors in public space to rest for the night. Our way of life is threatened with daily challenges. Our way of life represents freedom, which belongs to everybody.

The Mules are energized by 30,000+ Facebook fans from around the world who continuously send us positive energy, hope and faith. As well, every day while walking, people come up to us and say , “These mules are so beautiful.” The key word being beautiful. For awhile this word “beautiful” was just ringing in my ears. I was constantly thinking, well, yeah, they are beautiful, but they are just mules. There are horses and donkeys and mules everywhere. What’s going on here? Their coats are shaggy, because they have their winter coats now. The gear is old. They got mud all over them from rolling all over the ground. Why is this word “beautiful” continuously coming up? Then, I finally realized the definition of beauty that so many people tell us all day every day.

Beauty is what The Mules are emitting and representing: True freedom. True freedom is their free flowing energy all around them that people are experiencing. And true freedom equates to happiness. So when people get near The Mules, people are feeling happiness. The free flowing energy, which is happiness is what is so beautiful, and we hear this word continuously.  When this way of life is threatened, freedom and happiness are also both threatened. The last strand of this precious freedom must not be lost.

The Natural World that human beings must have to be and remain human is vanishing rapidly. Give your faith, hope and energy to this place at which time you connect to it and receive the magic and endless possibility of infinity. Contact your city, state and nation’s officials to seek balance with earth and its Natural World, and to create an interstate trail system connecting cities and towns for people traveling by foot, bicycle, horse and mule with places to stop and rest outdoors.

February 9, 2015: Señor Victor Villaseñor020815 Oceanside Victor Villasenor 1
Señor Victor Villaseñor is the gentleman pictured holding one of his best selling books, Rain of Gold, which he gifted us. He invited the Mules to rest and take a break on his ranch where he grew up in Oceanside. Victor wrote the award-winning screenplay Ballad of Gregorio Cortez. 020815 Oceanside rabbit He had interesting things to talk about so we listened.

We gathered macadamia nuts and made friends with a rabbit and two goats. Through the night, we listened to the ocean instead of the constant sound of automobiles. We awoke in the morning, left Victor’s ranch, headed east, and enjoyed a warm breezy day under a clear blue sky. That’s what we like most about San Diego – that ocean breeze. One of the many things money can’t buy.


February 3, 2015: Returned the radio
Radio We bought a radio. Haven’t listened to a radio in over three years. Had it for about two weeks. It worked well – good tone, volume, brought stations we liked loud and clear. But we returned it. Why? The difference in having it and not having it was startling. We were spending more and more time listening to it. We were being pulled away from the Mules and the place from which we came. We were going to a place we did not want to be, a place of glitz and gadgetry and very little else. So we returned the gadget of distraction and deception with no regrets. We return to the place from which the Mules come – a place of endless possibility, light and magic, the Natural World and all its wonders.

December 26, 2014: Rose Parade
Somewhere on the other side is Pasadena and the Rose Parade, where the Mules will bring the Natural World to meet the Megatropolis, which is putting its best face forward to glitzify and distract one and all from the damage it’s doing to our home – this place of human beings – the earth.

December 11, 2014: Declaration of Emergency
The Mules surrounded and immersed by the magic and energy of this place flowing freely across the surface of earth energizing the Mules to do their job delivering the Declaration of Emergency (DOE) and its accumulating energy to all places by which we pass.

20141211bThe Mules ask you to take a copy of the DOE to your city hall, congressman’s office. Walk it there with your family, children. If it takes more than a day, take your sleeping bags and a little cook stove. Spend the night on the side of the road or a vacant lot. Exercise your right to move freely and naturally in any one of all four directions so should you choose. Connect yourself and family to the magic and energy of the DOE and experience things money can’t buy. You will feel better about yourself, everybody and everything around you. Make a personal effort, contribution of your hope, faith and energy totally unique to yourself as nobody else can.

What we just wrote is the energy of this place flowing through, over, and around us of which we find ourselves at age 67 years. The Mules

December 6, 2014: End of the fast
The Mules ended their fast. Was it worth it? Yes, it was. The energy of this place of which the Grizzly Bear, Wolf, Elk, Deer, Lion, Salmon and all the rest are using that energy in the most magical way to show us the way (human race) to seek and establish balance between the Megatropolis and the Natural World.

The Mules (Monk only, not the kids) will be fasting for 48 hours twice a month. We will seek your support by joining us and intensifying the energy of the Declaration of Emergency (DOE) as the Mules so magically carry and deliver the message of this most important document. The Mules are on their way to Barstow, CA to deliver the energy and magic of the DOE.

December 4, 2014: Starting two-day fast
We don’t know why but we do know how, so we will respond to the energy of this place traveling and wandering throughout the ages. Today, the monk will start a two day fast (48 hrs) responding to the intensifying energy of this place requesting us to do so. We don’t know why but we do know how, so we will.

The Mules are asking you to join us and connect to this place not by picking up the phone, turning on the computer, or jumping into a high speed machine moving your physical body to get there on time, be there on time, but by giving your hope faith and energy for that is the way of this place. That’s what gets things done.

November 28, 2014: Declaration of Emergency
Declaration of Emergency The Mules have declared a Declaration of Emergency. Why? The Natural World that resides on this earth with all its inhabitants is being destroyed by a spreading, sprawling Megatropolis (man-made world) that shows no bounds and cares not for the consequences of its behavior. The Natural World that human beings must have to be and remain human is vanishing rapidly. The Human Race is truly in a state of emergency. We must curtail and redirect the energy of this Megatropolis going wild over the face of earth into a direction of seeking balance with earth and its Natural World not its destruction.

The above being said a most first necessary step, an interstate trail system in this country going in all four directions (north, south, east and west) linking all states to all other states passed and funded by Congress with the same energy and effort that was applied to the building of the interstate freeway system.

This Declaration of Emergency will be delivered to every city hall, congressman’s office by which we pass one step at a time, all day, every day. See the Interstate Trails section on this website to track where we have delivered the DOE.

November 20, 2014: Superior Court of Ventura County hearing
The Mules appeared at Superior Court of Ventura County charged with committing an infraction by violating Thousand Oaks Municipal Code Section 5-8.08(c): Unlawful Camping, a misdemeanor (criminal offense). This was reduced to an infraction Thousand Oaks Municipal Code Section 1-2.0I and is considered to be a PUBLIC NUISANCE. The fines were waived by the judge. The Mules walking all day peacefully, carrying and spreading the energy of reverence and respect for this beautiful earth and all its inhabitants have now been officially categorized by the Megatropolis as a PUBLIC NUISANCE. The automobile, the Megatropolis’ most valued tool, however, kills and maims hundreds of thousands every year. Killing children walking and riding their bicycles gets by. Nothing is said, no charges. The automobile will certainly never be called a PUBLIC NUISANCE. More details about this case posted here.

November 6, 2014: U.S. District Court trial results
At the trial today at U.S. District Courthouse in Los Angeles, we were charged with 1) not obeying an order of a federal employee; and 2) camping in an undesignated area on national park land. We pleaded not guilty. We were found guilty on both charges with no imposed penalties or fines, but were assessed a $35 court fee. More details about this case along with the trial transcript and appeal posted here.

July 16, 2014
US District Court seal
The Mules attended arraignment at US District Court in LA for the 3 citations received in May while spending the night on land under jurisdiction of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. A “not guilty” plea was entered and trial date is set for November 6 at which time the Mules will return to LA. Note: More details about this case along with the trial transcript and appeal posted here.

July 15, 2014
Illegal camping citation issued in the Trabuco Canyon Area of Cleveland National Forest was dismissed.  Interesting that letter (below) is dated 6/1/14 but only received a few days ago.Forrest Service Trabuco dismissal