On May 22, 2017, the Mules crossed over Donner Pass using Old Highway 40. We went down the grade past Donner Lake. Having walked about 15 miles, we came upon Donner Memorial State Park. It was about 4pm. We decided to stop for the day and Donner Memorial State Park was the obvious place to rest for the night.
We entered the park, tied Little Girl to a lamp pole in the parking lot and went to the park’s visitor center. We approached the ranger behind the desk and asked if the Mules could spend the night. The ranger responded, “Absolutely not. Park regulations forbid any equestrian use inside this park.”
The Mules pay taxes. We pay between 9% to 10% sales tax on everything we buy. Everybody knows business doesn’t pay taxes, people do. When the Mules buy a product, they have paid most of the taxes that were levied by the State to get that product inside the store and onto the shelf.
The Mules ask only for the most bare bones use of the park. Simply put – enter the park, walk to the corner behind the maintenance yard, secure the mules to the fence, remove the packs, make the Mules comfortable for the night, put our bed roll on the ground, sleep, rise in the morning, clean up after ourselves and leave as we came living and walking with respect and reverence for the Natural World.
To deny the Mules or any equestrian this most bare bones use – pennies on the dollar cost to the Park system is blatantly illegal.
The Mules will be bringing the creative, magical energy of the nation, the Three Mule Nation, to make this request for an equestrian to use a state park to stop and rest for a night to every park by which we pass on our endless journey through time and space.
Three Mule Nation followers have asked what they could do.
Write your local state representative, the Director of State Parks and the Park Superintendent to get State of California Department of Parks and Recreation Order No. 683-17-015 modified to allow anybody traveling the state by horse or pack animal on foot to stay and rest for the night behind the maintenance yard in all California state parks.
Sleeping and resting is a basic need for all animals and humans to survive. The ranger said that even in these parks listed on order no 683-17-015 that allow horses and pack animals, they are allowed for day use only and cannot spend the night in these parks.