The Mules were walking down a dusty road on a hot summer’s day in Mendocino County when a lady named Mary and her husband came upon us in their automobile, stopped and inquired as to where we were going. We said Covelo. She said where are you from? We said everywhere. Mary then looked around, reached around to the back seat bringing forth a jar of something. She said do you like honey? We said yes. She then handed us a jar of honey.
This honey did not look the same as honey we were use to seeing on grocery store shelves. Its color was pale yellow. Later that evening, we found out that it would not run from the jar in 90F degree weather and it was stiff as a board. We then decided to taste this unusual jar of honey so we did and found it to have a most unique flavor and texture never before experienced during our 70 years off again on again casual consumption of honey with such a unique delectable taste.
After about a week to ten days of consuming Mary’s honey and finishing the last bit in the jar, the Mules said to themselves what are the chances of ever tasting honey like that again? The Mules said back to themselves “zero”. We are one timers, good things happen just once, the Mules have learned from 70 past years. Don’t try for a second shot you’ll miss.
On July 26, 2017, we posted on Facebook about Mary’s honey and said “If you see Mary please tell her the Mules need another jar.” We received several responses and one said that it was Mary Osteen’s honey and that Mary is at the Covelo farmers market every Friday.
Well, after about 3/4 weeks, the Mules got a message on Facebook from a lady named Dolores and she said she knew of this notorious lady in Covelo named Mary who sold this delicious unusual honey that would not leave the jar when turned upside down. She knew how to acquire yet another jar of Mary’s honey for us the Mules. The Mules said great.
Dolores said she’ll send it on a fast track. We said we travel a slow track. She said okay slow track. Where? The Mules pondered some then requested that Dolores send this now mysterious jar of honey that won’t leave the jar to a lady named Patricia, who is another friend of the Mules and lives in Norco, CA, a place like Mary’s honey with its own uniqueness where human beings practice and know the extreme value of this ages old sacred relationship between Man, Horse and Earth.
Thus the Mules thank Dolores for sending the Mules another jar of this delectable honey. We also thank Patricia and Mark with us in this picture for being so helpful to the Mules by giving us a place in Norco for a few days to catch up with mail.
Last night the Mules stopped in Diamond Bar at one of its city parks to sleep for the night. We found an out of the way bare piece of ground next to the maintenance yard to spend the night, so we did for less than a 12 hour period. Upon awakening in the morning, I fixed my breakfast and proceeded to pack up Little Girl when three Los Angeles County sheriff deputies appeared answering a call that there was a horse in the park.
I responded that we had stopped here for the night and were now on our way.
They said fine, no problem, we just got a call and we were checking things out. They looked at our website and were very interested. We talked while I was packing up. They then wished us a safe journey and left. We then left ourselves.
Area of Occupancy
Pictured are examples showing the amount of space the Mules use for less than a twelve hour period during the night. Sleep and rest is essential for all living beings health and wellbeing.
We use the Fresno No Camping Ordinance as an example for the cities passing No Sleeping/No Camping ordinances. They are all using the same argument to justify their passage.
Section 10-1700: Purpose “Streets and public areas should be readily accessible to residents and public at large.” The Mules are a part of that public.
“Use of these areas for camping or storage of personal property interferes with the rights of others to use the areas for which they were intended.” The Mules don’t store anything. When people store their personal property, they lock it up, hide it with the expectation that it will still be there on their return be it one day, one week, one year.
The Mules unload their belongings off their mule, fix dinner, then go to sleep for less than a twelve hour period during the night, never leaving their belongings. This is not storing personal property. The Mules leave in the morning, leaving the space they occupied cleaner than it was when they arrived.
Do the Mules practice proper sanitary measures? Absolutely. We throw a nylon tarp over us so we can’t be seen. The result is the same as a park user going into a urinal and covered by four walls. The Mules urinate in a plastic bottle, crap in a bag, then carry our waste until a proper place for disposal is found.
Public Safety The Mules have been migrating north and south in this state for over five and a half years. We have never hurt a soul. The automobile however has killed and maimed thousands for that same period of time. For any municipality to infer the Mules are a public safety hazard is to turn basic common sense on its ear.
Per the National Safety Council, the number of motor-vehicle deaths in 2016 totaled 40,200, up 6% from 2015 and the first time the annual fatality total has exceeded 40,000 since 2007. Medially consulted motor-vehicle injuries in 2016 are estimated to be about 4.6 million, an increase of 7% from the 2016 rate. The estimated cost of motor-vehicle deaths, injuries and property damage in 2016 was $432.5 billion, an increase of 12% from 2015. The costs include wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, employer costs and property damage.
Last night on January 6, 2018, we slept in Castaic. Upon awakening this morning, we packed up, got on the Old Road and headed south. The Old Road is a frontage road that parallels Interstate 5.
After walking for about an hour down the sidewalk, we were approached by a California Highway Patrol Officer (CHP) informing us that he had been getting calls that the Mules were walking in the middle of the road. No, we never walk in the middle of the road. We either walk on the sidewalk when it’s available, on the shoulder when it’s available, or in the lane of traffic when neither of the two are available. We have an absolute right to do so.
Anybody riding a bicycle, riding a horse, pulling a horse-drawn wagon, riding in a wheelchair, or walking has the right to use the public thoroughfare. These are public roads. The roads are not exclusive for the high speed machine called an automobile. The freeways are. Nobody has the right to be on the freeway except the high speed machine. The other roads – city, county, state – are all open to all other venues, be it a bicycle, an equestrian, a squirrel or a frog.
California Vehicle Code requires high speed motorists to slow down or stop to proceed in safety when meeting these other venues. The high speed motorist refuses to do so. Instead they come at us at full speed, never taking their foot off the gas pedal, picking up their cell phone, calling the CHP and claiming that we’re walking in the middle of the road. The CHP responds, comes out, and tells us if they catch us walking in the middle of the road or get calls to that affect, we would be arrested and the mule would be impounded. Totally illegal. Completely illegal.
As we proceeded walking south about two hours later we were approached by another CHP officer claiming he saw us walking in the middle of the road. WHAT AN OUTRAGEOUS assertion. Pictured is where we were walking. We have every right to walk on the public thoroughfare, we have every right to walk on the shoulder of the public thoroughfare, we have every right to walk in the lane of traffic if there is no place else to walk, such as bridges, such as areas cordoned off for construction. We have the same right to passage as the high speed automobile.
After that contact with the CHP we continued south and stopped at Starbucks to charge our smartphone and get a cup of coffee. We were in there for about an hour. I had secured Little Girl to a pole in the parking lot. I could see through the window that police officers were pulling up to where Little Girl was tied. I then went outside to talk to the officers and told them that the mule belonged to me. They said okay that’s fine. They said that they had gotten calls that someone was concerned about the mule and that they needed to respond, and that was that.
We got back on the road, proceeded south, stopped at Walmart to buy a canister of oatmeal, got back on the road until we found a place to sleep for the night.
When somebody leaves their house, gets in their car, gets on the public thoroughfare with the intent of going to a store to buy food or supplies for themselves and their family, they fully expect that when they leave the public thoroughfare to enter the parking lot, they will be able to park their car, walk into the store, buy their groceries and supplies, walk into a coffee shop and enjoy their cup of coffee, return to their car, put their groceries and supplies in their car, and leave to go home.
To have people constantly call the police simply because a person arrives by horse or mule and not in an automobile is outrageous. To have officers or security guards stop and interrogate a person simply because they arrived by mule because the person didn’t arrive in a high speed automobile is ridiculous.
This is not 1817 where you load up your six-shooter and go out to shoot some deer for dinner. This is 2018 where one must proceed on the public thoroughfare, enter a parking lot and go into a grocery store or a big box store, which controls the food and supplies. That’s where you get it. If you don’t get it there, you’re not going to get it.
I have known my mule Little Girl since she was born in 1990 and she has been by my side and full-time care since I bought her in 1993. While she may not technically fit the official federal designation of a service animal, she is my service animal and is an integral part of our nomadic way of life that’s been here for hundreds of thousands of years. She is in service to this place. Any common sense mind would come to the conclusion that she is without a doubt a service animal.
The Mules know that much of our contact with law enforcement agencies, CHP, local police, county sheriff, and animal control is instigated by trolls. These trolls will call enforcement agencies complaining there is a homeless man walking in the middle of the road with a horse. There is a man leading an injured horse past my house. There is a horse tied in the Starbucks parking lot with no water. It looks emaciated, etc., etc.
Their intention of course is to keep the Mules under a constant state of harassment, wear us down and keep the Mules from doing this most important job of using their constitutional right as well as everybody else’s to move freely and spontaneously in this country. The Mules have never been charged or cited for anything other than our God given right to stop and sleep at night, such as our arrest on National parks land in Thousand Oaks, CA. The Mules will never be worn down as we have access to endless amounts of energy harbored in the nation, the 3 Mules nation, from which we come. When one Monk falls another Monk appears brought forth by the force of energy accumulated and acquired throughout our history dating back hundreds of thousands of years living with respect and reverence for this sparkling jewel suspended in the mist of time we call Earth.