Who are you and where are you from?
We are mules. We are from the outside. We live outside all day, every day. We don’t live in houses and we don’t drive cars. We’re always outside.
Where are you going? Nowhere. We’re here: the outside, the web of life, the beautiful earth, a place like no other. We have come to this place, a place of golden sparkling light, a place for anybody and everybody. 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. As you walk in this place with these mules you spread the awareness that this beautiful earth, like no other, can only be protected by the way we live one day at a time.
What is your name? How old are you?
I call myself Mule or Monk and turned 71 years old in November 2018.
What are the mules’ names and how long have they been with you?
Little Girl: Born in 1990 and bought her in 1993. Still traveling with us.
Lady: Bought her in 1986 outside of Coarsegold, CA when she was about 6 years old. She’s been with us for 31 years and finally retired her on 2/6/2017 at age 37. Lady lives in the Central Valley with two other horses to keep her company.
Frank E. Boy On June 10, 2018, we bought 10 year old, 16-hands in height Bay mule. Released from service on 1/10/19 as he did not have the temperament to work and be in an urban area. Frank was given to Larry and Paula who own and run a stable in Bakersfield and has another mule named Bowie to keep him company.
Babe: Acquired November 2015; Broke leg June 2016.
Who Dee Doo: Acquired 2/20/15 in Norco; Retired 10/20/2016 at a ranch in the Ventana Wilderness.
Pepper: had her for 14 years before she retired to a ranch in Malibu
Fred: When Pepper retired, we were given another mule named Fred, who was injured and had to be put down.
Other Past mules: Henry
Where are you going?
We migrate south to San Diego / Imperial Beach in the winter. Once we get there, we turn around to head to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on January 1 before gradually migrating back north towards Sacramento. We visit city halls along the way to deliver the Declaration of Emergency. Follow our footsteps in the Mule Tracker.
How many miles per day do you walk?
Between 5 to 20 miles depending on availability of water and feed and the general conditions of the mules and my assessment of their energy level and how much we traveled the previous day.
What is the Megatropolis?
The Megatropolis is the man-made world, spreading sprawling concrete, putting up lanes, putting up buildings everywhere, it wants all the remaining open space and it is unrelenting. It doesn’t want any other venues (pedestrians, cyclists equestrians) to use the public thoroughfare except for its most favorite tool, the automobile.
Why do you live outside all day every day for so many years?
We live this way because it is in our bones. This way of life goes back thousands of years. It’s where we want to be. Being anywhere else makes no sense to us. So we stay with the mules and way of life that we are living for 35 years. We have never missed a year. Started at age 36. In the early years, we only went out in the summers. As time went on, we increased the time to 4, 5, 6 months, but then we’d have to go back to work. Since retiring from work at 54 in 2001, we, the monk and the mules, been living steady outdoors full time.
We’re here: the outside, the web of life, the beautiful earth, a place like no other. We have come to this place, a place of golden sparkling light, a place for anybody and everybody. 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. As you walk in this place with these mules you spread the awareness that this beautiful earth, like no other, can only be protected by the way we live one day at a time.
What are your biggest challenges living outside all day, every day?
1. Finding a place to sleep every night. Every night we have to find a place to sleep. We walk all day. We must be able to stop and rest and sleep for the night. That’s a challenge to find a place to sleep. Public space is the only place to do it. That’s what brought about most of our problems. Most laws prevent people from sleeping outside at night. California Penal Code 647(e) – the illegal lodging law – in most counties in the state, any police officer who sees you laying on the ground can charge you with a misdemeanor with a mandatory court appearance in front of a judge. Land once open and free is being privatized, developed, fenced, or charged fees. We’re claiming our right to use public space be it city, county, state or federal. We always pick up after ourselves and leave earth undamaged where we rest for the night.
April 21, 2018 Video shows the Mules’s responsible use of public spaces.
2. Keeping the mules fed and watered. It’s something that has to be done every day.
3. Operating this technology is a major challenge that consumes a lot of our time and more than we want it to. Keeping battery charged and keeping up with all the changing technology so we can operate and do the things that we have to do on a day to day basis. It’s important that people are aware that their rights and freedom of movement in this country is disappearing and being controlled by the Megatropolis. We need to keep up technology and Facebook and this website so people are aware of their disappearing freedoms in California and the United States.
4. “Concerned citizens” calling animal control and police to report that there is a horse tied to a tree/fence carrying a very heavy load, which has been there for hours. The Mules go to Starbucks and the public library to charge our phone and the market to shop for necessities. It takes one hour. Never stopped for much more than that. General rule commonly accepted a horse/ mule should not pack more than 20% of their body weight. Little Girl weighs about 1000 lbs. 200lbs. is 20% of her body weight. She packs from 170 to 190lbs and that includes the 40lbs the saddle and blankets weigh and the 20lbs the boxes weigh. Professional Packers do not include the weight of saddle, blankets and empty boxes in their rule of 20% body weight. That puts Little Girl well below the rule of thumb. Little Girl is in no way being over worked. She eats well, has plenty of good water available, and lives better than 90% of people in this world today.
What do the mules eat?
Mainly, grass, plants that are in open areas and along the side of the roads. Sometimes we will be in a neighborhood and come across yards that are not maintained where the grass is never cut, there is plenty of tall grass and weeds everywhere. We always stop at those places and feed on those. We have never had any objection from anybody for doing so. So that’s a good source of food for the mules. So as we move along the side of the road in vacant areas they eat the plants and grasses available. They eat very well. That kind of forage is very good for them. It’s varied. They get a varied diet of all kinds of plants, grass, seeds, and grains. It is a very good diet. As well, people that we meet bring us hay, apples, carrots and other treats.
However, the above being said, cities/counties go out and spray open areas and the side of roads with pesticides to control weeds and leave out poison for rodents. There is no notification or signs. We see them spraying and have photos of them spraying. So obviously, we are subjected to this danger. It is a constant danger that we must be on the lookout and aware of indication of pesticides and poison in these open spaces. Not only are we subjected to this danger, people must be aware that they are also subjected to this poison danger along with pets and children and the water supply.
What does the human eat?
Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, green beans, garlic, leafy green vegetables (except lettuce), zucchini, squash, kabocha squash, chayote squash, celery, spinach, acorn squash, potatoes
Grain: Jasmine long grain or Basmati rice without additives, Quaker old-fashioned oatmeal, bread
Canned: Black beans (low sodium)
Don’t eat sugar, salt, junk food, fast food, or fried food. Don’t drink alcohol. Use a pressure cooker to cook the food.
Where do you get water?
When we walk through the Megatropolis, there is water on every building. We go to the business or knock on someone’s door and ask if we can get water from the water spigot or hose to fill our green bucket that we carry. As well, people who follow our travels and even people who don’t know us, often stop when they see us walking and offer water out of human kindness.
In the wilderness and rural areas, we get water from streams, rivers, springs, puddles, lakes and cattle troughs. In our 31+ years living outside, we have never had problems finding water and keeping hydrated. Water, Food, Rest and Air are essential for all living beings on this Earth. Without access to water, food, rest and air, one cannot survive.
We do not carry water as water is extremely heavy. The Mules would not appreciate carrying the extra load. Also, mules are built to go without water for over 3 days. We have never come close to that as we have access to various water sources as stated above, so there is no need to pack water.
What do mules look like when they are sleeping?
They lay their muzzles on the ground with their ears up for short periods of time. Sometimes they sleep standing.
Do the mules get checked by vets and receive preventative care?
Yes. Little Girl’s last physical exam was on March 5, 2018.
Do you carry colic medicine or other medicines in the event of an emergency?
I do not carry colic medicine. In 34 years, I’ve never had a mule suffer from colic. One of my mules once got into some moldy hay. She had a belly ache shortly afterwards, but it didn’t last that long. Colic has never been a problem. In regards to medicine, I carry disinfectant and antiseptic sauce for cuts.
Do the mules get ticks?
Yes, I do check the mules for ticks and remove ticks as I see or feel them to help prevent skin irritation and infection.
How often do you shoe the mules?
The mules wear St. Croix brand of horseshoe. Every two to three weeks, I use up eight size 0 plain, four size 000 plain and four size 000 Lites.
Why do you use a horseshoe and not mule shoes?
Mule shoes tend to be more expensive than regular horse shoes. Mule shoes are hard to find. They don’t come up very often at feed stores, especially in the Megatropolis.
What do you do with manure when you have to pick it up?
When we’re going through the Megatropolis and the mules take a dump in a parking lot or on the sidewalk, I pick it up in a dustpan and put it in a bag and carry it with us until we get to a garbage can, usually at a bus stop and deposit in there. Other times when it is applicable, I’ll throw it under bushes. Mule manure makes good fertilizer. It is harmless.
How can I donate money to the Mules? Do you have a GoFundMe or PayPal account?
Please read the 3 Mules position on fundraising here.