Lady, the mule who I purchased in 1986 in Coarsegold, CA when she was about 6 years old, and then roamed and wandered all over the western United States for 26 years, and in California for the past 9 years, has laid her physical body to rest on this day, October 7, 2021, at age 41 in human years. In horse years, we calculate this to be 114 years old.
The Mules want to give a special thanks to Jane, her parents, and Tucky for the wonderful care and place to spend her last years.
Myself, the Monk, says to myself how best to honor this wonderful soul who became an essential part of my life. If you have taken a photo of or with Lady, please share with us in the comments with the location and date and we will add to a video that we are compiling to remember her.
When I was saying goodbye to her for the last time [on 9/20/21], we both knew there was an understanding that we would come together once again to wander and roam over the face of this Earth practicing the ages old sacred ways of the nomads.
The body dies and returns to dust. The spirit is eternal. Lady will have many paths and choices to choose from. We hope she chooses to return with us and continue to contribute her energy to the Three Mules Journey in a way unique and peculiar to herself.
The Mules have been processing acorns. First gathering, then shelling, then pounding into a cornmeal type consistency, then leeching in water for about 5 days, then drying out, at which time they’ll be ready to eat.
After shelling the acorn and it’s still green and moist it’s pretty easy to pound them up into a cornmeal consistency. They leach a lot faster than if you were to leach them when the acorns are in a whole condition.
What do they taste like you ask and wonder? Well not good, not bad. The Mules suspect when the grocery stores are empty and you’ve been walking all day in search of something to eat, a bag of acorn flour in your pack that you can reach into and get some to eat, will taste pretty good. Of course at that point and beyond, taste is not really much of a concern. When the stomach wants food, it’ll take anything it can get without the slightest protest as to what it is or what it taste like.
The Mules have been in California traveling, walking, and using the county, city, and state public thoroughfares for almost nine years living with respect and reverence for the Earth that supports us. Through this experience, we have come to the obvious observation that the California public thoroughfares, especially the rural thoroughfares, are dangerous and unsafe. To deal with this condition, the Mules have created the Mule Advisory Board to advise the California Governor, State Legislatures, Caltrans and CHP.
The rural county and state roads have been constructed to be very smooth allowing the modern automobile to travel them at extremely high and dangerous speeds. These roads are also very narrow allowing little or no room for automobiles and the other legal users such as equestrians, cyclists, and pedestrians to safely pass each other. Cyclists, pedestrians, and equestrians are being illegally removed from these public thoroughfares simply because there is no room by which to use them alongside motorists.
For over eight years, the Mules have passed a huge amount of roadside memorials representing the many people who have needlessly lost their lives to the unsafe conditions of California’s public roads. The Mules are holding the State of California and Caltrans responsible for the deadly and dangerous road conditions which have been responsible for the bloody carnage which has been allowed to go on far too long.
The Mule Advisory Board has issued the following directives to be implemented immediately:
1) Mandatory speed limit reduction from 55 miles per hour (mph) to 30 mph on all county and state roads where a designated condition of extremely dangerous road has been established. The designated condition of an extremely dangerous road would be any section of a road that has blind curves and a narrow passage with little or no shoulder for all the legal users to pass each other safely. The 30 mph speed limit will be in effect until an alternate pathway for the other legal users (pedestrians, equestrians, and cyclists) is constructed not further than one mile from the line of travel from the road in question.
2) Rest Stops. On any newly constructed alternative pathways for non-motorized travelers, places to stop and rest for not less or more than a 24-hour period must be provided along the route every ten miles.
3) Signage – signs must be posted every four miles on both sides of the road, stamping down and stamping into the public mind that sharing the road is the law. And for the well-being and safety of all legal users this law must be practiced and obeyed.
4) Enforce CA Vehicle Code 21759: The driver of any vehicle that approaches a horse drawn vehicle, any ridden animal, or livestock must exercise proper control of his vehicle and shall reduce speed or stop as may appear necessary to avoid frightening the animal and to insure safety of the person in charge of the animal.
The above directives are to be implemented immediately, for the purpose of bringing a state of the art public thoroughfare and trail system to the people of California.
The Mules will be delivering a copy of the Mules Advisory Board’s directives (shown below) one step at a time, all day every day, to the California Governor and State Legislatures, all CalTrans District Offices, and every CHP District Headquarters. As well, the Mules will be delivering and spreading throughout the State the ever mounting level of energy emanating from our lawsuit, Mules vs. State of California. The energy emanating from this lawsuit will show itself to have no bounds. It will blanket the State and relentlessly work to bring a state of the art public thoroughfare and trail system to the people of California.
The following is a history timeline of our lawsuit of 3 Mules v. California Highway Patrol (CHP) from point of arrest to present date and will be kept up to date to inform all those interested in the progress of this case. Click on the date to read further details.
1/23/20 Arrested & Jailed: CHP Templeton arrested the Monk and took him to San Luis Obispo County Jail; Little Girl and Little Ethel were taken to SLO County Animail Shelter; all belongings were impounded and taken to the CHP Templeton office.
2/1/20 Charges not filed: San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow declined to file criminal complaint “in the interest of justice.”
3/18/20 Public Records Request: CHP Templeton received Public Records request from the Mules. Cost $110.
7/27/20Government Claim Form: The Mules hand delivered State of CA Government Claim form to the Office of Risk and Insurance Management in Sacramento. Cost $25. Read about our purpose of filing the claim here.
1/21/21 Lawsuit Filed: Attorney Todd T. Cardiff filed lawsuit/complaint at San Luis Obispo County Superior Court against CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray and CHP Templeton Officer Agredano.
On May 20, 2021, the California Attorney General attorney for California Highway Patrol (CHP) answered the Mules’ complaint with a long detailed diatribe trying to justify the Mules’ arrest on January 23, 2020.
The Mules under state law clearly have the right to travel/walk on all county, state roads in California. The Mules right to do so as well as all other legal users – cyclists, pedestrians was clearly violated.
This case, 3 Mules vs California/CHP is a gift that has been laid down on a table its one-inch thick and a foot square. It has been infused with glowing beautiful light sent from the nomadic way of life that has been practiced for thousands and thousands of years here on this earth. The effect this case will have will be far reaching and multi-dimensional.
The spiritual energy being accumulated in and around this case will never relent, protecting this sacred, nomadic way of life and all those who give their energy to it.
The Mules view this case as a gift. As we gaze into the mist, we see a brown table resting upon it a foot square one-inch thick type folder emitting glowing brown shining light, gIving off a clear message mixed with glowing light. Contribute your unique spiritual energy in ways only you can and have that energy returned in ways your imagination can never foresee.
The Energy of this case continues to grow. The Mules will be leaving Tehachapi where we’ve been resting for over a month on Lori’s property. Exactly why I can’t say but Chuck and Lori have been extremely welcoming and after coming up from Imperial Beach, the southernmost point of our migratory journey, the extended stay has been appreciated.
The Mules will carry this one foot square one-inch thick brown folder emitting its powerful spiritual light with us to the Templeton CHP office where the 3 Mules vs. State of California lawsuit was spiritually activated. This case is a spiritual gift to the Mules and all those who live and practice the art of peacefully pursuing freedom on this earth. It will express the energy it gathers and harbors in ways as yet to be understood.
As the Mules move one step at a time towards Templeton, CA, the lawsuit of 3 Mules vs. California will pull huge amounts of negative energy, harbored within the walls of the Megatropolis, and from those walls into the 3 Mules journey, where the ages old knowledge of this nomadic way of life which the Mules live in service to, will be converted to positive spiritual energy that will then serve the 3 Mules journey in many ways. The 3 Mules vs CA court case will certainly be drawing from that source of energy.
After the Mules deposit the spiritual energy of our lawsuit 3 Mules vs State of CA at the door of CHP Templeton office, we will once again be using G-14 (the road the Mules were arrested on) as we make our way to Sacramento. This road, like most county, state roads, are extremely dangerous due in large part to the total negligence of the state allowing a speed limit that far exceeds the capacity of these roads to provide enough room for all legal users to safely use them. Also the state has totally failed to sign these roads to inform the motorist that sharing the road with all who legally use them IS THE LAW.
Spiritual Energy is the only true wealth. The paper money the Megatropolis doles out to its citizens is no wealth at all. The Mules know this so we speak of this.
The Mules’ wealth is the spiritual energy we create around us by the way we live. The nomadic way we live is the connection to the spiritual realm that provides the energy that makes life worth living for us the Mules.
3/19/2021 Lawsuit update: California Highway Patrol headquarters in Sacramento and CHP Templeton officer Agredano did not respond to our initial mailing of the complaint and summons within the 20 day required amount of time. Therefore, our lawyer hired two processing services to deliver the summons and complaint. The summons was delivered to CHP Sacramento by Moe’s Processing Service on 3/16/2021 (cost $35), CHP Templeton officer David Agredano on 3/19/21 by United Process Servers (cost $95), and acknowledged by San Luis Obispo Superior Court on 3/19/2021. We are now waiting for the defendants to respond. They have 30 days.
Synopsis As the Mules wander and roam throughout the western half of America, we are showing all those by whom we pass the extreme value of this ages old sacred relationship between human being and horse. The Mules are also showing that all others who travel by their own speed and their own power (foot, bike, horse) must have access to the public thoroughfare unhindered and unobstructed. Non-motorized methods of travel must be protected by all those who depend on these alternative ways of traveling.
On January 23, 2020, the Mules were unlawfully and illegally arrested and incarcerated by the State of California/California Highway Patrol (CHP) using the false pretense of safety to justify the arrest. The Mules have brought this lawsuit against the State of California and its enforcement agency CHP to protect the most sacred right in this country for all its citizens to move freely how they choose, when they choose by using the Public Thoroughfare and all city, county, state roads to do so.
Was the Mules arrest planned and executed on purpose by CHP or simply their gross misunderstanding of the state law? CHP used the two words “safety hazard” to justify our arrest. The Mules are a legal but slower mode of transport. The safety hazard is not the slower legal modes of travel (pedestrian, cyclist, equestrian) but the high speed motorist (HSM) who refuses to obey the law, reduce its speed, stop if necessary, to create a safe space for other slower modes of transport, such as the Mules, where they can pass each other safely.
On January 23, 2020, when the CHP stopped and ordered the Mules to stay off the Nacimiento Lake Road, the area had no alternative routes for us to take. We had no physical way to get out of the location where we were other than continuing to proceed forward. The officer used his radio to contact animal control to pick up the mules for impoundment and the Monk was then taken to jail by CHP.
The Mules will not shirk their responsibility to themselves, their ancestors, and all those who will follow us, having the deep need within their bones to spontaneously move freely on this earth.
Proof of Service, Summons and Complaint delivered to CHP Sacramento
CHP dash cam shot of 3 Mules walking along Naciemento Lake Road prior to their arrest on January 23, 2020.
San Luis Obispo, CA: On January 21, 2021, John Sears, who lives a nomadic lifestyle and has traveled the state of California with his mules for the past eight years, filed a lawsuit in San Luis Obispo Superior Court alleging that the California Highway Patrol wrongfully and illegally arrested him in violation of his natural, Constitutional and statutory rights.
As noted in the first paragraph of the complaint: “By this action John Sears seeks to protect this ages-old nomadic way of life and the sacred relationship between man and horse to travel together with reverence and respect for this beautiful place in which we all reside called Earth.”
Sears, 73, and his mules began traveling when he was 36. He has lived full-time outside and traveled with his mules after retiring from his work as a tree trimmer in 2001 at age 54. He documents their endless journey on his website 3Mules.com, 3 Mules Facebook and Instagram pages, which have over 60,000 followers worldwide.
On January 23, 2020, the Mules were walking along Nacimiento Lake Drive, a rural two-lane country road near Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo County. Such route is the only route between Bradley, California and Paso Robles other than Highway 101, and is part of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, a historically designated trail that stretches 1200 miles from Nogales, Mexico, through the California desert and coastal areas in Southern California and the Central Coast region, to San Francisco.
Despite the Mules right to travel such road, and all public thoroughfares in California, excluding interstate highways, he was ordered by CHP officer David Agredano to “stay off the road.” Such order was not only impossible to safely comply with, it was in violation of Sears’ rights under the U.S. and California Constitution.
Sears states: “Nowhere in the California vehicle code does it state that the public thoroughfare is for the exclusive use of the high speed heavy machine called an automobile.”
The California Vehicle Codes and Food and Agricultural Codes provide all non-motorized travel equal access to the public thoroughfare. (Veh. Code § 21050, See also, Food and Ag Code § 16902, 16903.
Sears notes: “The Mules were not creating a safety hazard. The Mules were legally using the public thoroughfare in conformity with the state vehicle code. The motorist has one of two options: 1) obey the state vehicle code, slow down, and stop if necessary, when approaching livestock, or 2) disobey the state vehicle code, refuse to slow down, recklessly pass with no concern for the consequences, and call 911 to complain that there is a person walking with horses on the road.”
Along substantial stretches, Nacimiento Lake Drive is hemmed with steep banks on both sides of the road. It has narrow to non-existent shoulders in many areas as the CHP dash cam video clearly shows. The non-paved area directly adjacent to the road was a steep upward bank, which would be difficult to impossible for a pack mule to navigate.
“The Mules were walking as close to the steep bank as we could to provide the motorists that were obeying state vehicle codes to safely pass.”
Sears further notes: “If this arrest was legal, then all U.S. citizens traveling under their own non-motorized power (equestrians, pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchair, and all others) is likewise illegal. This nomadic lifestyle which the Mules practice, which is over hundreds of thousands of years old, is how the Mules live on this earth. The Mules are bringing this case to court to preserve the right for all equestrians, pedestrians, and cyclists to travel on these public thoroughfares without fear of arrest.”
Sears filed a complaint alleging violation of his civil rights under Federal and California law, false arrest, and declaratory and injunctive relief. In addition, to his damages, he seeks a declaration of his rights that he can present to law enforcement in the future, and for the CHP to issue a training bulletin informing officers of the right for equines and other animals to use the public thoroughfare.
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People often ask the Mules what their mission is. “Our purpose is to walk and live peacefully taking only what we need. Seeking balance and harmony with all that surrounds us and bringing the energy and value of this ages old way of life to all of those who we pass.”
“Spiritually, we are all unique. The Mules are experiencing the sacredness of this place in our own unique way. We are not doing anything spectacular. We get up in the morning, fix something to eat, and walk all day long. We enjoy it. Just walking. We enjoy the sacred act of walking in harmony and balance with the energy of this beautiful Earth that flows in, around and through us.”
“The public thoroughfare has been designed for the high speed motorists and their automobiles,” Sears explained. “The Mules and those who travel under their own power and speed (equestrians, cyclists, hikers) must preserve the right to use these same public thoroughfares as there is no adequate trail system to get equestrians and non-motorized travelers from one community to the next in this state.”
Sears has hand delivered copies of his Declaration of Emergency to over 200 city halls in California as well as to the governor’s office at the California State Capitol. In the declaration, he says the Natural World is being destroyed by a sprawling Megatropolis. Sears describes the Megatropolis as “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.”
For further press inquiries or interviews, contact Attorney Todd T. Cardiff Office (619) 546-5123 or Cell (619) 885-1443 – www.tcardifflaw.com
The Mules delivered to Sacramento the following claim against the State of California and its enforcement agency, the California Highway Patrol, for our unlawful and illegal arrest on January 23, 2020, for allegedly failing to obey a lawful order.
The purpose of the Mules filing this claim is to protect the Mules legal right to the use of the public thoroughfare. Without access to a strong healthy public thoroughfare, the Mules ages old nomadic way of life will come to an end. The energy of our ancestors who have roamed and wandered across this earth for thousands of years is harbored and available for our use. We will use it in this dimension and all others in which we may find ourselves to preserve this sacred way of life for ourselves and those who will inevitably follow.