On Sunday, April 22, 2018, we left Hemet around 9am walking approximately 17-miles to Beaumont via Highway 79. It was a beautiful day and we were enjoying ourselves. Little Girl and myself were anticipating our journey east.
Midway between Hemet and Beaumont, a CHP officer pulled his cruiser up in front of us blocking our way preventing our forward motion. It would have meant going into traffic coming at us at 65 mph+. He did not turn on his blue and red flashing emergency lights, allowing traffic to pass at 65+ miles per hour, which is putting the Mules plus himself in extreme danger.
The CHP officer said he wanted to talk to us. We took his picture, turned on our voice recorder, and asked him if we could record him. He said yes.
We then asked what it was he wanted. He said he had been getting calls that there was a horse loose on the highway. We said, “Where is the loose horse? We don’t see one.”
He then warned us not to walk in the roadway. “You must stay on the far right-hand side of the road.” We said that’s where we are. The guard rail is preventing us from going any further to the right and the lane of traffic is preventing us from going any further to the left. We were walking on the shoulder we have a constitutional right in this country to use all city, state, county roads.
The CHP officer then told the Mules that if he got any more calls about us being in the roadway we would be arrested and Little Girl would be impounded. We have said this before to CHP officers but forgot this time to tell them if he comes back and bothers us again we will arrest him and take him to jail.
We walked about 17 miles from Hemet and arrived in Beaumont late in the afternoon. We found an open field near Walmart with plenty of grass for Little Girl to graze and to rest for the night.
Monday, April 23, 2018
Upon awakening in the morning, I checked Little Girl, gave her some water, and moved her picket line to where she could graze on some new grass. I then fixed breakfast, packed up Little Girl, and proceeded to Starbucks not more than a quarter of a mile away.
I tied Little Girl to a tree with a short line in the Starbucks parking lot. [Side note: often times, people complain that Little Girl is tied too short and that she should have more room to move around. A short line keeps her out of harms way of vehicles moving through the parking lot.] I entered the store, bought a cup of coffee, sat down, and proceeded to charge my phone.
I was in Starbucks for about an hour when a gentleman inside alerted me to the fact that somebody was leading Little Girl across the parking lot. I gathered my belongings, went out the door and caught up to the young woman who had untied Little Girl to the tree and was leading Little Girl towards a black pick up truck with a man wearing a dark beard sitting inside his truck calmly.
She was not more than 10 feet away from the pick up truck when I snatched the lead rope out of her hand, and told her I would call the police. She said she was the police. The young woman, approximately 20 years of age, has a pierced nose, lips and ears and did not appear to be a police officer. I then led Little Girl back to the tree where I had her tied, cleaned up her droppings, and left the area.
The Mules didn’t have a chance to thank the man in Starbucks who alerted me that Little Girl was being led away. If you read this, thank you, sir.
After we left Starbucks, we proceeded to walk to Beaumont City Hall to deliver the Declaration of Emergency. Outside City Hall, we stopped to gather our thoughts and sent an email to the mayors, city council members and city managers in Beaumont, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Banning, and Indio – places we’ll walk through during the next few days as we head east to Arizona. The email described the importance to develop interstate trails and also nomadic lifestyle that we live with a link to the video showing how the Mules responsibly use public space.
Later on, as we were walking along the railroad tracks headed for Banning, we heard a man’s voice beckoning us to stop. We turned and saw the man, who introduced himself as Jeffrey, walking thru the grass, come over to the fence and ask if he could take our picture. We said sure. He said that he has never seen anything like this before and the sight of us caused him to immediately pull over and want to talk to us. We then had a nice conversation as Jeffrey was curious as to what the Mules were doing and where we were going.
The Mules live and travel on the Public Thoroughfare responsibly and honestly with respect and reverence for all. We exercise our constitutional right to do so. This is resented by some and valued by others.