Sacramento Megatropolis

On May 1, 2017 the Mules entered the Elk Grove in Sacramento county.

Site of 22 train car derailment

On the outskirts of town near Dillard Road, we came across the remnants of a 22 train car derailment that occurred during the heavy winter rains that flooded the area in February. We haven’t seen a derailment like this in a long time.

We found an quiet spot to rest with lots of green grass and shade to give Little Girl some rest. Here, the birds were singing and the geese were flying overhead releasing their energy of magic and power spurring the Mules into a new day of the same.

After we arrived in Sacramento, we spent the night along an abandoned railroad line. In the morning, I released Little Girl from her picket line so she could graze while I fixed my oatmeal for breakfast. Upon finishing breakfast, I went to get Little Girl about 200 feet away then packed her up. Off we went for another spontaneous unplanned day in the 3 Mule Nation.

Got to a Starbucks, secured Little Girl to a tree, went in, and charged my phone. Thank you Starbucks.

After phone got charged, we proceeded north to Del Paso and turned east. It was getting hot so we decided to stop and rest Little Girl under a tree. We were there for an hour when police showed up in two patrol cars, two officers asking many questions.

The first question we were asked was why were we here. They said somebody called saying there was a horse tied to a tree. Didn’t mention me. I was six feet away. One officer said he had had two horses and he knew that a horses should not be out in the heat. I just dropped my jaw, asked if I was being detained, received no answer, untied Little Girl and left. End of our resting time.

We proceeded along the boulevard for a mile went into a parking lot, got under a small tree and stopped.

Shortly afterwards, a reporter for the Sacramento Bee showed up, said he was curious as to what we were about and asked if he could interview us. We said sure, so he did for about 30 minutes asking questions and taking video. We explained our ages old nomadic way of life and the reason why we continue to live the way we do to preserve and exercise everybody’s right to travel by foot in the public thoroughfare and rest for the night. We saw the article and video that the Sacramento Bee posted online.

We were displeased of what the Bee published, focusing on the trivial and had no mention of our purpose of what we do all day every day. Following the Bee post, reporters from CBS13 and ABC10 have reached out and requested an interview with the Mules. We have not called them back as we found from past experience, local news stations cannot adequately report who The Mules are in the thirty seconds that they have to air a story, and most often the story is edited down to fluff. We find that the only three writers who have every captured the Mules true essence are Rick Paulas for The Kernel/The Daily Dot, Mark Luckach for The Atlantic, and Sarah Christie’s column for Mules and More.

Later that night, we found a place to rest for the evening/sleep.

The next day, as we were traveling through the Sacramento megatropolis, temperatures was in the 90s. It was time to obtain Little Girl a drink of water. We stopped at a business, asked if we could get water from the faucet on his building and person said no. He said that if we did try to get any water from the faucet, he would call the police.

This response to our request prompted the Mules to bring forth and into view Mule Proclamation 2645-B passed by the legislature of common sense and decency. This Proclamation states as follows: “Any corporation, business or private party who refuses any person traveling with or without an animal companion water for said personnel survival has committed an act of extreme inhumanity. A penalty of not less than 10 years in a not so nice place plus a $50,000.00 fine which will be placed in a multi-use state trail system fund, which will be assessed against the convicted.

The Mules will be in the Sacramento area showing how we live and the challenges we meet on a day to day basis and gathering people’s thoughts and energy as we walk along. In the past few days, Little Girl and I have enjoyed meeting and talking to many of the Three Mule Nation followers that live in the Sacramento Megatropolis.

The Mules are pleased to say that for every negative encounter the Mules may experience as we walk north, south, east, west, when we choose, how we choose, we have ten times more positive experiences with people that we meet while walking and living responsibly outside all day every day.

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The Mules and their year-long medical adventure

Last year in February 2016, the Mules left Santa Barbara and went up and over the Los Padres mountain range when our bladder stone made itself known. From that date until now, we haven’t done much traveling due to the discomfort and pain caused by the stone.

Wind Wolves Preserve, Bakersfield, CA

February to April 2016
It took us 12 days to cross the Los Padres Mountains. We made our way over the mountain, dropped into the San Emigdio Canyon and wound up at the Wind Wolves Preserve where we stayed for a number of weeks as we tried to figure out this growing discomfort. We worked on clearing the overgrown trail and making rock cairns on the trail in upper San Emigdio Canyon to mark the way to Pine Mountain Club. [Watch our video that we created of our Trail Work at Wind Wolves Preserve]

May 2016
We were notified that oral arguments for our case, USA vs John Sears was scheduled before the U.S. Ninth District Court of Appeals on May 2, 2016 in Pasadena. So, we packed up and left Wind Wolves and walked 17 days to Pasadena to appear at our oral arguments in person at the U.S. Ninth District Court of Appeals. We lost our appeal but didn’t lose. The Energy acquired from the just effort put forth by 3 Mules and their pro bono lawyer Dan Kapelovitz will serve to the 3 Mule Nation and all who contribute to it in countless ways which cannot be foreseen. After our appeal, we then turned to migrate back north for the summer.

We traveled back over the Old Ridge Road, Lebec, Frazier Park, Pine Mountain Club, down San Emigdio Canyon to Wind Wolves Preserve where we rested a couple weeks to finish making the rock cairns in the upper canyon to mark the trail leading to Pine Mountain Club.

Delivering the DOE to Reedley City Hall

June 2016
Before it heated up too much in the Central Valley, we needed to continue our migratory journey north where temperatures are cooler. We made our way through Bakersfield, stopped a couple of days, then proceeded through Shafter, McFarland, Delano, Porterville, Exeter, Ivanhoe, Dinuba, Reedley, and Sanger, delivering the Declaration of Emergency (DOE) to their city halls.

July 2016
We stayed a couple weeks in Fresno to wait out an extreme heat wave where once again the Mules were guided by the free flowing energy that envelopes the Mules as they practice this ages old nomadic way of life, which to this day has outlasted every Megatropolis/Empire thats ever been going back hundreds of thousands if not millions of years. During our stay in Fresno, the discomfort and pain intensified and we saw a doctor who diagnosed us with an enlarged prostate and prescribed a treatment to help shrink the prostate.

Sam, owner of Sam’s Organic Tomato Farm, with the kids

When the heat wave finally lifted, we packed up our belongings and moved with the energy. We had a goal to find the ranch where Lady was born and where we purchased her over 30 years ago. We walked through Friant and O’Neil and we were magically guided to Sam’s Organic Tomato Farm outside of Coarsegold. We enjoyed the hospitality we found at Sam’s for two months as we were dealing with this constant discomfort which was preventing continuous days of walking. Making the walk to Oakhurst for groceries and back to Coarsegold would deplete our energy for days.

Melinda, Eric, Bonnie and Porvidio

October 2016
In October, we needed to migrate south to warmer temps before cold hit the foothills of the Sierra. We were again brought to pack up our belongings, walked through Friant, Fresno, Selma, Kingsburg, Goshen, Tulare, Pixley, Delano, McFarland, Shafter, and Bakersfield, resting a couple days at Melinda and Eric’s stable, before winding back up at to Wind Wolves Preserve. From there we toyed with the possibility of continuing south to Pasadena to see the Rose Bowl Parade. We decided to give it a try.

Snow in San Emigdio Canyon

December 2016
We went up through San Emigdio Canyon, got on top then went east to Frasier Park where we spent the night on the Public Thoroughfare (along the side of the highway), the right of anybody to do so when using said public thoroughfare to move from one place to the next when they choose how they choose.

Scott, Gretchen and Tom

Upon getting up that morning, I found Lady remaining down. We decided to tap the energy of the nation, the 3 Mule Nation, to materialize into what we needed. That energy brought forth very quickly people willing to give their energy to Lady the Mule, a true icon from the Natural World demonstrating in her most whimsical of ways the extreme value of that world, the Natural World.

Little Girl and Lady in Granite Station, CA

After a short wait, we met Scott from the Granite Station. He offered to let Lady, Little Girl, myself stay at his ranch in Granite Station. So we did for two months and met Scott’s nice neighbors – Mario and his wife, and Bill across the street. The kids had a great time roaming the ranch, while I was trying to find a urologist in Bakersfield who would treat our prostate condition.

One day, the discomfort finally got to the point that we finally decided that we needed to go to Kern Medical Center Emergency Room, where we were treated by physician assistant Monica Sutter, who provided excellent service and listened as we described the discomfort and pain experienced for the past ten months. She referred us to a Kern Medical primary care doctor and a urologist, who we scheduled follow-up appointments.

Kern Medical Center, Bakersfield, CA

February 2017
Since Granite Station was a two day walk from Bakersfield, we had to get closer to town to be closer to our doctor appointments. The distances that we were able to walk had become quite short due to the severe pain. So, Lady, Little Girl and myself headed to Bakersfield. While in Bakersfield, Lady herself was having difficulty related to age and knew it was finally time for Lady to retire; our friend Sharon has provided Lady a wonderful home and care.

Little Girl with Paula and Larry

March 2017
The energy of 3 Mules Nation brought us to Bakersfield Kern County and guided the Mules through and around Kern County Bakersfield until our year long medical adventure was culminated at Kern Medical Center where our urologist Dr. Vihn Trangdiagnosed us as having a bladder stone and created a treatment plan requiring outpatient surgery on March 16 to remove our golf-ball size bladder stone. While we were under anesthesia, he took a look at the prostate to determine if any further treatment was required, in which he determined that it was normal size and no further treatment required. Immediately after the surgery was over and the bladder stone removed, the discomfort and pain experienced for the past year went away.

The Mules would like to thank the doctors, nurses and all the hard-working folks giving their energy to making Kern Medical Center a good place to receive treatment. The Mules also want to once again thank the those who provide the Mules a place to stay as we were trying to resolve our medical issues. And we want to thank the people of the 3 Mule Nation for the kind words and well wishes that we received.

We are back on our feet and making our migratory journey north for the summer.

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Free flowing energy and happiness in Bakersfield

Gayle, Shana and kids with Little Girl

As we were packing up groceries we bought at WinCo, Gayle drove up in his pickup and said that himself and Shana his wife followed the Mules on Facebook/3Mules. We said thank you. Gayle said if we ever need a place to stay a few days, the Mules would be welcome.

Little Girl

So a few weeks later, here we are enjoying the company of their goats, horses, dogs, cats, chickens, turkeys, and peacocks. We enjoyed delicious fresh eggs scrambled this morning produced by these happy chickens with plenty of company, room to roam (energy moving freely) produces happy chickens that lay good eggs.

The degree of free energy you have in your life is the degree of happiness you experience in your life. The Mules see this all day every day play itself out in many ways.

The Megatropolis is rapidly destroying the availability and access we the human race has to that energy. Need only to look around the dial on the misery meter that continues to rise.

Pictured above are Gayle, Shana and kids who have created their own connection to Nature’s free flowing energy and happiness.

The Mules

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Still seeking tent

Little Girl with Paula and Larry of Riverdale Stables, Bakersfield, CA

The Mules want to thank Paula and Larry for allowing me and Little Girl to stay on their property until February 28th when we will see the urologist in regards to the swollen prostate which has pretty much kept us from practicing our nomadic lifestyle of walking all day, every day.

Our tent with broken poles beyond repair

During the storm, Paula and Larry lent us their strong and sturdy REI tent since our tent poles broke. They said we could keep the tent, however it is way too big to carry on Little Girl all day. A tent half this size would fare us well. 6 foot x 5 foot x 40-inches high or something very close is what works best for us. The poles need to be able to fit in the pack boxes.

We have found that tents under $50 sold on the internet are of such poor quality and strength and not usable under our circumstances…tent material is usually paper thin with fiberglass toothpick-like poles or poor quality zippers that break with only a few uses. We are looking for a high quality tent 6 foot by 5 foot by 40-inches and haven’t found one yet on the internet. If you find one that fits what we are looking for, please let us know. Send link so that we can read the dimensions to ensure that the collapsed poles will fit in the pack boxes. Or, if you have a tent these dimensions that you are no longer using, please send us a photo with dimensions and length of collapsed poles.

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Lady’s new retirement home

Little Girl and Lady

Lady’s days of wandering across the earth carrying a pack load on her back have now come to an end. She will now spend her remaining days in this dimension, which she so admirably served for the past 37 years, in retirement. Though Lady will no longer be serving the 3 Mule Nation as she has, we are sure she will be serving this nation in ways yet unforeseen. Little Girl and myself will forever be aware of her presence.

Lady with Melinda, Eric, Bonnie and Porvidio

As Lady gave her unrelenting energy to the 3 Mules Nation that energy returns to Lady embodied in these great people – Melinda, Eric, Bonnie and Porvidio, who came forth from the mist to serve and care for Lady.

She will now be going to another place where we know she will experience the best of care by Sharon.

3 Mules Nation will be watching Lady and anticipating with excitement to see how Lady’s energy and magic will find yet another way to contribute to the wealth of the nation, the 3 Mules Nation.

~The Mules

Here are some photos that Sharon shared with us of Lady settling down in her new home and being welcomed by her horse and neighbor’s pony.

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Meeting Eli – an honest friend

We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.~Robert Louis Stevenson 

In April 2016, I was coming back from Los Angeles with the Mules, coming down San Emigdio Canyon at Wind Wolves Preserve in Bakersfield. I had hung my cartridge belt on the saddle horn. My cartridge belt carried my cell phone, camera, various devices and wallet. When I stopped to rest for the night and was unpacking the kids, I discovered that it was missing. It had come loose and fallen off.

I remembered where and when I stopped to take off my cartridge belt and hung it around the saddle horn, but I had no idea at which point it fell off. Did it get caught up in a tree branch or bush along the trail and fall off? For the next week, I walked back and forth along a 3-mile wide open stretch searching in San Emigdio Canyon along the creek trail and swept the tall grasses in the pasture to no avail and couldn’t find it. I notified the administrative office at Wind Wolves Preserve in case any hiker turned it in. I thought that I would never see it again.

Almost eleven months later, this past Monday evening, I received the following message from Eli Smith: “John, I was hiking at Wind Wolves Preserve and found something that belongs to you. Why don’t you message me and we can coordinate getting it back to you!”

Unbelievable!

This evening, Eli and his friends drove from Los Angeles to Bakersfield and very graciously returned everything to me. The Mules want to thank Eli for his honesty and taking the time to search for me and reconnect me with my belongings.

We appreciate all the good people we encounter in our ages old nomadic way of life. Each day we are reminded that 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.

Monk, Little Girl and Eli Smith
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The Mules had a scare on Friday; we are all okay

Snow on ground at over 6000′ elevation

On Thursday morning, we packed up and left San Emigdio Canyon where we had spent the previous day. That night the temperature at 6,085 feet elevation was below freezing (in the low 20s or high teens with wind chill) – much colder than it was below the mouth of the canyon where we had been camped. Our intended destination was San Diego. The El Camino Viejo a Los Ángeles (Old Road to Los Angeles) is the route to get there by foot from Wind Wolves Preserve.

We traveled up the canyon for 2 hours 45 minutes, then reached the highway at Pine Mountain Club and proceeded east. We reached Frazier Park (elevation 4,542 ft) about 4:30pm. We had walked 6 hours that day with temperatures in the high 30s and decided to stop for the night and exercise our God given and legal right as well as anybody else’s whether traveling by horseback, bicycle or merely walking to use public space when in transit from one place to the next for the purpose of rest.

I unpacked the kids, put them on picket lines, made them comfortable, pitched my tent, ate some oatmeal, and went to sleep.

Upon awakening in the morning, I walked up the bank to check the kids and found Lady to be in distress. I maintained a watch for one hour and decided to get her to a vet.

I called the lady who voluntarily serves as the 3Mules.com admin and informed her to the situation. Using the 3 Mules Facebook page, she contacted the many people who follow and offer their help and support to the Mules on their endless journey through the Megatropolis.

The help the Mules needed materialized in a very short time in the form of Scott Rogers, president of Backcountry Horsemen of California – Kern Sierra Unit, Gretchen and her boss Tom, who came with a horse trailer.

We loaded Lady and Little Girl into the trailer and went to Bakersfield Veterinary Large Animal Hospital where she was thoroughly checked and declared to be in excellent condition for her 38 years of age. (Vet thought that the freezing temperatures at high elevation may have caused her stress as her condition improved at 300 feet above sea level.)

Our camp at Scott’s ranch

The Mules are now at Scott Rogers ranch where they will stay a few days then return to Wind Wolves Preserve. The Mules can no longer expect Lady at her 38 years to serve the Mules as she has so admirably done for most of her life. She is nearing retirement. She has earned and deserves it.

The Mules say thank you to all those who have joined this new nation, a nation growing up within a nation, by giving their hope, faith and energy to this nation. Respect and reverence for this earth and all its inhabitants.

The Mules

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Happy Thanksgiving

The Mules give thanks on this Thanksgiving Day for this beautiful place called earth, the home of the human race. We give thanks to creation for all the animal companions who we enjoy and share this magical dance of energy and motion played out on the earthly stage. We give thanks for all the people we have met along the way and follow the 3 Mules page and peer through the window and watch and support the Mules on their endless journey using their God given right to move freely on earth. The Mules are all of us and we must be and remain free if we are to stay human.
 
Happy Thanksgiving.
 
The Mules

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The Mules say thank you to Sam Gonzales

The Mules want to thank Sam Gonzales for inviting us to stop and rest on his property for the past three months.

We had come to the Coarsegold area by the direction of the energy that surrounds and guides us. Here is where my oldest mule Lady was born 37 years ago.

We decided we would head for Oakhurst, buy groceries, then find the place where I bought Lady and she was born.

As we were walking along Road 415, we saw a sign Tomatoes for Sale. We stopped. Sam was there. We asked to buy some tomatoes. He came back with some. He asked where the mules were going to spend the night. We said we weren’t sure. He said they could stay here and that there was plenty of grass for them to eat. There was. We accepted.

We’ve been here for 3 months. The Monk was having a physical problem due to age. Meeting Sam was a godsend. The Mules now continue this ages old nomadic journey practiced by many through the ages.

The Mules

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The Mules meet Sam – tomato farmer extraordinaire

As we were walking along the public thoroughfare a few days ago on Road 415 in Coarsegold, we came upon this place with a sign out announcing home grown organic tomatoes for sale. So we crossed the road then saw Sam, farmer extraordinaire, out picking tomatoes.

We asked him if we could purchase some, so he gave us some. While we were eating one of the delicious tomatoes, we did some talking, exchanging thoughts, ideas, experiences, etc. Sam took a keen interest in the kids and was drawn in by their energy.

Sam said stay a couple of days and give the kids a rest. We said OK, thank you. His lot has lots of green grass for the kids to graze and a pond filled with natural spring water.

We’ve enjoyed talking with Sam about his real down to the bone farming knowledge and food preservation techniques. Meeting Sam as we did was like stumbling onto a gold coin. An extremely rare and valued occurrence. ~The Mules

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