Today is Mule’s 71st birthday. He didn’t want any mention of it on this page, but his mules past and present dressed up for the occasion so had to share.
Lady enjoying the sun after the rain and foraging on Passion flowers and green sprouting grass. Thanks Sharon for sharing these photos with us.
On our way south, Little Girl and I stopped to visit Lady, who looks great and is being given the best of care along with her pasture mate Coco.
We waited here for ten days for a $300 6-hour life skills class in Fresno that we were required to attend by the Alameda County District Attorney for our arrest by the California Highway Patrol in Castro Valley.
Now Little Girl and myself will continue on our migratory journey south to the San Diego area.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lady is too old now to haul a load all day so we left her with some great folks. It’s just Little Girl and the monk now. We’ll have another blog post or several coming soon sharing stories of our 31 years traveling with Lady.
The photo above is Little Girl standing alone infused and enveloped by the energy of 3 Mules Nation, a nation of people following, watching, giving their hope, faith and energy to that nation. A Nation born from a history of hundreds of thousands of years. Human beings wandering and living with their animal companions with respect and reverence for each other and the planet earth from which their nation and themselves were born. A 3 Mules Nation of people (human beings) unwilling to accept and conform to the new paradigm of gadgetry and glitz (endless discovery) at the cost of that most sacred relationship immersed in the magic and wonder of human beings wandering their home earth.
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.)
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 other day as we were heading back to Wind Wolves after getting groceries and supplies in Bakersfield, the Wild West was materializing before our eyes with a large amount of sheep tracks and droppings left everywhere.
Curious about where these sheep came from and where they were going, we did a Google search on “Bakersfield sheep” and an interesting Los Angeles Times article returned called “End of a Tradition: Young Basque Shepherds No Longer Flock to Calif.” The article discusses the Basque immigrants who have been coming to California for over 100 years to herd sheep as few Americans want these jobs.
What caught our eye in this article the description of Aleman and his nomadic life as a shepherd in California.
“For 21 years Aleman has lived the lonely, nomadic life of a California shepherd. After the winter lambing, Aleman spends April and May in the Mojave Desert watching his flock during spring grazing. He spends his summers on the mile-high meadows of the Owens Valley on the slopes of the Sierra. In the fall, he returns to the Kern County foothills.”
“At one time, Aleman and the other shepherds lived in tents and followed their flocks’ peregrinations by foot over the century-old California Sheep Trail. It was one of the longest animal drives in the nation–400 miles over the Tehachapis to Mojave, up past Lone Pine and Bishop to the high mountain summer meadows of the Sierra and then back to Kern County.”
“We adapted to the loneliness of shepherding better than a lot of people because most of us are from very small villages with few neighbors. We grew up with the isolation.”
Maybe sometime in the future, the Mules will find and explore this 400-mile trail. Have any of our readers ever traveled the California Sheep Trail? If so, tell us about it.
In California, there is a high speed bullet train being built at a cost of $64 billion dollars. The Megatropolis plans the first prototype to run from San Francisco to Los Angeles. It will split the state right down the middle much like the San Andreas Fault with no less potential disastrous consequences.
It will require a massive surveillance apparatus to guard and protect from terrorists at a cost of billions of more dollars. People living anywhere nearby will be considered a possible terrorist threat by the surveillance state. Their children will be tested in school for possible terrorist tendencies. This will all be done under the guise and pretense of providing a fast, quick way to get from point A to B in complete comfort and ease.
Pull back the smoke screen of glitz, gadgetry and endless discovery and the Mules see the Megatropolis using this bullet train (machine) to seize and bring under its control more space to satisfy its insatiable appetite for contained and controlled energy (be it human, animal, wind, sun, etc.) on earth.
The bullet train is yet another scheme brought forth by the Megatropolis to drag the Human Race down a dark hole to be disconnected from ourselves, each other and our home, the Earth. To be forever wandering and lost in the manmade world of gadgetry, glitz and endless discovery. You bump into somebody, they ask you who you are, where you are from, and you won’t have a clue.
The Mules have an alternate proposal to the Megatropolis’s bullet train:
A multi-use trail system going in all four directions,
– Hooking all communities to all communities
– Connecting people with reverence and respect for each other and their surroundings
– Moving at a pace that is in harmony with the natural flowing energy that flows around and through us
– Learning to use that energy to heal our bodies and nurture our souls
– Teaching the children the magic and joy of being real human beings connected to the Natural World
– Bringing people together to solve the problems that face them with cooperation and respect.
The Public Thoroughfare, a multi-use trail system, is the place for the fist step in the right direction.
Note: If you agree with this, please make a copy and send where you think it will do the most good.
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.