Ventana Wilderness – Rancho Salsipuedes

Three Mules and one monk were walking south through Fort Hunter Liggett on a road bordering the Los Padres National Forest when a gentleman by the name of Timothy Bottoms stopped his Jeep, got out, introduced himself and asked if the kids needed water or hay for he had brought some. The monk responded, “No. We are okay. Thank you.”
 
He then invited us to his ranch to take a break. We said yes that would be nice. So we walked to his ranch, which is surrounded by the Ventana Wilderness, and took a break.
 
Tim asked if we needed anything in the way of supplies, gear, etc. The monk responded with a yes. Our pack boxes were over 25 years old and worn to the bone. Tim said he would be glad to help so he did by supplying us with four new pack boxes.

Who Dee Do

Who Dee Do, our third mule will be staying at Tim’s ranch. He never became easy for me to shoe. He had to be sedated and that was not a practical scheme for us walking through the Megatropolis.

Who Dee Do will be living with Tim’s horses and mules, a great place for Who Dee Do to live.

The Mules say thank you to Timothy Bottoms for his kindness and support he has shown the mules, the identifiers of this ages old nomadic way of life living with respect and reverence for this beautiful place called Earth, the home of human beings. ~The Mules

About Rancho Salsipuedes: “Nestled in the verdant, peaceful valley, stands the thick adobe walls of the Mission San Antonio de Padua’s Portreros Mulos built by the caretaker friar and several neophytes…it established ranch support for the mission mules.

After secularization in 1834, the property came under the private ownership of Vicente Avile, who purchased the drought stricken Rancho for the stately sum of $13, all he had in his pocket. The Rancho remained in the family estate for over one hundred years.

The Avila Ranch, a 160-acre homestead, became known as Salsipuedes (“get out if you can”), which was later sold to Timothy Bottoms in 1975 as a family refuge.”

On the ranch is an old stone cabin and oven built sometime in late 1800s/early 1900s.

The trails surrounding the property are very difficult to travel and impassable with overgrown brush and fallen trees. During the time we were waiting for our pack boxes to arrive, we spent our time clearing these trails.

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Gonzales, California

The Mules stayed in the city of Gonzales last night. Got up this morning and fixed breakfast. While packing up the Mules, a number of residents came by and welcomed us to their town. We then delivered the DOE and MCL to the Gonzales City Hall.

Thank you to the town of Gonzales for making the Mules’ walk through your town a pleasant one.

The Mules

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Salinas, California

On Monday September 14, the Mules arrived in Salinas, California. We spent most of our time in the northern portion of the city at El Gabilan Library on Main Street to charge our electronics and catch up on things.

A few days prior to arriving in Salinas, I received a message from Diana Kunz, who stated that she worked at Alisal High School and asked if the Mules would consider meeting her students while in Salinas. We said yes. She said that she would double check with the main teacher. On Monday afternoon, Ms. Kunz met up with the Mules at the El Gabilan Library and we agreed that the Mules would be at Central Park the next day at 11am to meet her class.

This morning, we got up from our spot that we spent the night in Salinas, stopped by Salinas City Hall to deliver the Declaration of Emergency and then proceeded to Central Park less than a mile away. The Mules enjoyed meeting Ms. Terry Johnson and Ms. Kunz’s Alisal High School students and answering their questions. My three kids behaved themselves and seemed to enjoy the attention given to them by the class.

This is the second time the Mules have been invited to speak with a school and we enjoyed having the opportunity to share our ages old way of life. The first time was with Anacapa School in Santa Barbara back in March 2015. Thank you Ms. Kunz for reaching out to us.

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Las Lomas, California

Little Girl in front of Watsonville City Hall

After delivering the DOE to Watsonville City Hall and spending a couple hours at the public library to charge our electronics, we left downtown Watsonville around 4:30 pm yesterday. We got to Highway G12 going south towards Salinas grazing along the road when Lucy and Santiago stopped and asked us, “Where are you going?”

We responded, “Everywhere.”

“But where?”

“San Diego.”

They wanted to know where we were going to spend the night. We didn’t know. Lucy said that we could stay at their ranch in Las Lomas, and we accepted their invitation.

Thank you Lucy and Santiago for your kindness and support that you’ve shown this place of one human being walking/riding with his or her animal companions through the endless magic and mystery of time and space.

The Mules

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