Ventana Wilderness – Rancho Salsipuedes

UPDATE 9/19/2020: In 2015 the Mules were traveling through Ventana Wilderness in Monterey County where we had the pleasure of staying at Rancho Salsipuedes owned by Timothy Bottoms. We enjoyed our stay at the Rancho and learning of its unique history, which is documented in our original blog post below.

Rancho Salsipuedes is a rare place. About 12 miles inland in Big Sur, it is one of the LAST standing California Homesteads that is not owned by the government or by a corporation. It has been in the hands of The Bottoms family since 1975. It has been untouched by overdevelopment, remaining in all of its glory. It has been looked after with true, pure, authentic love for the natural world. 

Dolan Fire Map
Dolan Fire Perimeter, Monterey County, September 2020

We have come to find out about the Dolan wildfire that started August 18, 2020 and one month later continues to burn with only 46% perimeter containment. This wildfire ravaged thru and over the Rancho Salsipuedes, which we are very sorry to hear about.

In 2015, We left our palomino mule, Who Dee Doo, at Rancho Salsipuedes and glad to see in the photo below that he made it through the fire okay.

The Bottom’s family friend, Caitlin Ackerman, has organized a GoFundMe fundraiser to help the remaining horses and rebuild Rancho Salsipuedes. Please click on this link to read more about this special place and donate if you can. Warning, there are graphic images of the animals domestic and wildlife that didn’t survive.

Here is our original blog post that we wrote October 20, 2015:

October 20, 2015 – 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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The Mules deliver their State of California Government Claim to Sacramento

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.

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The Mules and this ages old nomadic lifestyle

A comment was made on our last post: “So you want strangers to keep up your lifestyle…that’s what we call bums.”

The Mules and this ages old nomadic lifestyle which our ancestors have practiced for thousands of years is still being practiced today by us the Mules. We get up in the morning off the ground, take a look at our animal companions, bid them a good morning, fix some breakfast, usually oatmeal or rice and vegetables or maybe some ground nuts, very simple and basic, nothing fancy. Then the monk packs up the Mules and we are on our way in any one of four directions, spending the day walking in the light with love, respect and reverence for this Earth and the web of life one step at a time.

When sun begins to set, we look for a place to stop for the night on the public thoroughfare. Often times, somebody will offer the Mules their property to stay for the night. Often times, the Mules gratefully accept. We then fix a simple meal, make the Mules comfortable for the night, then go to sleep knowing full well when we awake in the morning, we will be more to once again practice this unchoreographed dance across the face of the earth in harmony and balance with the energy that surrounds us, guides us, and protects us. This energy of which we speak shows itself through the many kind and generous people the Mules meet everyday as they walk this timeless endless journey of respect and reverence for the Natural World. All of our material needs it will simply materialize into what is needed.

So this is the way it is for the Mules. It does not matter what we are called as we walk along the public thoroughfare for we know who we are and where we are from. We are the body of our ancestors and we come from the harbored energy of their sacred way of life.

Our ancestors have walked under around and through every Megatropolis/ Empire that has ever been and witnessed their ultimate collapse. The Mules as we walk around under and through this Empire are also witnessing its collapse.

As the Megatropolis continues its inevitable collapse and initiates a totalitarian nightmare to contain and control all human energy within it s purview, the Mules will continue this endless journey of our ancestors forever moving into the light of this place in which we reside alone but never alone, a place for everybody and anybody moving, walking in harmony and balance with the energy that created Earth and all its inhabitants.

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Bakersfield

When the Mules got into Bakersfield, we went to Tractor Supply looking for Pure Neats foot oil. As we returned to the mules, a lady named Lori was waiting with the mules. She introduced herself and her husband Chuck. She told us that she has been watching the 3 Mules page for many a year. Lori also told us how she contacted CHP and the District Attorney expressing her disgust anger as to the Mules illegal arrest and confinement.

The Mules thanked Lori for the energy of her effort on our behalf as well as the many others of the 3 Mules Nation who did likewise. For if the collective energy of the 3 Mules Nation had not been used, the Mules would right now be using the hacksaw blade we found in our pillow to saw through the bars and take our rightful place on the public thoroughfare showing all who pass our way, there is nothing more precious on this earth than true human freedom.

Lori told us she lived close by and we were welcome to stay the night. It was gettin close to that time so we gratefully accepted her offer. Her kids set up a make shift corral where the mules spent three comfortable nights. Thank you Lori and her nice family for the hospitality they showed the Mules.

Temporary coral set-up for the mules in front yard of Lori's home

As the picture shows it is very easy to accommodate an equestrian traveler as a guest in many suburban communities. These gated housing developments that are springing up everywhere are planned and engineered in such a way as to exclude most outside activity other than getting out of an automobile, walking 40 feet to the front door and going inside, which is the real purpose of an engineered gated community to keep you inside, isolated, dependent and addicted to the internet of things.

In an ever increasing number of cities and towns, city councils are being unduly influenced and pressured to pass ordinances, codes that make any free spontaneous activity in your neighborhood virtually impossible. The 3 mule journey and its nomadic ages old lifestyle pushes back all day every day, one step at a time, against this damning Megatropolis and its goal of disconnection, isolation from the Web of Life, the Natural World.

The Mules

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Amarillo, Texas

5/7/2019 – DAY 1 AMARILLO, TX. The Mules can’t get over how clean the streets are in Texas. No trash laying around anywhere, unlike California where you’re always walking through trash and litter. It was so unexpected to see. It truly is different in that respect.

White mule

In the morning, we met the gentleman who is bringing us to see a couple 16 hand mules that we traveled here to see. We first saw this nice 7-year old strong mule, but it is white and we don’t want that color as it makes the mules too easy to spot at night for thieves and others with less than a legitimate intentions.

Hopefully the two mules that well see today will be what we want so we can walk back to California. The tornado that was forecasted didn’t materialize.

5/8/2019 – Day 2 AMARILLO, TX. Made contact with the person who had the two mules for sale that was suppose to be 10 years old. This one photo was well over 20 years old with no front teeth and the other one had a bad front foot. So we continue our search.

Trying to find a bicycle so I can put my necessities on it and travel around rather than riding the bus, which will still leave you a long way from looking at a mule.

Also photos where me and the pink bag spent the night. It rained cats and dogs nonstop hard and steady all night.

I am still searching to purchase two 15.3 – 16 hand stout draft mules, 3 to 15 years of age. Must be easy to shoe, healthy and located within the United States. Do not want white. If there are any in the Amarillo Texas area that I am currently located, let me know. If you have mules for sale that fits this description, please private message photos, location, price and your contact information.

Thank you to those who have sent us leads, which we have been following up if it fits our criteria.

5/9/19 – DAY 3 AMARILLO, TX. Spent the day making phone calls and following up on leads provided to us by the Nation, the Three Mules Nation, since the mules we saw yesterday didn’t fit our criteria.

Map of United States

5/10/19 DAY 4 CANYON, TX: After walking 15 miles south from Amarillo to Canyon carrying all this stuff, I decided that I must get a bicycle. Taking a bus is way too expensive and still won’t get one close to areas with mules that one wants to look at. Bought this 18-speed bike at Walmart for $78, an unbelievable price because back in the 70s, I paid $100 for a ten speed. Managed to get my stuff tied on and will go from one place to the next looking for a mule. It didn’t take me long to realize that I’d rather be walking with a mule than riding a bicycle. All the more reason to find a mule as soon as possible.

18 speed bicycle

5/11/19 Day 5 AMARILLO, TX: Where we slept last night in Amarillo.

The Mules are still searching to purchase two 15.3 – 16 hand stout draft mules, 3 to 15 years of age. Must be easy to shoe and healthy. We don’t want white as it makes the mules too easy to spot at night for thieves and others with less than a legitimate intentions.

If you have mules for sale that fits this description, please private message photos, location, price and your contact information. Would like to see photos of teeth and video of back feet being picked up.

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Makeshift Shelter

A makeshift shelter put together from what we found that was laying around. The nomadic life style live as close to and with the natural world as you can in anyone moment of time and reap the rewards of those moments of time. This plastic swimming pool shield us from the freezing cold temps as don’t have sleeping bag or tent with me.

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First night away from Little Girl

Slept here last night without the company of Little Girl. Little Girl is keeping company with the guy pictured, while the Monk is out alone looking for a mule like the guy pictured.

The Mules are still searching to purchase two 15.3 – 16 hand stout draft mules, 3 to 15 years of age. Must be easy to shoe and healthy. We don’t want white as it makes the mules too easy to spot at night for thieves and others with less than a legitimate intentions.

If you have mules for sale that fits this description, please private message photos, location, price and your contact information. Would like to see photos of teeth and video of back feet being picked up.

Where we slept last night in Palmdale

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Norco – HorseTown USA

Last night, the Mules spent the night in Norco in Riverside County, California, also know as HorseTown U.S.A. We found a vacant field where we spent the night. Upon awakening in the morning, I took Little Girl across the street and got her some water and then grazed her along the horse path for about an hour.

I returned to the place we spent the night and fixed breakfast. After enjoying breakfast and watching Little Girl take a nap, we packed up and proceeded on our way north though Norco.

Little Girl sleeping
Little Girl taking a nap

We met a number of followers of our Facebook and website pages and enjoyed the conversations. After a mile or so, we saw Norco’s sign HorseTown USA. According to city ordinances, the architecture of Norco “shall reflect a desired Western theme,” including qualities “described as rural, informal, traditional, rustic, low-profile and equestrian oriented.

As a horse community, there are few sidewalks in the city of Norco, instead there are horse trails and riders can ride to town and tie their horses at the many hitching rails and corrals placed close to businesses.

Horse corral with water trough in downtown Norco
Horse corral with water trough in downtown Norco

We thank the town of Norco for the pleasant experience as short as it was. It was nice not to be bothered by police officers telling us they were getting calls about a starving horse, a loose horse, a horse dying from lack of water, or a drunken homeless man leading a horse down the road, etc. etc. or expressing general concern as to the sight of the Mules. This did not happen. It was a pleasant experience in Norco, HorseTown USA. 

Now we are well out of Norco. It is now time to stop on the public thoroughfare for we have been walking most of the day as any equestrian traveler does and we will claim our right to stop here, fix our dinner, go to sleep on the public domain/thoroughfare as any citizen of the United States has a constitutional right to do so.

Emergency Stopping Only sign

Pictured is a sign that says, Emergency Stopping Only. That is an illegal post. No city or county or state has the legal right to post any sign that will prevent any legal user of said thoroughfare to use it in a responsible way. This sign is absolutely attempting to do that. It’s entirely illegal under the constitution of the United States. The public thoroughfare within the United States belongs to the public.

The Mules are a member of that public and we can without doubt unequivocally prove our safe and responsible use of it. We will not accept any form of exclusion from it. 

The Mules

We we stopped to rest for the night
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The Mules Don’t War

The Mules won’t and don’t war. Why? There is no good reason to do so. The act of war produces nothing we need or want to associate with. It will not better our lives. War worsens our lives.  War, an endless cycle of death, destruction and human misery. First, a victor, then a loser, around and around you go, learning nothing, accomplishing nothing for yourself or the generations to come. A life of service to the Megatropolis providing it with the highest possible degree of human suffering and misery so it can satisfy its never ending insatiable appetite for that misery.

One bright beautiful sunny morning, as can only exist on earth, the Mules many thousands of years ago, were moving into a large canyon as a tribal group known by all who knew us as The Mules. Suddenly, we heard the sharp clinking of metal and the sound of horses coming from behind. The horses of war were in pursuit. We started to run fast and hard with our mules to the end of the canyon up and out onto the ridge. We looked back. They weren’t coming for their horses could not commandeer the rugged climb. We chose for our escape a well known canyon for its difficult ascent. Once down, we would be safe from the pursuing force of war. Almost down, we could see a large cloud of dust at the mouth of the canyon. We turned and looked to the ridge which we had left. The forces of war had come up from another canyon. 

We were trapped for the first and last time. The Megatropolis had grown too large now. Its organization and control of humanity was well on its way. We got off our mules, placed our hands on their necks and stood and quietly waited for what was surely to come.

First we watched our children slain one at a time before our eyes. Then we watched our wives, companions meet the same fate. And then we who remained were mocked and insulted as cowards for allowing them to do what they had just done. Then my tribal members were also slain one at a time until only I was left standing quietly waiting for my sure demise, I saw this soul captured by war and destruction start to weep about 100 feet of where I stood.

Suddenly a stillness with the strength of a storm encompassed all that could be seen and experienced. Then another captured soul began to weep. Now all these men of war were on their knees weeping and shaking with fear and regret for what they have done to the Mules and of course to themselves. We stood in silence until we understood it was time for us to leave for the suffering was not ours to bare. The burden was to be bared by the men of war. I got on my mule, turned to the north and once again continued this endless journey alone but never alone of one human being sacredly walking on earth through the web of life in one of any of all four directions with his or her animal companions one step of a time all day every day.

The story of the Mules’ past and their ancestors explains very well why the Mules will never war again. The ancestors learned the consequences of war and pass this story on through the use of thousands of years of harbored energy. Each lifetime we live here on earth, our chosen place of eternal residence, we end that life by dying either from accident, stealth or natural causes, only to re-materialize, live again, wander and roam over this beautiful creation known as earth. The Megatroplis seeking to control all energy on earth has never controlled the Mules and never will. We the Mules give our energy to this place in which we reside and this place protects us as we walk on our endless journey through time and space.
The Mules

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El Cajon, CA

This afternoon March 16, I have been stopped by seven or eight City of El Cajon Police on El Cajon Boulevard. Right now as I speak for no reason other than walking down the sidewalk they forcibly stop me and detain me. It’s totally illegal other asking me all kinds of questions and threatening psychological evaluation. It is none of their business. I’m legally walking down the street and I won’t answer the question. We’ve been stopped twice already by La Mesa Police Department. We’re not going to answer questions continually all day long from every police department in this county or in the state.

After an hour, the Mules were released from police detainment which was illegal to start with. We were told that we could go thru town but not to stop anywhere. If we did, I would be arrested and Little Girl and my belongings would be impounded. And of course, due to the lateness of the day and them detaining us for an hour, that probably will not happen. We will stop and find a place to rest wherever that may be. 


El Cajon Police
El Cajon Police
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