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.
San Marcos, CA 2/28/2019 – Where we slept last night, we were packing up and getting ready to leave when two San Diego County sheriffs appeared, questioned us as why we were here and what we were doing for they had got a call that somebody was in the area with a horse. I told them we spent the night there and we were on our way south. They said fine and that was the concluded the conversation.
La Costa Town Center, Carlsbad, CA 2/28/2019. From San Marcos, Little Girl and I walked 3.3 miles on the trails heading southwest to La Costa Town Square in Carlsbad so that we could stop at Starbucks to have a small cup of coffee leaving a little room for cream, while charging our phone and working on our blog. We had other errands to take care of in the shopping center as well. I secured Little Girl to an unmanicured area that was away from traffic and that was within my view from within Starbucks.
While we were at Starbucks, the property manager sent me the following email:
Shortly after, she came into Starbucks and said that my mule and I had to leave, otherwise she was calling the police and animal control. I replied that I wasn’t going to leave until I finished charging my phone and drinking my coffee. Upon leaving Starbucks, I untied Little Girl and moved to another area of the shopping center parking lot to complete my other errands. After doing that we left. We did not make any contact with police or animal control.
Ms. McEntee’s demand conflicts with state and federal law for equestrians’ right to travel on the public thoroughfare. These shopping centers are connected to the public thoroughfare.
When somebody leaves their house, gets in their car, gets on the public thoroughfare with the intent of going to a store to buy food or supplies for themselves and their family, they fully expect that when they leave the public thoroughfare to enter the parking lot, they will be able to park their car, walk into the store, buy their groceries and supplies, return to their car, put their groceries and supplies in their car, and leave to go home.
To have that denied simply because a person arrives by horse or mule and not in an automobile is illegal. To call police and animal control simply because a customer arrived by mule and not allow them to park because the person didn’t arrive in a high speed automobile is ridiculous.
This is not 1817 where you load up your six-shooter and go out to shoot some deer for dinner. This is 2019. You start up your car, proceed on the public thoroughfare, enter a parking lot and go into a grocery store or a big box store, which controls the food and supplies. That’s where you get it. If you don’t get it there, you’re not going to get it anywhere.
For a shopping center manager to arbitrarily decide who gets to eat or get supplies and who doesn’t is an outrageous situation. The Mules on that particular day were a perfect example about how outrageous things have gotten It certainly showed that those limits must be thoroughly watched and constrained.
Big box shopping centers and grocery stores should have a small unmanicured area that can be utilized for equestrians to tie their horse or mule as they have parking spaces for motorists and bike racks for cyclists.
Diane Village Shopping Center, San Diego, CA 3/3/2019. We went to the Dollar Store in Diane Village Shopping Center to get groceries. Somebody posted the following comment on our website: “I think it is great what you are doing. I saw a post that you were at the Dollar Store in the Diane Shopping Center today and read a few posts that I didn’t like, like ‘call the Humane Society’ for a man and his mule? Keep on walking trouble free. You have every right to!”
Where we stopped for the night, San Diego, CA 3/4/2019. On Monday morning as we were packing up where we stopped for the night, San Diego Police stopped to talk to us curious as to who we were and what we were doing. The conversation was cordial and friendly. The officers took some photos, which they sent to us.
City of San Diego Serra Mesa Library, San Diego, CA 3/4/2019. Afterwards, we went to the City of San Diego Serra Mesa Kearny Mesa Library to charge our phone. Little Girl was secured and well out of the path of the library entrance. The librarian approached me and said that I had to remove my mule from library property for Little Girl was a danger to children going to and leaving the library. I secured Little Girl way out of the way from people coming and going to the library and she was not a danger. I told the librarian that I was not going to leave until I was finished charging my phone. She said if I didn’t remove Little Girl from library property she would call the police. I said fine.
The police arrived and spoke to the librarian. Then the police came to me and said that I had the right to be there because it is a public library.
Chula Vista, CA 3/8/2019. Last night in Chula Vista, we stopped for the night in an open area. In the morning, I grazed Little Girl on the abundant grass then fixed breakfast, then proceeded to pack up. While packing up, Chula Vista Police showed up and informed us that we were trespassing, while people were walking and running their dogs not more than 200 feet away. They also informed us that people were complaining that we were causing a disturbance.
If we were causing a disturbance in the process of grazing and packing our belongings, then the people walking their dogs were certainly doing the same. The officers decided to write a citation for having a tent set up within the city limits of Chula Vista, which is an infraction. They then asked me to sign my name on the citation. I refused to do so because we were not causing any disturbance or bothering anybody. The police officers informed me that if I didn’t sign the citation, Little Girl would be impounded and I would be taken to jail. I still refused to sign the citation.
The officers called their supervisor who came out and had a conversation with myself. He said he had met me a couple of years ago and it was good to see that I was still on my feet. He released me from detainment and told me to have a safe trip.
Afterwards, we went to Starbucks for a small cup of coffee leaving room for cream and to charge our phone. I parked Little Girl in an out of the way location. While in Starbucks, I received a Facebook message from a woman that stated: “Hi, is there a specific handler for the mules?”
We responded yes.
She replied, “I’m in Chula Vista and one of your mules is outside Starbucks without a handler. I waited, hoping maybe someone was inside getting a drink.” I replied back that I was inside Starbucks.
Little Girl’s relationship with me is not the same as a person’s relationship with their pet dog. My relationship with Little Girl is a working relationship. She serves me in the capacity of a pack mule, carrier of all my worldly goods which I use to live from day to day. It’s been the way of life for our ancestors for thousands of years and our way of life for the past 35 years. She has to be left unattended for short periods of time. It is not possible or practical to flag a stranger down and expect them to watch Little Girl while I take care of necessary errands.
When that mule is secure to a light post or tree, etc. she is parked. The public has no more of a right to approach her or touch her, than I have to pop the hood on somebody’s automobile and adjust the carburetor. Little Girl is private property. That’s the law and must be respected.
Summary. Any law that allows an owner of a parking lot (privateer) to deny a citizen access to a store that provides the necessities of life, such as food, clothes, etc., must be changed, abolished. The United States is a free country with a constitution guaranteeing all its citizens the right of free movement and equal treatment and protection under the law. To allow a privateer to deny a citizen of a free country access to the necessities of life is Totalitarianism of the worst kind.
The Mules are now faced with the situation where it is impossible to stop anywhere, go get groceries, get phone charged, care for Little Girl, walk thru town. This is not allowable for us. Anyone driving a car and living behind four walls is perfectly fine. But for us, walking peacefully walking on the public thoroughfare to get from Point A to Point B, a constitutional right, guaranteed in this country, the law of the land to do things necessary to stay alive, has been made illegal by these unconstitutional laws.
We cannot walk 24/7 and must stop to eat, hydrate, rest and catch our breath. The four essential necessities for ALL LIVING BEINGS.
The Mules are peaceful travelers and not a blight. We do not litter. We pick up after ourselves. We do not do drugs. We are not alcoholics. We are not a public nuisance. We are not panhandling for money. We have our own financial resources. We have supported commerce in the area by shopping. Unlike visitors who arrive in San Diego by automobile, we arrived by walking hundreds of miles to get here.
The outside is our home where we have lived for most of our lives connecting with Nature. It is our preferred way of life. To deny the Mules this freedom is the death of us. This Earth is our home. We wander and roam this beautiful place we all call Earth with reverence, love and respect until we die from accident, stealth or natural causes.
Needless to say, we cannot obey this insanity. If we do, it is suicide. These laws are in human and inhumane. We will exercise our constitutional rights, the supreme law of the land and we will do it everywhere else we go.
The number of negative people we encounter is relatively small in comparison to the trouble they can cause by calling and complaining to the enforcement agencies of our presence. The Mules interaction with the public by far is positive.
On Saturday, February 9, 2019, the Mules were escorted thru Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton by Paul, who is a fireman on the base.
We spent the night in Agra, CA, which is where the north gate of the CALL DUN DRUM is located, leaving a huge amount of energy to connect to the south end of the CALL DUN DRUM and restore its free-flowing natural state. Energy that is contained or forcibly stopped will always seek to return to its natural state of free-flowing.
The Mules and the Nation, the 3 Mules Nation, want to thank Paul for giving his energy to escort the Mules, so that they could continue this sacred journey walking south to Oceanside and points beyond rather than the use of automobile and trailer.
We did receive a belated response from the mother agency Caltrans. It was nothing more than the response we received from CHP. In the course of our conversation with District 11 Director Cory Binns, the fact was revealed that Caltrans does not include in its plans equestrian use of the public thoroughfare. This is a serious mistake. Equestrians pay taxes have the same constitutional and legal right to use of the public thoroughfare as any automobile, pedestrian or cyclists. Equestrian travel has been around thousands of years in this world.
The energy of the 3 Mules endless journey will not relent. It will continue to ensure equestrians their equal right and use of the public thoroughfare.
Last year, the Mules made their first attempt to breech the CALL-DUN-DRUM from the south end in Oceanside. This place this CALL-DUN-DRUM where the agencies that have administrative jurisdiction are unable to function in a rational, responsible way serving the public who has given them the assignment to move all legal modes of use (pedestrians, bicyclists, equestrians, automobiles, etc) safely and efficiently through its mist. Instead allowing only the High Speed Motorist (HSM) and bicyclists legal passage and denying all other rightful users their legal right to passage.
The Mules sent Caltrans and CHP an e-mail on January 21, 2019 offering a simple common sense solution to this festering CALL-DUN-DRUM. Call San Diego Humane Society (the agency which contracts with the State of California and San Diego County to handle animal issues that occur on state roadways and direct said agency to trailer the Mules or any horse person needing to traverse the 7.9 mile CALL-DUN-DRUM.
The response from CHP was misleading and inadequate. The response from Caltrans, the mother agency, has yet to be received. And so the CALL-DUN-DRUM continues to fester like an open wound unable to heel itself.
Last year, the Mules left a huge amount of energy at the south end of the CALL-DUN-DRUM. This year, the Mules will leave a likewise amount of energy at the north end of the CALL-DUN-DRUM.
The natural state of energy is to flow and move freely. The energy at the south gate will seek to connect with the energy at the north gate and assume its free-flowing natural state. The accumulated energy at the north and south gates will seek to connect and heal this festering sore on the I-5 Public Thoroughfare, which the agencies given the assignment to do so have obviously failed to do that. In the end, this festering wound on the I -5 Public Thoroughfare will not be solved by the agencies but by the energy created and directed by the people who know the value of a free and open public thoroughfare.
As the Mules have been wandering through the San Clemente area waiting to hear from Caltrans in regards to passage through the CALL-DUN-DRUM, we met and talked to many people. The value of the positive energy received is extreme. We will be taking that energy to the north end of the CALL-DUN-DRUM where we will continue to await a response from Caltrans.
The Mules emailed Caltrans and CHP on Monday, January 21, 2019 requesting trailer assistance thru the I-5 CALL-DUN-DRUM. Below is CHP Captain Pembleton reply back sent on Thursday, January 24 as well as the Mules response back to his email. We have not yet received a response from CalTrans.
1/24/2019 Email received from Captain Brent Pembleton, CHP Oceanside Area.
The next day, January 25, the Mules sent the following response back to Captain Pembleton.
On January 21, 2019, the Mules sent the following email to CalTrans and CHP agencies responsible for the I-5 CALL-DUN-DRUM, the 7.9 mile stretch where the Old Pacific Highway Trail ends at Las Pulgas Road to Oceanside. The Mules are still waiting to receive a response.
Subject: Trailer Assistance Requested I-5 San Diego County
To: Caltrans Director Laurie Berman Caltrans District 11 Cory Binns CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley CHP Deputy Commissioner Scott Silsbee Border Division Chief Jim Abele Captain Brent Pembleton
Dear Sirs/Madam: The Mules are delivering this letter to yourself to inform you that the Mules like last year will once again be needing to traverse the CALL-DUN-DRUM, the 7.9-mile stretch where the Old Pacific Highway Trail ends at Las Pulgas Road to Oceanside. Last year, we were trying to head north from Oceanside to the trail, when we (The Mules) were abruptly stopped by CHP and told to remove ourselves from the Public Thoroughfare. This 7.9-mile stretch of confusion where the rule of law has been suspended and was responsible for the Mules’s arrest and illegal incarceration on February 23, 2018. All citizens of the United States have the rightful and free use of the public thoroughfare guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. It is unlawful to deny any one venue the right to that use.
The Mules will expect the events of last year not be repeated. In a few days, the Mules will be arriving to Old Pacific Highway Trail/Las Pulgas Road. The Mules are requesting a trailer ride to Oceanside in the 7.9-mile stretch of I-5 that is closed off to pedestrians and equestrians. Last year rather than using the trailer acquired by CHP to transport us thru the 7.9 mile CALL-DUN-DRUM, CHP used the service of the Humane Society trailer to take Little Girl 30-miles to Escondido Animal Shelter and myself 15-miles to Vista Detention Center.
In August 2015 when the Mules needed to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, which allows cyclists and pedestrians access to the sidewalk but not equestrians, the Golden Gate Bridge District contacted the Marin Humane Society, who picked us up on the north end of the bridge in a trailer and dropped us off in San Francisco. Since CHP contracts with the San Diego Humane Society, we are requesting a number to call when we reach Las Pulgas Road trailhead parking for trailer ride to Oceanside. No more than a three hour advance notice to Caltrans/CHP by any equestrian seeking to traverse the 7.9-mile Call Dun-Drum will be required.
The mission statement of Caltrans and California Highway Patrol is to provide the highest level of safety, service and security for workers and users. Caltrans strategic objective states, “Improve the quality of life for all Californians by providing mobility choice, increasing accessibility to all modes of transportation and creating transportation corridors not only for conveyance of people, goods, and services, but also as livable public spaces.”
The Mules and their nomadic way of life without question is one of those modes. I am a native Californian. My mules and I have lived this nomadic way of life for the past 35 years. We don’t live in houses and we don’t drive cars. We are always outside and this is our way of life. If the State of California/Caltrans mission statement is to improve the quality of life for all Californians, denying the Mules access to the Public Thoroughfare is a gross violation of the mission statement.
As the Mules understand from our experience from last year, Caltrans/CHP were the responsible agencies that had us arrested. We are requesting these agencies to inform San Diego Humane Society, which we understand handles the large animal issues for San Diego County, that the Mules will be needing a trailer ride thru the I-5 CALL-DUN-DRUM. Please provide the contact name and number for the appropriate person to handle this issue so we can arrange a trailer ride to get thru this 7.9-mile section of the I-5 CALL-DUN-DRUM.
John Sears The Mules 3MULES.COM email: ThreeMuleJourney@gmail.com
The Mules are once again approaching the I-5/Camp Pendleton CALL-DUN-DRUM from the north going to the south as opposed to the last year 2018 going from the south to the north. This CALL-DUN-DRUM once again 2019 is seeking to right itself like a ship at sea. The Mules once again find themselves as passengers.
On February 23, 2018, the Mules left Oceanside to go north to San Clemente taking I-5. Unlike cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians have no alternative route, no trails, no frontage road, for this 7.9-mile stretch from Oceanside to Las Pulgas Road trailhead. Since Camp Pendleton denied pedestrian access to the Mules which they’ve granted the Mules three times previously, the Mules used the wide shoulder of Interstate 5 (I-5) to walk north. We were summarily approached by CHP and told to turn around, go back. We refused and were arrested. A trailer was summoned by CHP and Little Girl was taken to the animal shelter and I was taken to jail. CHP could have just as easily trailered us 7.9-miles to the north end of the CALL-DUN-DRUM rather than take myself 15-miles to Vista Detention Center and Little Girl 30-miles to Escondido Animal Shelter.
The Mules will soon be contacting CalTrans to provide a trailer ride for the Mules or any equestrian needing to traverse the 7.9-mile CALL-DUN-DRUM from north to south (Las Pulgas Road Old Pacific Highway trailhead to Oceanside) or south to north with not more than 2 hour notice. A trailer ride was the solution provided for the Mules in August 2015 when needing to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, which allows cyclists and pedestrian access but not equestrian access. The Golden Gate Bridge District contacted the Marin Humane Society who picked us up on the north end of the bridge in a trailer and dropped us off in San Francisco. Likewise for the I-5 CALL-DUN-DRUM, Caltrans can contact the Humane Society to trailer us from Old Pacific Hwy/Las Pulgas Road trailhead to Oceanside since it was the Human Society that picked up Little Girl last year and brought her to the animal shelter.
The action they took against Little Girl and myself was hardly compatible to their mission statements. It was anything but. It was 180 degrees to the contrary of serving the various modes of public use (pedestrians, cyclists, Equestrians, wheelchairs) on the Public Thoroughfare going from Point A to Point B. Caltrans and CHP are not in synch with their mission statements nor with Vehicle Code 21949 passed by the State Legislature.
(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that it is the policy of the State of California that safe and convenient pedestrian travel and access, whether by foot, wheelchair, walker, or stroller, be provided to the residents of the state. (b) In accordance with the policy declared under subdivision (a), it is the intent of the Legislature that all levels of government in the state, particularly the Department of Transportation, work to provide convenient and safe passage for pedestrians on and across all streets and highways, increase levels of walking and pedestrian travel, and reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries. (Added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 833, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2001.)
Per the California Highway Patrol website: “The mission of the California Highway Patrol is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.” Isn’t it ironic that above this mission statement is three CHP officers on HORSES.
On Caltrans website is their posted mission statement to “Provide a safe transportation system for workers and users, and promote health thru active transportation and reduced pollution in communities.” The Mules mode of transportation promotes health and reduces pollution in communities because we’re traveling by foot.
Caltrans strategic objective states: “Improve the quality of life for all Californians by providing mobility choice, increasing accessibility to all modes of transportation and creating transportation corridors not only for conveyance of people, goods, and services, but also as livable public spaces.
When a horse is chosen to work in an urban area, such as a police horse, the temperament is paramount. Frank did not have the temperament to work and be in an urban area.
Unfortunately it was not possible for me to know that beforehand. Frank was offered to us for $250. It cost us $250 to have him trailered to where we were. He was a large young mule, 1400 pounds, and we took a chance, sight unseen and bought him.
To keep using Frank in a highly concentrated urban area was an accident waiting to happen. Therefore, the decision was to give him to Larry and Paula who own and run a stable in Bakersfield and have been strong supporters and friends of 3 Mules. We have no doubt that they will provide a good home for Frank. Larry has a mule named Bowie to keep Frank company.
So, once again the Monk and Little Girl will be on their own walking in any one of four directions how they choose when they choose one step at a time all day every day regrettably without Frank.
In regards to our phone being stolen on Friday December 21, 2018 around 11pm, the Mules want to make it clear that we weren’t strong armed. The phone was taken while we were asleep. This is the third time that this has happened. I wake up at night and I turn my phone on to listen to music, news, etc. and then I fall asleep with the phone next to me and somebody will come by, see it and take it while I’m asleep.
This is a photo of the place the Mules spent the night. We had previously spent the night here before and never had any problems. There weren’t any camps or people around so my guard was down and the phone was stolen.
A lot of comments are being made about certain cities and towns that the Mules should not go through. We don’t make any real plans on which cities and towns that we are going to pass. Because of that we have the opportunity to enjoy the varied cities and towns and the various residents of those towns in which we have passed. The Mules don’t intend to stop using the energy of the Nation, the Three Mules Nation, to visit and experience all the various people and citizens of this state because of one person who saw an opportunity to get a free phone.
The Mules will be walking through the Christmas holidays enjoying the guaranteed freedom to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as it is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, the supreme law of the land, as it is to all its citizens within its borders and the Mules will be having a Merry Christmas holiday season because of it.
NOTE: In regards to the picture of where we slept that night. It is extremely dirty full of trash, but this is indicative of the state in general. It is everywhere and it can hardly be blamed on any one city. The cities that may be cleaner is because they have the tax base to hire people to clean it. #LEAVENOTRACE