The Mules and the Sacred Act of Walking

Mr. Squirrel enjoying the early morning and the Mules enjoying Mr. Squirrel enjoying the early morning.

The Mules don’t put their energy into buildings, nor do we place our energy into machines & as little as possible of our energy into man-made objects and products. Instead the most of our energy goes to the sacred act of walking and seeking and moving in harmony with the energies of the natural world. This is where we throw our chips. This is the wealth of our future.

Walk across your city, county, state, country.

Take your children in hand, sleep on the ground at night, let Earth’s energy revitalize you for the next day.

Use the public thoroughfare, public lands and public parks.

Awake in the morning, fix a simple breakfast for you and your children, set off on a journey through your town, meeting interesting and varied people along the way.

Give and receive energy from all around you. Be as you really are: a unique receiver, giver and distributor of energy that can only be done by yourself.

Create peace and freedom by the way you walk, the way you live, by the way you be.

The Mules know this that’s why we do this.

THE MULES

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Meeting a mule on my Sunday drive

While driving along a country road in my automobile, we came upon a mule walking in a leisurely fashion toward us. Becoming immediately curious and disconcerted as to this unusual circumstance in which was approaching us, I stopped my automobile, got out and asked the mule what he was doing walking alone along the Public Thoroughfare.

He graciously replied that he had the same right as myself guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution, the supreme law of the land, to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness and that walking along the Public Thoroughfare in a leisurely fashion exercising his constitutional rights and his responsibility to do so as a citizen of a free country was his means of pursuing happiness.

After listening to his reply, I became angry, confused and disoriented. After all, I being a AAA-rated member of a trans-humanized robotic AI controlled Smart City (stack and pack), I was finding myself on a lonely country road, standing outside of my Smart Car, talking to a mule.

Leaving your Smart Car without prior consent from the AI is prohibited and I knew there would surely be a punishment upon my return. The energy and light surrounding this mule was so strong, I was drawn out from my Smart Car before I could realize the consequences of my actions. I had but a short time left before the Smart Car would request my reentry and return to the Smart City.

I asked the mule where he was going. He said Everywhere. I asked where was he from. He said no where. I then asked the mule where was he staying with the hidden hope I would somehow find this mule once again. His reply struck me deep and to the bone.

“We stay wherever our feet be at any moment of time. Our feet are here right now. This is where we stay until we move to the next place and the next and the next. The mules practice and live true human freedom as only it can be done on earth, a place like no other, in a way thats unique and peculiar to ourselves. We beckon you to do the same.”

I have heard freedom on Earth spoken of before, but not giving it much thought for the AI kept my mind full and not allowing room for anything else that might challenge its program. The Smart Car beckoned my reentry and my return to the Smart City. As I was ushered back in the Smart Car to the Smart City, I could think of nothing else other than meeting Frank E. Boy, the Mule, and I knew my soul would never rest until I found this mule once again wandering alone along the public thoroughfare in his own leisurely way on a Sunday afternoon showing me the absolute value of freedom and a strong connection to a strong Natural World.

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The Mules and their trip to Bakersfield

So what did the Mules do in Bakersfield? Did we climb up a telephone pole with an M16 automatic assault rifle and shoot and kill motorists? NO. Did we enter a campus and shoot and kill students? NO.

The Mules entered the town of Bakersfield on foot leading our two mule animal companions Little Girl and Frank with our chins out, carrying no weapons to attack others nor for our defense. Instead, we carried the energy of our ancestors created, accumulated and harbored from living this nomadic ages old way of life. A life of love, respect and reverence for this precious one of a kind home, the Earth.

As the Mules wandered on the streets and through the neighborhoods of Bakersfield gathering supplies, we have no doubt that the energy we left in our wake made Bakersfield as well as other cities and towns in which we pass a better place to be a human being.

The above being said, it is interesting to note: The Mules were walking north on Coffee Road approaching Kern River. There was a Starbucks on our west side. We entered the parking lot, found a suitable place to secure Little Girl and Frank. Then the Monk went into Starbucks, bought a small cup of coffee, leaving room for cream, and was there for about 5 minutes. I went back to where Little Girl and Frank were secured and standing comfortably, sat down and slowly drank the coffee.

Shortly thereafter, in a prudent amount of time, a well armed security guard drove his vehicle, stopped in front of us and declared the Mules were loitering and must leave the parking lot. The Mules said no, we had bought a cup of coffee and weren’t going anywhere until we finished it and would leave in our own good time.

He said if we did not leave immediately, police would be called. The Mules continued to drink their coffee. When done, we left, never talked to any police while in Bakersfield.

The Mules will be returning to Bakersfield in 2 – 3 weeks to resupply and once again, stop at Starbucks, park the kids (mules) and buy a cup of coffee, maybe leaving room for cream, maybe not.

This parking lot, CALL-DUN-DRUM that the Mules are continually being forced to deal with must be laid out fully and all parts examined. All city, county, state roads belong to the Public Thoroughfare. When the Mules or a motorist or anybody else want to enter a store, they leave the Public Thoroughfare and enter a parking lot, park their automobile (in our case secure our mules to a fence, tree, light post) and proceed to enter the store.

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, 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

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The Mules respond to Caltrans District Director Letter

On February 23, 2018, the Mules left Oceanside to go north to San Clemente taking I-5. Unlike cyclists and pedestrians, equestrians have no alternative route, no trails, no frontage road, for this nine-mile stretch from Oceanside to Las Pulgas Road trailhead. Since Camp Pendleton denied bike route 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 stopped by California Highway Patrol (CHP) and told to go back to Oceanside. We refused on the grounds that since no alternative route existed we had every right to use the freeway. Since we refused, we were arrested and taken to jail. The San Diego District Attorney dropped the charges as they felt their case was not winnable with a jury.

Between March 5 through April 9th, the Mules had numerous back and forth emails and phone conversations with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and CHP requesting an alternative route that the Mules and equestrians can take or provide a motorized escort to get from Oceanside to Las Pulgas Road trailhead. Caltrans and CHP repeatedly said no to our request.

On April 23, the Mules received the following letter from Caltrans Interim District Director Timothy M. Gubbins:

The Mules believe that California Vehicle Code 21960 is unconstitutional. When there is no alternative route for a nine-mile stretch without walking excessive out-of-the-way-to-the-moon-and-back miles, the Mules and all other equestrians cannot be refused access to the public thoroughfare on the grounds of safety when the Mules offered a scheme by which a motorized escort could be provided by CHP and/or Caltrans. They do it all the time for assorted circumstances and ours would certainly be one of those. There is no reason why it couldn’t be done for the Mules and all other equestrians to go nine miles from Oceanside to Las Pulgas Road exit.

All laws are based on common sense. They start from that category and that’s what gives them a foundation for legitimacy, a common sense start. So we claim that to any common sense mind, equestrians have the same right to the public thoroughfare as any motorist, cyclist and pedestrian. We are legal citizens of the United States, we pay our taxes, and we have equal access to the public thoroughfare. And when our right to use the public thoroughfare is denied arbitrarily by the legislature picking winners and losers not on the bases of good common sense but on the bases of self interests, that is illegal. CVC Section 21960 was passed illegally and stands in an illegal condition.

Pacific Crest Trail map

Caltrans Interim District Director Gubbins stated “an alternative north-south equestrian route is the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).” The alternative route suggested by Caltrans makes no sense and does not get the Mules anywhere near San Clemente, where the Mules wanted to go.

On the 3 Mules Facebook page, we requested route recommendation from the local people that follow our page. A gentleman by the name of Thomas Firth who knows the area and the roads very well and is also an experienced horse person pleaded with us to not use the roads that would get us to the Pacific Crest Trail. He said that they were very dangerous and it was suicidal. As well, the Pacific Crest Trail is seasonal. It can only be traveled when the snow is not there. Firth wrote to us, “If your plan is to get to the PCT, you are not equipped for that trail at this time of year with your animal, as much of it isn’t navigable with stock yet, due to snow and downed trees over Mt. San Jacinto. If you plan on doing the PCT south, it is still closed, and doesn’t get you where you wish to go anyway, without dropping back onto 74. That stretch is suicide at best.” The PCT alternative route proposed by Director Gubbins was not a viable alternative route to get to San Clemente.

California Trail Map

Gubbins further stated, “There are also several resources available online to locate equestrian trails, including National Park Service, California Trail Map, and Trail Link.” These suggested trails by Caltrans are recreational trails not anywhere near Oceanside and are not useful for equestrian travelers trying to get from Oceanside to San Clemente.

No National Parks exist between Oceanside and San Clemente. The California Trail Map shows that there are no existing trails to get from Oceanside to San Clemente for pedestrians or equestrians. The route that the Mules have walked through three times in the last five years was through Camp Pendleton from Las Pulgas gate to Oceanside gate on the Camp Pendleton bike route. This is the only route to get from Oceanside to the Las Pulgas Road/Old Pacific Highway Trailhead avoiding I-5.

On August 25, 2015, the Mules were going from Sausalito to San Francisco and had to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, which allow pedestrian access. However, we were stopped as equestrians were not allowed on the premise of safety. The Mules asked the Golden Gate Bridge District for an exception based on our experience but our request was denied. As an alternative, the Golden Gate Bridge District agreed to provide the Mules a motorized escort across the Golden Gate Bridge at their expense. Marin Humane Society, who contracts with the Bridge District to handle all animal issues, picked us up on the north end of the bridge in a trailer and dropped us off in San Francisco.

San Diego Humane Society

We repeatedly contacted Caltrans and CHP requesting motorized escort to resolve the I-5 CALL-DUN-RUM and was repeatedly denied. In the Oceanside area, CHP and Caltrans contracts with the San Diego Humane Society, as that is who picked up Little Girl when we were arrested.

Instead of transporting the Mules 7.9 miles to the nearby Old Pacific Highway trailhead where we were trying to get to, the State of California solution was to transport Little Girl 30 miles to Escondido and the Monk 15 miles to Vista and use up San Diego County time and resources processing the Mules.

Cyclist riding on I-5 where we were arrested

bus is provided for pedestrians to go from Oceanside Transit Center thru Camp Pendleton to San Onefre. Cyclists are permitted to ride thru Camp Pendleton and are also cycling on the shoulder of I-5. Similar to the Golden Gate Bridge solution in place for equestrians, a motorized escort for equestrians provided by CHP/Caltrans contracting with the Human Society of San Diego would be a temporary solution until the common sense solution of building a path, paralleling I-5 connecting Oceanside to Las Pulgas Road/Old Pacific Highway trail head, is constructed.

California Vehicle Code 21949 states 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. 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…”

The State of California failed to follow their policy. The Mules travel by foot. The Mules have four legs and they walk, and the Monk has two legs. We have the same rights to access the public thoroughfare to get from Point A to Point B as any pedestrian, cyclist, or person traveling by wheelchair, walker or stroller. By excluding equestrians on the public thoroughfare, the Legislature/Caltrans is picking winners and losers and deciding that the Mules and all equestrians are losers and they have no rights to the public thoroughfare. This is unconstitutional and illegal. The United States Constitution, the supreme law of the land, grants equal access to free movement in this country to all its citizens for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Why do the Mules take the I-5 CALL-DUN-DRUM so seriously? The answer to us is obvious. The public thoroughfare must remain public. Any restriction of its use to its citizens is dangerous. The Mules have their feet on the ground all day every day. While most people are moving around sealed up inside their automobile with air conditioning moving from one building to the next, the Mules are out here on the road on the earth all day every day. We see what is happening. We know what is taking place. It won’t be long before equestrians will be relegated to moving around in a horse trailer going from one sawdust ring to the next. If you don’t like that scheme and continue to ignore what is currently happening and take no action by contacting your local, county and state policy makers, you will find that in the future your freedom to travel in the United States of America has disappeared. Good luck in getting it back.

The Mules

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Mayfield Farrier Service

Thank you Jerrod Mayfield for shoeing Little Girl once again. Jerrod shoed Little Girl the last time we were in Bakersfield. He did a nice job then. He did a nice job now. The Mules will continue their job to walk freely in one of all four directions all day every day, one step at a time, to shine the light on those who try to stop the Mules from practicing true human freedom on Earth, which brings true human happiness on this Earth.

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Indian Wells, California

On Saturday, April 28 as we were traveling thru Palm Springs, it had become time to look for a place to stop for the night. We were looking for a park but found none. However, we found this open field in Indian Wells that was a staging area for tourist buses. We asked the maintenance man if it would be alright to stay here for the night. He said he didn’t know. We said we’ll go back over there and fix our dinner, so we did.

After awhile, a security guard approached us and inquired what we were all about. We said we had stopped here to fix some dinner, but it would be nice if we could stay here for the night. They said go ahead and enjoy your dinner, we’ll check with management. Security guard came back and said yes, it will be fine.

Later, a gentleman came over with some friends. They were interested in our journey. We had a nice conversation and received a souvenir La Quinta Resort & Club hat and water for Little Girl.

The Mules want to thank the people that we met for their hospitality and kindness.

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Palm Springs, California

This is where we slept yesterday night outside of Palm Springs. I packed up Little Girl and we left our camp about 8 making our way to Highway 111 heading for Indio. After walking for a couple of hours, we came upon a Starbucks. I decided to stop there and charge my phone.

I tied Little Girl to a tree in the parking lot about hundred and fifty feet away from the entrance to Starbucks. I went into Starbucks, sat down, plugged in my phone and waited for phone to charge. I was able to look through the front door of Starbucks and see Little Girl.

After about half an hour of sitting in Starbucks, two police officers entered through the door approached me and said they wanted me to go outside and talk to them. I said I’m not going anywhere to talk to anybody. I’m busy. They turned and went back outside. I could see there were people gathering around Little Girl. It’s a common occurrence. She attracts attention.

Apparently one of those people or all of those people called the police claiming Little Girl was tied for over 2 hours in the hot sun without water. She was not tied in the direct sun. She was tied under a tree. She was without water because she didn’t need any. I had watered her in the morning before we started walking. I was in Starbucks for no more than 1 hour. It takes about an hour to charge my phone and that is the maximum time I spend away from Little Girl.

I have been walking the state of California for over 5 years with Little Girl. Animal control and the police are called. It’s a common occurrence whenever I tie Little Girl to a tree, lamppost, or fence, go into a grocery store, hardware store, a library, or a Starbucks. I’ve never been charged or arrested for animal abuse, neglect of Little Girl or any such thing. Little Girl has never suffered from lack of water or lack of food or lack of care. Calling the police or animal control or both will not result in my arrest it will only be a misuse of police resources and time.

I am 70 years old. Little Girl is 28 years old. We can easily travel 15 miles a day in hundred plus degree heat and love every minute of it.

People who live inside air conditioned vehicles, going from one air-conditioned building to the next are in no way capable of placing any judgment on us and the way we live. Our ages-old nomadic way of life is tried-and-true. It’s stellar. Calling police, animal control or both will never stop the Mules or their nomadic way of life. It’s our constitutional right the Supreme law of the land to be who we are and what we are, and we will exercise that right relentlessly.

The gentlemen in the photo below use their courage and weapons to fight for the freedom, which we the Mules enjoy. The Mules have a different scheme. We don’t use weapons. We use our energy to live free and be free one step at a time all day everyday until we die by accident, stealth or natural causes. Its a scheme that has served us well throughout the ages.

The Mules

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Cabazon to Palm Springs

Yesterday morning we had some oatmeal for breakfast then left Cabazon where we spent the night, walked awhile, then met a dinosaur running loose on the bashed and unashamed, defying the control state like us. We enjoyed each other’s company, trading stories and experiences.

After leaving the dinosaurs, we came across this person we thought they should take a lesson from us in efficiency and practicality. All you need is a sleeping bag, some water, extra pair of shoes, a little food. How in the world anybody wants to haul around all this stuff is beyond us. We said farewell and wished them luck. Whoever they were they got a lot to learn.

As we walked along the railroad tracks and through the desert we found freshwater coming from Big Bear. We then stopped under a bridge and caught some shade and rest. There is plenty of good grass out in this desert for Little Girl to eat.

Towards the end of our day, we met Tarra. She was on her way back home and stopped to visit us. We had a nice conversation and enjoyed each other’s company.

We then walked a couple of miles to the outskirts of Palm Springs and settled for the night. 17-miles walked from Cabazon to Palm Springs.

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Temecula, California

The Mules spent Wednesday night on the outskirts of Temecula on the top of the pass. On Thursday morning (April 12th), we got up ate oatmeal, packed Little Girl, headed in to Temecula, crossed the river and secured Little Girl in the parking lot outside Starbucks. An animal control officer arrived, came into Starbucks and told me they received a call about Little Girl, but it was okay and then left. Shortly thereafter, I also left Starbucks and headed for WinCo Foods (5 miles away) to buy groceries.

We were across the street from WinCo at the stop light when two Temecula police officers stopped, got out of their car. The female officer started to question me…. “Where are you going? Where are you from?” I told her that I did not have to answer her questions and I wasn’t going to. Then she started messing with Little Girl by trying to touch Little Girl’s head and face. Little Girl didn’t like the officer reaching for her face and was annoyed by the officer’s actions. I asked the officer to stop. The officer didn’t want to stop and continued to irritate Little Girl. I told the officer if she didn’t stop, the Mules would arrest her and take her to jail.

Then the other officer started asking me similar questions…”Where are you going? What are you doing?” I told him that we are waiting for the signal light to change so that we can go to WinCo, and that’s what we did when the light changed.

We got to the WinCo parking lot, secured Little Girl to a tree, went into WinCo, bought groceries, came back out, unpacked Little Girl. We stayed there 45 minutes to eat our lunch and take a short break from walking. As we were packing up, another Temecula police officer drove up and started asking the same questions as the prior two Temecula officers…”Where are you going? Where are you from? What are you doing walking around Temecula?”

I responded, “I am not going to talk to you.” I said that the Mules have the right to walk around Temecula and have the same right as he does or anyone else. He said he was not so sure we could walk around Temecula with a horse. I responded I was sure that the Mules could without question. I requested him to go away and leave us alone. The officer wouldn’t leave. We told him if he didn’t leave us alone, the Mules would arrest him and take him to jail.

I continued to pack up Little Girl when two Riverside County sheriff officers showed up. Once again, they started asking me the same questions. I gave them the same answers. The previous officer went over to talk to them and then they all left. Shortly after, we left as well.

In this country, the United States of America, the Mules have the same right to walk around town peacefully going about our business whether to the supermarket to buy food, the hardware store to buy supplies, the doctor or dentist for medical care, the post office to send and receive mail, the gas station to buy gas, or a shady tree to eat our lunch and listen to the birds sing. There is no reason for police to constantly ask us where we’re going, where we are from, what we are doing.

I asked the officers why they were here. They said that they got a call. We asked who called and they responded that they didn’t know. The police are letting trolls dictate their policy and/or using the guise of “a call” to stop and question us. Anonymous people are calling and stating things that aren’t true and making unsubstantiated claims about the Mules as these trolls also do on the internet. The police are letting these trolls operate their department.

All human beings and animals on earth require four bare and basic necessities to survive and sustain life…Air, Water, Food, Rest. Restricting access to these basic necessities of life to only those who travel by automobile is illegal and unconstitutional. A person traveling by foot with his/her animal companion must also have access to food, water, and rest. A state, county or town denying a pedestrian/equestrian access to these basic necessities is illegal, unconstitutional and inhumane.

The Public Thoroughfare is not a place for the exclusive use of the high speed automobile. The Public Thoroughfare is a place for all and many varied uses. People trading goods, ideas, talking freely to each other outside in the open air, making friends, stopping to rest/sleep, using their freedom to go where they want, when they want, how they want, trading stories with fellow travelers. The Public Thoroughfare was never intended to be a place exclusively for a high speed deadly machine. Less than 100 years ago before paved roads became prevalent throughout the United States, most Americans traveled by foot, mule, and horse.

The Mules live this nomadic way of life because it is in our bones. This way of life goes back thousands of years. It’s where we want to be. Being anywhere else makes no sense to us. So we stay with the mules and way of life that we have been living for over 31 years. 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.

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