On April 29, we wrote a blog post of what happened when we arrived at Palm Springs on our way to Indio. When we got to Indio, we decided that it was not feasible to walk to Arizona, so we turned around to start heading back northwest to Bakersfield. The only route is to back track and walk thru Palm Springs.
We arose this morning (May 1) spending the night in an open field adjacent to the railroad tracks, couple hundred yards away from a resort. I ate some oats for breakfast, watered Little Girl, and proceeded to pack up with a challenge of a strong wind.
Upon completing the job, we headed west leaving Rancho Mirage headed for Beaumont. I left the tracks, got on Vista Chino Road, walked about a mile and stopped at a Starbucks. I tied Little Girl to a tree in an out of the way spot, went into Starbucks to charge my phone. I was there for less than an hour when a young lady entered Starbucks, asked me if that was my mule outside. I said yes.
She said she is in distress and her back leg is injured. I knew that was nonsense because I tied her in a way and such a place where where there was nothing that could injure her back leg. She told me if I didn’t go out immediately and attend to my injured mule she would call animal control and the police.
I told her to go ahead but make sure she is there when they arrive to take responsibility for her actions. I stayed about 10 minutes longer, completed charging my phone, left Starbucks, went back to where Little Girl was tied. Of course, there was no injury to her leg, and there was no young lady standing there to take responsibility for her actions.
When equines stand for periods of time, they will bend their ankle/leg and hold their hoof at an angle. This relieves pressure, much like a human will shift their weight when standing for periods of time. Someone not familiar with that may think they see a lame animal, although that is NOT the case!
I put my phone away, untied Little Girl and proceeded west down the street. We had walked about 45 minutes and animal control officer came up behind us in his truck. He parked in front of us, got out of his truck and demanded we speak to him. We said what for? He said is that mule injured, we got a call that there is an injured mule. I said, you were behind us for quite a time, did you see any indication that the mule was injured? He didn’t say. I demanded an answer. And got a weak acknowledgement that he could see no injury. I said then why did you stop us? And who called you? What is their name and what exactly is their complaint? He would not answer my questions. I told him to get away and leave us alone. He said he would not. He would follow us. And so he did for over an hour.
The Mules have been harassed by trolls ever since we arrived in Palm Springs. Every time I stop to do necessary things such as charge my phone, water my mule, stop for groceries, or take a brief time to rest from walking.
When we were walking thru the downtown, a police officer stopped and wanted to talk to us. We were not interested and told him so. Shortly after that, Riverside Animal Control showed up and wanted to talk to us. He said don’t worry I read your website, I understand what you are doing and we have no issues with you.
The next day I went to WinCo to buy groceries. I tied Little Girl up in a secure place where she would not be in anyone’s way. Upon completing my shopping, leaving the store, a police officer was waiting for me. When I got to Little Girl with my cart of groceries, he wanted to know what I was all about and what I was doing. He said they got a call about a horse in the parking lot. I said I have been walking all day, the wind was blowing hard and I had to pack up my groceries and was not interested in a conversation. Another police officer arrived and had the two officer talked awhile. The first police officer left and the second police officer stayed not more than 15 feet away in his cruiser the whole time I was there approximately 20 minutes.
This afternoon as I was taking a walk break for Little Girl and dictating the events of above for this blog, the following occurred:
While walking down East Vista Chino Avenue, I entered an open area full of creosote bushes and grass, no fence, no signs, to prevent me from entering. I tied Little Girl to the fence, removed her belongings so she could get a rest, retrieved some oatmeal out of my packbox and served myself lunch.
It wasn’t long that a security guard drove up and stopped on the other side of the fence and informed me to untie Little Girl from the fence and said that Little Girl being tied to the fence was a security issue as it was airport property. I said no because there was no place else to tie her and I was not on the side of the airport. I had removed all my belongings and I planned to rest Little Girl and there was no good reason to be disturbed.
Shortly thereafter Palm Springs Police Dept and Animal Control showed up and informed me that I could not be there. They also informed me that if I were to tie Little anywhere in Palm Springs to a tree, fence, post, etc., I would be in violation of the No Tethering Law, arrested and taken to jail. They also informed me if I were to stopped anywhere to take the gear off of Little Girl to give her a break, it wold be considered camping and I would be arrested.
In looking up Palm Springs Municipal Code 10.12.040, we found: 10.12.040 Animals at large in aircraft operations areas.
The animal control officer, his deputies and assistants, all peace officers, and all city employees subject to direction of the airport manager, shall have authority, subject to federal or any other applicable regulations, to apprehend and remove any dog or other animal found running at large in any landing area or aircraft movement area at the municipal airport. When such dog or animal poses an immediate threat to persons or property and the prompt removal of such dog or animal from said areas is very difficult or hazardous, such dog or animal may be summarily destroyed. (Ord. 12914, 1987: Ord. 910 § 2, 1971: prior code § 5523)
Little Girl was under restraint and secure as shown in the photo. She was not running loose and “at large” in any landing area or aircraft movement area. We were outside the airport fenced perimeter. We had stopped to take a break after walking approximately 9 miles since morning and to eat some oats.
The Mules are now faced with the situation where it is impossible to stop anywhere, go get groceries, get phone charge, care for Little Girl, walk thru town to go north. 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, is illegal.
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 panhandling for money. We have our own financial resources. We have supported commerce in the area by shopping. Unlike visitors who arrive in Palm Springs 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 the only thing we know and enjoy. 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. Little Girl and myself will do a walkabout in the town of Palm Springs and shine the light on this disgusting situation. We will exercise our constitutional rights, the supreme law of the land and we will do it everywhere else we go.