An Open Letter to State of California Caltrans and CHP

My name is John Sears. Myself and Little Girl the Mule were stopped while walking on I-5 by CHP and told to go back to Harbor Boulevard in Oceanside and leave I-5. We said there is no alternative route from Oceanside to the Old Pacific Coast Highway Trail that starts at I-5/Las Pulgas Road. Camp Pendleton is closed to pedestrians so I-5 by default is the only available route. CHP officer arrested me and impounded Little Girl.

We were told by CHP as well as Caltrans that California Vehicle Code 21960(a) does not allow pedestrians on this part of I-5. The Mules have responded that 21960(a) can only be enforced when an alternate route, such as a frontage road, is present. For the CHP/Caltrans to use 21960(a) to justify the removal and arrest of the Mules from I-5 was illegal and unconstitutional.

While we were being arrested, bicyclists were riding by us on I-5. Caltrans told us that bicyclists are not allowed to ride on the shoulder of I-5 either. Yet the CHP did not stop and arrests the cyclists.

Per California Vehicle Code 21949(a) effective January 1, 2001, 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, and 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. On the day we were arrested on I-5, CHP failed its responsibility under state law and its stated mission to serve and provide safe and convenient passage.

Since our arrest, we reached out by phone and email to Caltrans, CHP and Camp Pendleton to request an escort or be provided a safe and convenient alternate route. We had numerous conversations and those that we spoke to repeated the same message that pedestrians are not allowed on I-5 or in Camp Pendleton. They did not provide any alternative solution to travel north from Oceanside to San Clemente.

The above being said and understood, the Mules are notifying CHP and Caltrans that upon request, a motorized CHP or Caltrans escort must be made available for the Mules and any horsemen/horsewomen needing to traverse I-5 between Las Pulgas Road and Harbor Boulevard. Because there is no alternative street or highway between Oceanside and Las Pulgas Road, I-5 access defaults to that of a street and highway for pedestrians and equestrians. This will be a temporary solution until a more obvious permanent solution of a parallel path where pedestrians, equestrians and cyclists can move safely along I-5 in this section where there is no alternative route.

For Caltrans and CHP representing the State of California to fail to provide the necessary escort or to provide an alternate safer and convenient route will be considered to be gross negligence and an abrogation of their stated mission and responsibility serving the people of California. This failure will initiate a class action lawsuit.

The Mules will be expecting a response to the issues of the I-5 CALL-DUN-DRUM addressed in this letter.

The Mules
3mules.com

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Alert: Little Girl has been FOUND!!!

2/26/18 3PM: LITTLE GIRL HAS BEEN FOUND!!!

As was previously reported, Escondido Police have been actively searching for a stolen mule. Their efforts included searches of surrounding neighborhoods by ground and with the assistance of San Diego Sheriff helicopter. The story of the theft was shared via news media coverage, and social media posts.

3 Mules and the Escondido Police are happy to report that all of those efforts paid off. The widespread news and social media coverage resulted information that led officers to the mule. Officers have arrested David Martinez, a 28-year-old resident of Escondido was arrested on a charge of Grand Theft.

Escondido Police Officers are reuniting Little Girl the Mule with its owner. Little Girl is in good health and does not appear to have been injured.

We thank the Three Mule Nation community and the Escondido Police Department for the caring support and tips that led to a happy ending in this case!

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2/26/18 6AM ALERT: LITTLE GIRL STOLEN AND MISSING
Escondido Police have confirmed that they have video of Little Girl being stolen around midnight Monday, February 26 from Grape Day Park in Escondido (N. Broadway and Clark St, south of the canal), while I was next to her asleep. 

The suspects untied the mule and were last seen leading the animal east along the flood control bike path from Broadway, adjacent to Grape Day Park.

The suspects are described as two males. One wearing a black and gray Pendleton style jacket with a gray hood.

Anyone with information can call Escondido Police at 760-839-4722. Anonymous tips can be left on our website at www.police.escondido.org or by phone at 760-743-TIPPS.

Description 28-year old white mule, 15.5 hands, approx. 900-1000lbs, predominately white, reddish markings on ears and legs.

Help spread the word. 

#3Mules #HelpFindLittleGirl 3Mules.com

Photos of Little Girl on what she would look like without her packs on:

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Mule’s Account of Arrest on Interstate 5

Shoulder of I-5 in Oceanside, CA

UPDATE: Attorney Candice Fields of Candice Fields Law, who assists the Mules and the Three Mules Nation, sent us an update in regards to our I-5 case: The San Diego District Attorney decided not to file criminal charges against the Mules for Penal Code Section 148(a) Obstruction, which means there will be no case at all, and therefore no hearing on Friday, April 6, 2018. 

The District Attorney said that they did not make this decision because they felt the law, as written, would not support a conviction. They made their decision because they were concerned about jury nullification. They felt their case was not winnable with a jury who might ignore the law and find the Mules not guilty.

On Friday, February 23, 2018, upon awakening here in Oceanside, I fixed breakfast, grazed Little Girl and packed her up. We proceeded to walk 1.5 miles to Camp Pendleton Marine Corp Main Gate.

For those not familiar with this area, United States Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is located on the Southern California coast in San Diego County spanning over 125,000 acres, bordered by the city of Oceanside to the south and Orange county to the north. For an 8-mile section where Interstate 5 (I-5) goes through Camp Pendleton, the Old Pacific Coast Trail for non-motorized use discontinues. The only way for non-motorized travelers to pass through this section of the California coast without walking on the side of the interstate is to enter through Pendleton’s Main Gate near Oceanside and walk 8.3 miles through the base to get to the Las Pulgas Gate, where the Old Pacific Highway Trail begins again to get to San Clemente. One cannot walk along 17-miles of the sandy beaches on the coastline that parallels I-5 as this also is part of the base. The Mules have taken the Pendleton Main Gate-Las Pulgas Gate (and vice versa) route three times in the past four years with military escort without any issues. 

Arriving at the Main Gate guard shack, I secured Little Girl and went into the guard shack requesting passage through the base to the Las Pulgas Gate so that we could continue our journey onto the Old Pacific Highway Trail to San Clemente. The guard said to wait while he checked with the PMO. We waited outside for about half an hour. The guard came back and said we would not be allowed to go through the base. I told the guard we had passed through there three times previous with a military police escort. He said he was sorry but the PMO said we could not pass and we would have to leave immediately. So we did.

Upon getting off the base, I phoned California Highway Patrol (CHP) in Oceanside and spoke to the CHP watch commander informing him that I would be walking north on I-5 from Oceanside because I was refused entry into Camp Pendleton and there was no other alternative route other than I-5. The watch commander told me that I would not be allowed on I-5. We said, when there is no alternative route, we have the right to use the only one route that is available, and that by default is I-5. He repeated his statement that we were not allowed on I-5. I responded we will be walking on I-5. The watch commander said, “Use your best judgement.”

We then headed for I-5 and got on it. The shoulder was wide with other bicycles on it.

After walking about 1.5 miles, a CHP officer on a motorcycle came towards us and stopped. He informed us that we could go no further and that we would have to turn around and get off the freeway. We said we had the right to be here because there was no other way to travel north to San Clemente other than I-5. He repeated his assertion that we must turn around and get off. I said I would not. He said if we didn’t I would be arrested and Little Girl would be impounded. So, that’s what happened.
 
I was taken to Vista Detention Facility. Little Girl was picked up by animal control and taken to the animal shelter. I was in jail for about 5 hours, charged with Penal Code 148(A) obstruction failing to obey a police officer, given a court date, then released.
 
I was told by the jail that my property was being held at the CHP. I called CHP from the jail lobby and was told by the lady who answered the phone that the property officer was out for the day and would not be back until Monday morning. If I wanted to get my property, I would need to make an appointment to talk to the property officer on Monday. I told the lady over the phone that I needed my cell phone and my wallet and various items that were in my backpack and I could not wait until Monday. She said she was sorry, but the property officer was out for the day and he would not be back until Monday.
 
I decided that I would go to the CHP office across the street from the jail and see what I could do. Upon entering the office, a uniformed officer was in the room. He asked me what it was he could do for me. I told him that I was informed that my property was here. He said hold on, I’ll see what I can do. About 10 minutes later, he came back and told me that my property was not in their possession and that it was at the Palomar Airport Road Animal Shelter. He gave me a number and an address. I asked him if he could call them and make sure that was where my property was and that they had possession of it. He got on the phone, made the call, and apparently talked to somebody there who gave him confirmation that yes indeed they had my property.
 
The CHP officer would not allow me to use there phone, so I walked back to the jail and called the number myself to confirm the information given to me by the CHP officer but I could not get through.
 
I returned to the CHP office, and informed the officer that I called the number he gave me and was not able to reach anybody there. I inquired why he was able to get through and I was not. He said he didn’t know, but he assured me that he had spoken to the Palomar Airport Road animal shelter and that was where my property was.
 
From there I started walking at approximately 4pm, I left the CHP office in Vista and started walking to animal shelter in Carlsbad. I walked until about 9:00 pm, found some bushes to take shelter, stayed through the night, awoke in the morning about 6AM, and continued my way to the Palomar Airport Animal Shelter. Upon arriving there around Saturday morning 8:30am, I talked to a lady that was walking a dog if they had a mule on the premises. She said I could go around in the back where they keep the large animals and take a look. There were no large animals there. I asked her if my property was in their possession. She went inside to find out, returned and stated clearly that it was not in their possession. So I asked her where would it be? She said Escondido Humane Society takes large animals. It was her best guess that was where my mule and property would be.
 

I got on the phone, made some calls and confirmed that Little Girl was 16-miles away at the Humane Society shelter in Escondido. I spent the rest of Saturday walking and riding the bus to get to the Escondido Animal Shelter to retake possession of Little Girl and my property. The Mules say thank you to L. Monreal, Carlie and the staff of folks at the San Diego Humane Society (Escondido) for taking such good care of Little Girl while the Monk was in jail.
 
I am not admitting guilt to the charge against me, but this is a truthful account pertaining to our arrest, charges brought of obstruction. and then our subsequent release for walking with Little Girl on Interstate 5.
 
We will be contacting California’s Department of Transportation CalTrans Chief in Sacramento and the CHP watch commander and once again informing that we need to walk on I-5 as there is no alternative route. The base is not an acceptable route, which requires waiting 4-5 days for permission to be granted. At which time if we are again refused and threatened with arrest by CHP, we will request CHP escort on I-5 where traffic can be slowed down to a safe level for our passage. We will not accept trailer transportation from a private party. We will be asserting our right and all equestrians’ rights for a safe means of moving on the public thoroughfare.
 
The Mules are also in search of an attorney who is interested in representing us pro bono at our San Diego County Superior Court date appearance on 4/6/2018 7:30am in Vista, CA (325 S. Melrose Dr.). If interested, contact the Mules via email at ThreeMuleJourney@gmail.com.

Since our arrest, we have been working with Caltrans and CHP trying to find a route or get an escort to help us go north from Oceanside to San Clemente. Details of our conversations documented here: https://3mules.com/the-muless-i-5-arrest-and-subsequent-events/
 
The Mules

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California Law – Vehicle Code 21949 effective January 1, 2001:

(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.)

California Department of Transportation Manual Chapter Topic 105 – Pedestrian Facilities
Topic 105 – Pedestrian Facilities 105.1 General Policy The California Vehicle Code Section 21949 has stated a policy for the Department to provide safe and convenient travel for pedestrians. Conventional highways can be used by pedestrians. Although the Department will work to provide safe and convenient pedestrian travel on these highways, not all of these highways will contain sidewalks and walkways. Connections between different modes of travel should be considered when designing highway facilities, as all people may become pedestrians when transferring to a transit based facility. Pedestrian use near transit facilities should be considered during the planning phase of transportation improvement projects. See DIB 82 for accessibility guidance of pedestrian facilities.

(b) All State highway projects administered by Caltrans or others with pedestrian facilities must be designed in accordance with the requirements in Design Information Bulletin 82, “Pedestrian Accessibility Guidelines for Highway Projects.”

U.S. Supreme Court ruling 
“The right of a citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, by horse drawn carriage, wagon, or automobile, is not a mere privilege which may be permitted or prohibited at will, but a common right which he has under his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Under this constitutional guaranty one may, therefore, under normal conditions, travel at his inclination along the public highways or in public places, and while conducting himself in an orderly and decent manner, neither interfering with nor disturbing another’s rights, he will be protected, not only in his person, but in his safe conduct.”

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Lake Elsinore, California

Last night the mules spent the night in Lake Elsinore on a vacant lot. While we were packing up this morning, the Lake Elsinore code enforcement officer approached us and said we could not be here. We said we would be gone in about an hour. He said right now get your stuff and leave. He then called the sheriff.

Sheriff came and said you’re trespassing. If you don’t leave immediately, you will be arrested. We said we were not trespassing. There were no fences preventing our entry and no signs to inform us that we could not be there through the night for the purpose of a night’s sleep. The officer did not pursue the issue any further. We cleaned up after ourselves and left. It took over an hour.

The Mules will be staying in the town of Lake Elsinore tonight seeking a public piece of ground for the purpose of a night’s sleep. We require very little area through the night and are on our way in the morning.

The Megatropolis and its forever spreading cities and towns must come to respect the Mules and the way of living they represent as we are all being driven like sheep into a smaller and smaller area in which to live and raise families. We must establish a place we can all go and practice The Art of Living freely and responsibly in our country. As the Mules practice their ages old nomadic way of life they also show the absolute necessity for such a place we can all go move freely and keep and regain our sanity.

The attitude held by most public officials of the cities we pass through such as Lake Elsinore is utter disrespect and disregard. The mules wonder why because the attitude and demeanor of the citizens of the cities and towns we pass through is always friendly and positive.

The Mules

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The essential right to rest and sleep

Diamond Bar

Last night the Mules stopped in Diamond Bar at one of its city parks to sleep for the night. We found an out of the way bare piece of ground next to the maintenance yard to spend the night, so we did for less than a 12 hour period. Upon awakening in the morning, I fixed my breakfast and proceeded to pack up Little Girl when three Los Angeles County sheriff deputies appeared answering a call that there was a horse in the park.

I responded that we had stopped here for the night and were now on our way.

They said fine, no problem, we just got a call and we were checking things out. They looked at our website and were very interested. We talked while I was packing up. They then wished us a safe journey and left. We then left ourselves.

Area of Occupancy

Pictured are examples showing the amount of space the Mules use for less than a twelve hour period during the night. Sleep and rest is essential for all living beings health and wellbeing.

We use the Fresno No Camping Ordinance as an example for the cities passing No Sleeping/No Camping ordinances. They are all using the same argument to justify their passage.

Section 10-1700: Purpose
“Streets and public areas should be readily accessible to residents and public at large.” The Mules are a part of that public.

“Use of these areas for camping or storage of personal property interferes with the rights of others to use the areas for which they were intended.” The Mules don’t store anything. When people store their personal property, they lock it up, hide it with the expectation that it will still be there on their return be it one day, one week, one year.

The Mules unload their belongings off their mule, fix dinner, then go to sleep for less than a twelve hour period during the night, never leaving their belongings. This is not storing personal property. The Mules leave in the morning, leaving the space they occupied cleaner than it was when they arrived.

Do the Mules practice proper sanitary measures? Absolutely. We throw a nylon tarp over us so we can’t be seen. The result is the same as a park user going into a urinal and covered by four walls. The Mules urinate in a plastic bottle, crap in a bag, then carry our waste until a proper place for disposal is found.

Public Safety
The Mules have been migrating north and south in this state for over five and a half years. We have never hurt a soul. The automobile however has killed and maimed thousands for that same period of time. For any municipality to infer the Mules are a public safety hazard is to turn basic common sense on its ear.

Per the National Safety Council, the number of motor-vehicle deaths in 2016 totaled 40,200, up 6% from 2015 and the first time the annual fatality total has exceeded 40,000 since 2007. Medially consulted motor-vehicle injuries in 2016 are estimated to be about 4.6 million, an increase of 7% from the 2016 rate. The estimated cost of motor-vehicle deaths, injuries and property damage in 2016 was $432.5 billion, an increase of 12% from 2015. The costs include wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, employer costs and property damage.

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Castaic to Stevenson Ranch

Last night on January 6, 2018, we slept in Castaic. Upon awakening this morning, we packed up, got on the Old Road and headed south. The Old Road is a frontage road that parallels Interstate 5.

After walking for about an hour down the sidewalk, we were approached by a California Highway Patrol Officer (CHP) informing us that he had been getting calls that the Mules were walking in the middle of the road. No, we never walk in the middle of the road. We either walk on the sidewalk when it’s available, on the shoulder when it’s available, or in the lane of traffic when neither of the two are available. We have an absolute right to do so.

Anybody riding a bicycle, riding a horse, pulling a horse-drawn wagon, riding in a wheelchair, or walking has the right to use the public thoroughfare. These are public roads. The roads are not exclusive for the high speed machine called an automobile. The freeways are. Nobody has the right to be on the freeway except the high speed machine. The other roads – city, county, state – are all open to all other venues, be it a bicycle, an equestrian, a squirrel or a frog.

California Vehicle Code requires high speed motorists to slow down or stop to proceed in safety when meeting these other venues. The high speed motorist refuses to do so. Instead they come at us at full speed, never taking their foot off the gas pedal, picking up their cell phone, calling the CHP and claiming that we’re walking in the middle of the road. The CHP responds, comes out, and tells us if they catch us walking in the middle of the road or get calls to that affect, we would be arrested and the mule would be impounded. Totally illegal. Completely illegal.

As we proceeded walking south about two hours later we were approached by another CHP officer claiming he saw us walking in the middle of the road. WHAT AN OUTRAGEOUS assertion. Pictured is where we were walking. We have every right to walk on the public thoroughfare, we have every right to walk on the shoulder of the public thoroughfare, we have every right to walk in the lane of traffic if there is no place else to walk, such as bridges, such as areas cordoned off for construction. We have the same right to passage as the high speed automobile.

After that contact with the CHP we continued south and stopped at Starbucks to charge our smartphone and get a cup of coffee. We were in there for about an hour. I had secured Little Girl to a pole in the parking lot. I could see through the window that police officers were pulling up to where Little Girl was tied. I then went outside to talk to the officers and told them that the mule belonged to me. They said okay that’s fine. They said that they had gotten calls that someone was concerned about the mule and that they needed to respond, and that was that.

We got back on the road, proceeded south, stopped at Walmart to buy a canister of oatmeal, got back on the road until we found a place to sleep for the night.

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, walk into a coffee shop and enjoy their cup of coffee, return to their car, put their groceries and supplies in their car, and leave to go home.

To have people constantly call the police simply because a person arrives by horse or mule and not in an automobile is outrageous. To have officers or security guards stop and interrogate a person simply because they arrived by mule 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 2018 where one must 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.

I have known my mule Little Girl since she was born in 1990 and she has been by my side and full-time care since I bought her in 1993. While she may not technically fit the official federal designation of a service animal, she is my service animal and is an integral part of our nomadic way of life that’s been here for hundreds of thousands of years. She is in service to this place. Any common sense mind would come to the conclusion that she is without a doubt a service animal.

The Mules know that much of our contact with law enforcement agencies, CHP, local police, county sheriff, and animal control is instigated by trolls. These trolls will call enforcement agencies complaining there is a homeless man walking in the middle of the road with a horse. There is a man leading an injured horse past my house. There is a horse tied in the Starbucks parking lot with no water. It looks emaciated, etc., etc.

Their intention of course is to keep the Mules under a constant state of harassment, wear us down and keep the Mules from doing this most important job of using their constitutional right as well as everybody else’s to move freely and spontaneously in this country. The Mules have never been charged or cited for anything other than our God given right to stop and sleep at night, such as our arrest on National parks land in Thousand Oaks, CA. The Mules will never be worn down as we have access to endless amounts of energy harbored in the nation, the 3 Mules nation, from which we come. When one Monk falls another Monk appears brought forth by the force of energy accumulated and acquired throughout our history dating back hundreds of thousands of years living with respect and reverence for this sparkling jewel suspended in the mist of time we call Earth.

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Salinas, California

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2017 EVENTS AS THEY OCCURRED

Yesterday we awoke in San Juan Bautista where we spent the night here in the outskirts. I got up, check Little Girl, went back to my pack boxes and fixed breakfast. Then I went and caught Little Girl and took her down the street to get some water. Then brought her back up, tied her to the fence and ate my breakfast.

Upon finishing my breakfast, I gathered up my stuff, saddled Little Girl and packed up. We left approximately 9:30am. We got on the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail and headed for Salinas.

We walked about 16 miles and got to the outskirts of Salinas and stopped at the Walmart. I tied Little Girl to the tree at the parking lot, went into Walmart, bought two cans of black beans, three cans of diced tomatoes, one can of chick peas, and one can of green beans, went outside, and untied Little Girl. We then walked around in back of Walmart, tied Little Girl to a tree, unpacked her for she was in need of a rest after walking 16 miles.

We been there about an hour when two Salinas Police Department officers in a car showed up and presented a friendly demeanor. I was on my smartphone doing stuff. They kept peppering me with questions. It was obvious they were interrupting me and wouldn’t let me proceed with my business. A little while later, another officer, pulled up in a car behind them, got out of his car, walked up to the other officer’s car, said something to them, and then they all left. I stayed there about another 30-45 minutes, at this point I decided to repack Little Girl and leave.

I then proceeded to Best Buy to return a product that I had bought that wasn’t performing as it was promoted to. We got to the Best Buy parking lot, walking back towards the store, stopped under a tree where there was a bunch of dandelion weeds growing. I was letting Little Girl eat them when two Salinas Police officers pulled up and started asking me the usual questions in a friendly demeanor but I was not interested in talking to them. I had plenty to do and wanted to get Little Girl secured in the parking lot and go into Best Buy to return the product.

When I started to move away, the two officers got out of their car, and put me in detainment by stating that I cannot go anywhere. I asked them why, and they said because you wouldn’t talk to us. When the conversation started, it was a friendly conversation, they admitted that, I wasn’t being detained, I wasn’t doing anything wrong, but because I wouldn’t talk to them anymore, they decided that they would put me in detainment. From that point, they informed me that I was trespassing. I told them that I was at Best Buy to return a product that I bought previously. They refused to let me to go into Best Buy, called the shopping center security, who turned up shortly, told me I was trespassing and demanded I leave.The Salinas Police officer said if I didn’t leave immediately, I would be arrested, taken to jail, and Little Girl would be taken. So, I left.

I walked over to the next parking lot that was connected to the other stores, they shortly turned up once again, and repeated the same process over again. From that point, I left. I then found myself on the street.

We are posting copies of our receipts to prove our purpose for entering the Walmart and Best Buy shopping centers. An automobile has the right to go into a parking lot, park their car and walk into a store. But somehow a man with a mule or a horse, does not have the right to go into a parking lot, tie up their horse and go into the store. We are doing the same exact same thing, except instead of using an automobile, we are using an animal for transportation. We have the same rights in this country as anybody in an automobile that uses that machine for transportation in this state in this country to use our horse for transportation. To deny us the use of a parking lot is discrimination plain and clear. It is illegal.

When a person wants food in 2017, they have to go to a grocery store to get it. The days of going out with your bow and arrow and hunting deer and game are over. Making these parking lots subject to no trespassing laws and allowing a security company to arbitrarily say in effect “I like you, the guy in red hat, but I don’t like the guy in the blue hat. Therefore, I am going to deny the guy in the blue hat the right to park his car, park his horse, and not allow him to enter the store to buy food for himself and his family.”
We will be in Salinas until Monday because we want to talk to the shopping center management to get an understanding why they had us evicted from the Best Buy parking lot for doing nothing other than tying Little Girl to a tree in the safest place we can find, to go into Best Buy and return a product we had bought previously that wasn’t functioning as promoted. We were arbitrarily evicted by the security company that works for the shopping center ownership.

People that support us, please don’t call the police. The best method is to call the shopping center who owns the parking lot and their security company that evicted us. For the police could not have done it without the consent of the security company that works for the shopping center ownership. Call them and ask them the same thing that we’re going to ask them Monday morning. Why the discriminatory policy to allow an automobile to do business and refusing a person on a horse from entry. It is unconstitutional to deny a person on a horse that is their livelihood from being able to function on a day to day basis that allows us to survive.

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The Mules and all who travel under their own power claiming the right to stop and rest for the night

The Mules living in this sacred place of one human being with his or her animal companions, traveled by many throughout the ages, are claiming our rightful use of public space be it city, county, state or federal land.

The Mules will no longer wade through piles of garbage, broken glass, cans, batteries, dirty clothes, chemicals, etc., etc., looking for a place to cook our dinner then lay down amongst garbage and filth to sleep the night. Nor will we try to hide from law enforcement so we don’t get cited as happened in Castro Valley, Alameda County, spending two and a half days in jail, $10,000.00 bail for nothing more than stopping to rest for the night on state land (public space) for there was no place else to go.

Sleeping on the sidewalk with a mule wouldn’t work. Sleeping with a mule in the street also wouldn’t work.

By default, city, county, state, and federal governments must make public space available to all those traveling in this country under their own power be they equestrians, cyclists, pedestrians. The Mules will no longer be forced to sleep or cook our meals amongst garbage and filth. We no longer have to and we won’t.

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The Mules using the public space in the City of Santa Clara

On the evening of September 17, we stopped here in Santa Clara Central Park in the city of Santa Clara, California. We spent half of the day walking south down the El Camino. When we approached the end of the day, I pulled out my smart phone and looked for a park which we could spend the night. Santa Clara Central Park was not far away so we proceeded to that park. We reached there at dark. We searched around and found a place (pictured) which was unmanicured, it was a rough area, it was a good place for a mule and a monk to stop, laydown on the ground and spend the night, so we did that.

Around 3 o’clock in the morning, two City of Santa Clara police officers came by and shined their lights upon us. We woke up and they wanted to know what we were doing in the park. We said we were sleeping. We came here because there was no place else for us to go. We could not sleep in the sidewalk that wouldn’t be practical. We could not go out into the street and sleep there either. So that left are the city park for us to safely lay down go to sleep.

The officer replied that was against the city ordinance of Santa Clara to be in the park after dark and that we were trespassing.

We once again replied that we had to go somewhere and go to sleep because there is no place else, the city park by default must assume the responsibility for providing anybody walking and traveling in transit from one point to the next, whether riding a horse, riding a bicycle or walking under their own power, with a place to stop and rest for the night. We did not require any fancy facilities. We did not require any benches, barbecues, none of that, just simply a bare piece of ground which we found to rest our heads and rest and sleep for the night.

The officer reasserted himself and repeated the claim the assertion that we were illegally in the park and we could not stay here.

And so we made the point once again there was no place else to sleep. Darkness was upon us and the alternative was the sidewalk or the city street or climbing in somebody’s backyard. None of the three would be acceptable and so by default to repeat ourselves, all city governments – state, county or city, must take responsibility and allow their parks to be used by anybody traveling by horse, bicycle, or foot, under their own power, to sleep at night when in transit from one point to the next, to stop and rest for the night.

The officer also stated that there was a city ordinance that did not allow any horse within 100 feet of any buildings in the city.

We responded that we have a constitutional right in this country to move in any one of all four directions when we choose and how we chose. It is in the constitution that is guaranteed to all citizens. These city ordinances prevent that and they’re illegal and they cannot stand against the Constitution of the United States.

The officers eventually decided they would relent and use their discretion and allow us to stay for the night, leave in the morning after we clean up after ourselves as we always do and proceed along our way.

After packing up in the morning, we left the park and made our way through the city streets south. Not too long after walking south on the city streets headed for San Diego, a plain clothes police officer from the Santa Clara Police Department stopped his pick up truck, got out, showed us his badge, and said he was curious as to what we were doing.

We told him about where we spent the night and our experience previously with the two officers from the Santa Clara Police Department.

We informed him that we do claim the right to use city, county, state parks when necessary to go to sleep for the night. We explained the reasons why we can’t sleep on the sidewalk, we can’t sleep in the street, we can’t climb over the fence and spend the night in somebody’s backyard.

That leaves city, county, and state parks. That’s what’s left for anybody traveling on a horse in transit from one place to the next across this country under their own power whether by horse, bicycle or foot. That is what’s left to sleep at night. It is certainly their constitutional right travel freely in this country – one in all four directions and inherent in that right is the absolute right go to sleep.

Sleep is the necessary function to keep living. If you don’t sleep you die. For any city, county, state, municipality government to outlaw the act of sleep is unconstitutional. It denies us the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is totally illegal. We won’t obey them. We can’t obey them. To repeat ourselves, if you don’t sleep you die. Committing suicide is not on our agenda.

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The City of Santa Clara has its quiver full of arrows ready to shoot anybody that stops in their city to sleep. To their credit, the two officers that found us sleeping in the city park decided not to cite us nor make us leave where we were, allowing us to stay the rest of the night. In the morning, we packed up, cleaned up after ourselves and were back on the road.

City of Santa Clara Municipal Codes:

6.15.040 Keeping of horses – Restrictions.
No horse shall be kept or maintained within the city except in an enclosure the outer limits of which shall be at least forty (40) feet from any inhabited or habitable dwelling. (Ord. 1879 § 1, 3-29-11).

6.05.075 Animals on City property. 
No person having the control or care of any animal shall permit such animal to enter or remain on City property and/or in City-owned or City-managed buildings other than a building used for the purpose of care, detention, space control or treatment of animals, or areas designated as “dog parks” or “off-leash areas,” or a building used for training classes, shows or exhibitions. This section does not apply to persons who have a visual or auditory disability and who use dogs for guidance or to accommodate a disability, to service dogs in formal training programs, or dogs used in law enforcement by a governmental agency, or persons expressly authorized by the City Manager, upon finding that the animal will not be disruptive to the operations of the City, or a hazard to persons or property. (Ord. 1879 § 1, 3-29-11).

12.05.060 Hours of operation of public parks.
(a) The public parks in the City shall be open daily to the public between the hours of 6:00 A.M. to one-half hour after sunset (dusk), except:

(1) Where there is posted conspicuously a sign limiting the hours when such facility is open to the public; and

(2) Until 10:00 P.M. if and when the facility is lighted.

(b) Any such public park or portion thereof may be declared closed to the public by the Director of Parks and Recreation at any time and for any interval of time, either temporarily or at regular or stated intervals, as is deemed necessary in carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the various divisions of the Parks and Recreation Department as set forth in Chapter 2.100 SCCC. The Director of Parks and Recreation is hereby authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this section.

(c) Every person other than City personnel conducting City business therein, who occupies or is present in any public park in the City during the hours in which the park is not open to the public, shall be deemed guilty of an infraction, punishable by a fine of not more that two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00). (Ord. 1953 § 1, 4-5-16; Ord. 1371 § 1, 1-10-78. Formerly § 25-8.1).
 
12.50.010 Unpermitted camping and lodging prohibited.
(a) No person shall camp or lodge on a public street (including in a vehicle parked on a public street), on publicly owned property, and other prohibited public places; provided, that nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit camping in public campgrounds pursuant to a permit or license authorized under Federal, State or local statute or ordinance.

(b) “Camping” means residing in or using any public street, publicly owned property, public park, or other prohibited public place for living accommodation, lodging, or sleeping purposes, as exemplified by remaining for prolonged or repeated periods of time not associated with ordinary use of the street, property, or public place, with one’s possessions or while storing one’s possessions (including, but not limited to, clothing, sleeping bags, bed rolls, blankets, sheets, hammocks, or other sleeping implements, luggage, backpacks, kitchen utensils, cookware, and food or beverages), cooking or consuming meals, or lodging in a parked vehicle. These activities constitute camping when it reasonably appears, in light of all the circumstances, that a person is using the street, property, or place as a living, lodging, or sleeping accommodation regardless of his or her intent, or the nature of any other activities in which he or she might also be engaged.

(c) “Prohibited public places” means any public place not designated as a public campground pursuant to Federal, State, or local statute or ordinance and shall include the following:

(1) Public streets, sidewalks, alleyways, passageways, and rights-of-way;

(2) Publicly owned property;

(3) Public parks;

(4) Public parking lots, whether publicly owned or privately owned;

(5) Public landscaped areas, whether publicly owned or privately owned and maintained pursuant to a public landscape easement;

(6) Private property that is readily accessible to the general public, or is otherwise open to common or general use or view;

(7) Vacant lots;

(8) Drainage culverts and basins. (Ord. 1834 § 1, 4-15-08). 

Ironic that the City of Santa Clara has a plaque honoring a man with a horse, but current municipal codes don’t allow horses anywhere within the city limits anymore.

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