The Mules as they move and walk freely how they choose and when they choose are nearing the end of their journey through 2017 and continuing that journey into the New Year of 2018.
The wealth of the Mules is the energy created and harbored then to be used in the most mystical of ways to promote and enhance the art of human beings living on this beautiful earth with reverence and respect for all its inhabitants.
The Mules look forward as never before to the ongoing challenge to remain free against the on-slot of the manmade world and its ever increasing knowledge and use of technology which is threatening the freedom and very existence of human beings and our sacred ages old relationship with life on this earth.
The perimeter lines must clearly be drawn as to where the manmade world of glamor, glitz and endless discovery, cannot tread. Who better to draw these perimeter lines and maintain these lines than the Nation, the 3 Mules Nations, human beings of a like-mind using their ambassador at large, the 3 Mules, to set these boundaries.
Pictured is Bill B-40 Ordinance No. 2017-40. This law was passed by the Fresno City Council on August 24, 2017. This law is typical of the no camping laws being passed throughout the state and country. We will use it as an example to show why it is illegal and unconstitutional to use this law and others like it against the Mules and our nomadic way of life.
Note: The Mules have not as yet in our many passages through Fresno had this law used against us. But the threat has clearly been made and stated by the Fresno City Council with the passage of this law.
Section 10-1700 states: The streets and public areas should be accessible and available to the Public. The use of these areas for camping interferes with the rights of others to use these areas for which they were intended.
Pictured is a typical example of the amount of space the Mules require to rest for a twelve hour period in the night-time hours in a public area such as a park or open area. This kind of use entering the park at night, leaving in the early morning hours does not interfere with the right of others to use a public space. The space at night for the most part has been vacated.
Section 10-1700 also states the storage of personal property interferes with the right of others.
The Mules are not storing anything. When a person stores property, they hide it behind a bush, lock it up in a box, etc., then leave it assuming it will be there on their return. That’s the circumstance of storage Section 10-1700 is referring to. The Mules do not leave their belongings. We unpack our mules, place our belongings on the ground, fix dinner, lay down our bedroll, sleep for a twelve hour period during night-time hours, awake in the early morning, and leave.
The Mules again are not interfering with the right of anybody in the use of a park (public space).
Section 10-1700 also states camping (stopping to rest for a twelve hour period during the night) constitutes a public health and safety hazard. The Mules challenge anybody to prove that the Nomadic Way of Life we practice is or has ever been a safety health hazard to anyone of the many communities we have traveled through for so many years.
The Mules have become aware of Bill No. 40 and Ordinance 2017-40 entitled, Adding Article 17 to Chapter 10 of the Fresno Municipal Code relating to Unlawful Camping, which was passed by the Fresno City Council on August 24, 2017.
Section 10-1700 clearly states the purpose/reasons for the passage of this ordinance (2017-40).
REASON #1: The use of Public areas within the city of Fresno should be accessible and available to residents and the PUBLIC. The use of public areas to store personal property interferes with the rights of others to use PUBLIC areas.
3 Mules Response #1: Pictured are our belongings set on the ground demonstrating the use public space we take on any given night. There is 24 hours in a day. The Mules only claim space for approximately 8 hours during the night when most people are in their homes. This can hardly be construed as interfering with the rights of others to use a public area.
REASON #2: Health and Safety.
3 Mules Response #2: This law is casting a large net dragging the Mules into an area which we don’t belong. The law clearly states its purpose in being passed is to address the problem of people congregating in large numbers, pitching tents, and creating unhealthy conditions, such as accumulation of trash, defecation and urination, drugs, alcoholism, etc. The Mules travel alone, stay only for an 8 hour period at night in any one place, dispose of their waste in the most sanitary of ways practiced throughout the ages for thousands of years.
The Monk throws a tarp over himself, squats down, will defecate on the surface of the ground, dig a four-inch hole, and bury it if it’s applicable to do so; or, place in a bag, carry until an appropriate place is found to dispose. The Monk urinates in a plastic bottle then disposes contents in an appropriate place. Our method is similar to the suburban citizen who places their dog’s poop in a bag and disposes of it in an appropriate place.
The Monk carries a scoop, places the mule’s droppings into a bag and carries and disposes in an appropriate place. The Mules methods of waste disposal is by far superior in terms of health, efficiency and costs than the suburban model.
A citizen of the suburban model goes down the hall, turns to the left, enters an expensive, elaborate space surrounded by four walls, closes the door, sits down on a toilet defecates into a pipe that goes under the ground where it travels accumulating disease and toxicity as it makes its way to the sewage treatment plant, where it is treated with many chemicals that are toxic, then is released into the environment via creeks, rivers, etc.
The Mules and their response to public safety. The Mules threaten nobody. We’ve traveled the Western United States for the past 33 years and consecutively in California for the past five years. We’ve walked through San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and the towns in between and never hurt a soul. Our use of public areas has in no way ever created a public safety issue. We have a proven track record of 33 years living our nomadic way of life and bringing the value of that life to all the areas that we have passed though in our endless journey.
The above being understood, the Mules believe that no common sense mind could come to the conclusion that the Mules are a threat to Public Health and Safety or interfere with the rights of others to use public areas. The Mules have received nothing but positive energy from the people of Fresno as we have passed through many times before on our annual migratory journey. The Mules find it hard to believe that the 552,000 people who live in Fresno would see the Mules as a PUBLIC Nuisance, and would not want the Mules cited, taken to jail, heavily fined and the Monk and the Mule separated.
To use 2017-40 against the Mules and this ages old Nomadic way of life for things we do not do and things we are not is illegal. The Mules live under and have the same protections afforded by the Constitution guaranteeing the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the council members of Fresno. The right to life includes the basic function of sleeping and eating.
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.
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.
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).
Once again up in the morning, a weak little man and a mule walking all day one step at a time with the energy and magic of a nation, a new nation, a nation being born, the 3 Mules Nation. Collecting, accumulating, harboring the energy of many dimensions, knowing that energy is the wealth of this new nation, 3 Mules Nation, which will materialize in the most magical and mysterious of ways to support this nation and all those who choose to harbor with in it.
Pictured are some of the many people Little Girl and me met as we traveled through Redding. The Mules say thank you to the friendly and helpful people of Redding for making our journey through their town an enjoyable one.
The Mules mission is to walk freely in anyone of all four directions, how we choose when we choose and the right to rest/sleep on public space so we can arise and walk again with respect and reverence for this place called earth. We did that as we travelled through Redding. Thank you.
Yesterday sometime around dusk where we stopped to spend the night on what turned out to be land administered by the National Park Service, two rangers appeared informing us we were illegally camping and we could not spend the night here.
The Mules informed the rangers we were traveling across country and anybody doing so either by horseback, bicycle or foot has the right to stop and rest for the night on public space. We were not dragging in rugs, bedsprings, mattresses nor would be changing our oil or doing maintenance on our motorhome. Simply be here for the night, clean up after ourselves, be gone come morning.
The ranger got on his communication device, talked to headquarters, a decision was made to let the Mules spend the night.
The above event of yesterday is the National Park Service acknowledging and understanding the value and importance of a National Park Nomadic Lifestyle Pass. This Pass will be issued to all citizens who wish to travel throughout this country non-motorized either by horse, bicycle or foot.
Showing in a real way, one step at a time, a human being living outside responsibly with respect and reverence for the Natural World. Certainly condusive to the mission and purpose of our National Parks.
On May 22, 2017, the Mules crossed over Donner Pass, elevation 7135′, using Old Highway 40 and over the historic Rainbow Bridge. We went down the grade past Donner Lake. Having walked about 15 miles, we came upon Donner Memorial State Park. It was about 4pm. We decided to stop for the day and Donner Memorial State Park was the obvious place to rest for the night.
We entered the park, tied Little Girl to a lamp pole in the parking lot and went to the park’s visitor center. We approached the ranger behind the desk and asked if the Mules could spend the night. The ranger responded, “Absolutely not. Park regulations forbid any equestrian use inside this park.”
The Mules pay taxes. We pay between 9% to 10% sales tax on everything we buy. Everybody knows business doesn’t pay taxes, people do. When the Mules buy a product, they have paid most of the taxes that were levied by the State to get that product inside the store and onto the shelf.
The Mules ask only for the most bare bones use of the park. Simply put – enter the park, walk to the corner behind the maintenance yard, secure the mules to the fence, remove the packs, make the Mules comfortable for the night, put our bed roll on the ground, sleep, rise in the morning, clean up after ourselves and leave as we came living and walking with respect and reverence for the Natural World.
To deny the Mules or any equestrian this most bare bones use – pennies on the dollar cost to the Park system is blatantly illegal.
The Mules will be bringing the creative, magical energy of the nation, the Three Mule Nation, to make this request for an equestrian to use a state park to stop and rest for a night to every park by which we pass on our endless journey through time and space.
Last night around 11:20pm, Little Girl woke me up as she was exhaling loudly out of her nose, stomping her foot and staring intently at one spot. I grabbed my flashlight, sat up in my sleeping bag and shined my flashlight toward the direction Little Girl was looking. Back shined the reflection of two eyes staring back at us. It was a bear about 40 feet away, which then turned and walked away.
After that, I went back to sleep. An hour later, Little Girl started blowing out of her nose again because the bear came back. This time I got out of my sleeping bag, stood up and raised my arms to make myself look big. The bear walked away and didn’t come back anymore, but it was difficult falling back to sleep.
Tonight, Little Girl and I are resting in a different location.