The Adventure Continues… Mule Days

I’ve developed a serious appreciation for mules ever since reading Rinker Buck‘s book The Oregon Trail, in which he describes how he and his brother traversed the 2,000 miles from Kansas City, Missouri, to Portland, Oregon, in a covered wagon pulled by three unforgettable mules — Jake, Beck, and Bute. So I couldn’t help enjoying this episode of California’s Gold, with plenty of mules to see and lots of people who know and love these unique animals.

They’ve been a part of the California landscape for hundreds of years, helping to build our canals and highways and railroads, hauling our freight, our silver bullion and, of course, playing a major role during the gold rush era. However, many people are under the false impression that they’re stubborn, while others tend to overlook them in favor of the more glamorous horse.

But, once a year the good citizens of Bishop, California, in the Sierra Nevada, set aside an entire week to pay tribute to… the mule. Often regarded as one of nature’s oddities, a mule is a hybrid animal that results from crossing a mare (female horse) with a jack (male donkey). They come in literally all shapes and sizes, and during Bishop’s Mule Days Celebration there’s a mule parade, mule races and all sorts of mule competitions. Thousands of people come from all over California to have a good time and to pay tribute to this animal.

Host Huell Howser and cameraman Luis Fuerte join in the celebration of this rather remarkable animal which, over the years, has very much proven itself to be a fine example of California’s Gold.

(Click on the linked image below to see the video.)

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