Mule Days!

Bishop, California is the mule capital of the world. In celebration of the many mules that worked opening up the west, a gathering of mules and people who love them takes place every Memorial Day weekend. Many days in advance of the Tuesday opening, the Tri-County Fairgrounds fill up with RV’s and horse trailers from all over the country, continuing the celebration through Sunday. There are many different competitions (and so many photos), it’s taken me quite a while to figure out which ones to include. After choosing some of my favorites, I had 93 photos! There is a really poor quality video link from You Tube – I’m just beginning to click that video button on my camera! After the mules came into the arena, and made two difficult turns, people were invited to come down from the stands and meet the mules and their handlers. I included the video just to show how hard it is for 20 mule teams to turn. They were pulling actual Borax wagons from the mines in Death Valley and a water tank (an important item in the desert). One of the handlers told me that the EMPTY wagons and tank weigh about 7 tons – the mules were able to pull 20+ tons of Borax in the desert. Since the wagons are so heavy, if all the mules started to turn at one time, the wagons would topple over. So part of the mules have to jump over the traces and pull straight, while the others turn. That puts a LOT of strain on the ones pulling straight! The two lead mules have Hame Bells attached just behind their manes in order for the other mules to hear the cadence and all pull together. Click Here for video: Mule Days Amazing!

This was the mule taxi that ran through town all week.
This was the mule taxi that ran through town all week.
Parade Bound!
Parade Bound!
Aren't they pretty?
Aren’t they pretty?
Part of the Widders and Orphan's Society.
Part of the Widders and Orphan’s Society.
This rig won first place in the carriage judging later in the evening.
This rig won first place in the carriage judging later in the evening.
Hmmm . . .
Hmmm . . .
$15,000 mule!
$15,000 mule!
All the kids had to shed their shoes, run to the end of the arena and run back to FIND their shoes and put them on, then run to the end of the arena. First one wins a new pair of boots.
All the kids had to shed their shoes, run to the end of the arena and run back to FIND their shoes and put them on, then run to the end of the arena. First one wins a new pair of boots.
Barrel Racing
Barrel Racing
Chariot Racing.
Chariot Racing.
Calf roping.
Calf roping.
Deep Spring's students in the Packer's Scramble. They undress the horses and mules, then re-saddle and reload them. First ones to lead their pack team out of the arena wins. Part of the YouTube video clip shows the just freed mules rolling around.
Deep Spring’s students in the Packer’s Scramble. They undress the horses and mules, then re-saddle and reload them. First ones to lead their pack team out of the arena wins. Part of the YouTube video clip shows the just freed mules rolling around.
Mule jumping.
Mule jumping.
Putting the Hame Bells on for the mules to hear the walking cadence.
Putting the Hame Bells on for the mules to hear the walking cadence.
Harnessed up for the show.
Harnessed up for the show.
Mule Love!
Mule Love!

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Communing.
Communing.

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Bob Tanner - the owner.
Bob Tanner – the owner.

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The beginning of the closing night and honoring Memorial Day.
The beginning of the closing night and honoring Memorial Day.

10 Comments

  1. You know I love this!! This had to be an amazing week! Wish I could have seen it. Who knows, maybe one day we will…….
    I love the team coming in for Memorial Day. Well, there was a bunch of it that I liked!! Thanks for posting.

    Like

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