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!
Published by egghill
Was enjoying photography and retirement until my youngest son contracted Valley Fever while working. Now, I haven’t written any posts or taken many photos (very few anyway). I struggle with remembering all my settings since not using them. There are plans afoot to start my blog again. View all posts by egghill