Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How The Tenacious Mule Conquered The West But Lost The Popular Vote

February 22, 2017
   Working hard on the history of mules, the psychology of mules all the while, fighting the prevalent mule prejudice. Fortunately, I have some good sources for solid information, like Lee Anderson, who knows his stuff.


Lee Anderson On Zelda

Lee sends me tidbits almost every day, like this:

Mules Go Long Time
   "According to a chart in Manual Of Pack Transportation that shows loads and rates of travel practicable for a well seasoned pack train, mules loaded with 200 pounds of supplies could travel 25 miles a day at 8 miles per hour for 7 consecutive days. At 6 miles per hour the same mules with the same loads could travel one hundred miles a day for for 3 consecutive days,or at 5 miles per hour the mules could travel 25 miles a day for 365 consecutive days.

    "If traveling with the cavalry,pack mules could not keep up with the horses for the initial fifteen miles but were pushing them at thirty miles and had the horses at their mercy in a march of 75 miles in a 24 hour period.

   "According to Crook's long time adjutant, Captain Bourke, the care packers gave their mules equaled, 'almost that given to the average baby'. The mule, Bourke added, responded to such attentions".

   "Female, or Molly, mules were preferred. They were considered more manageable, easier to train, and had a more pleasant disposition, Male mules, jacks, were nearly always gelded due to the fact that they usually behaved worse than stallions. They were extremely hard to control and usually considered dangerous and unreliable.


The Norwegian explorer Helge Ingstad, right, on his trusty mule, getting set to embark
 into the Sierra Madres of Old Mexico in 1936. Both his guide and Apache scouts, were
mounted on mules as well. Many believe Ingstad found the Apache Kid's daughter.


   "Even when an army mule couldn't see the bell mare it would follow the sound of the bell. Should the bell mare happen to be killed the mules would become completely disoriented. Many army packers insisted mules would express grief that was almost human.

   "A mule could be larger than either parent.

   "Hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of people know who Trigger and Champion were but, how many know who 583R and 9YLL were? They were known by army packers and troopers as Trotter and Hambone and were the last two pack mules mustered out of the army with full military honors and recognition on 15  December 1956 at Fort Carson, Colorado. 

   "Trotter became the official mascot for cadets at the U.S.Military Academy at West Point, New York.

   "Hambone was an extraordinary jumper. He never lost a mule jumping contest and at Fort Carson, Colorado in 1950, jumping against horses, he bested all but the first place winner."
—Lee Anderson

"Perhaps there is no other animal so much abused, or so little cared for. Popular opinion of his nature has not been favorable; and he has had to plod and work through life against the prejudices of the ignorant."
—Muleskinner Harvey Riley, 1867

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Many Mule Dismount Options

February 21, 2017
   Busy trying to nail down all the mule art I want to do for our mule issue in May.
Going to be a fun deal. Here's a couple pages of roughs from my sketchbook:
 


Daily Whip Out: "Why The Long Face?"

I'm also running the diary entry from the Ingstad expedition where he was on switchbacks in the Sierra Madre when a mule carrying dynamite came tumbling off the trail above him, went over his head, crashed into a pillar and survived!



Daily Whip Out: "Mule Carrying Dynamite Tumbles By"

Mules are notorious for their ability to be calm for days and even years, and then. . .


Daily Whip Out: "The Mule Slingshot Dismount"

    Others dismount efforts are more simple and direct:



Daily Whip Out: "The Mule Ejection Seat Dismount"

   I've got a ton more, but here is my list of artwork and photos I intend to run in the feature:


Daily Whip Out: "Mule Wish List"

True Mule Tales

"A long time ago, my dad came home from an auction with a mule. He bought it in the town of Wink, so he named him "Wink." Of course I was 'voluntold' to saddle up and when I did I saw the peak of the barn in a 'wink.'"
—Larry Berger





The Quirky Obit of Tim Quirk

February 21, 2017
   We have been debating obits at the True West World Headquarters. Do they belong in True West, and, if so, 
how do we do them? Thanks to Andy Sansom in Kingman, who has been perusing old Kingman Daily Miners
 we get this hilarious, old school example of a no-holds-barred obit.



Kingman Daily Miner, January 11, 1902


Then, wouldn't you know it, Linda Gay Mathis actually finds a photo of said Tim Quirk:


Thanks to the Utah State Historical Society. Too rich. Too quirky!


"We are never prepared for what we expect."
—James Michener

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Father of Our Country On Spanish Jack

February 20, 2017
   In honor of President's Day, we should all tip our hat to the Father of our Country:


Daily Whip Out: "George On His Spanish Jack"

The Father of Mules In The U.S.
"I have a prospect of introducing into this Country a very excellent race of animals also, by means of the liberality of the King of Spain. One of the Jacks which he was pleased to present to me (the other perished at sea) is about 15 hands high, his body and Limbs very large in proportion to his height; and the Mules which I have had from him appear to be extremely well formed for Service. I have likewise a Jack and two Jennets from Malta, of a very good size, which the Marquis de la Fayette sent to me. The Spanish Jack seems calculated to breed for heavy, slow draught; and the other for the Saddle or lighter carriages. 
   "From these, altogether, I hope to secure a race of extraordinary goodness, which will stock the Country. Their longevity and cheap keeping will be circumstances much in their favor. I am convinced, from the little experiments I have made with ordinary Mules, (which perform as much labor, with vastly less feeding than horses) that those of a superior quality will be of the best cattle we can employ for the harness.
   "And indeed, in a few years, I intend to drive no other in my carriage: having appropriated for the sole purpose of breeding them, upwards of 20 of my best Mares".


George Washington, in a letter to Arthur Young, December 4, 1788

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Mules And Issues of Trust

February 19, 2017
   Started raining just after three, two nights ago, got more showers on and most of the yesterday and today. Worked in my studio on all kinds of mule subjects: charging mules, climbing mules, braying mules and crazy, bucking mules. I'm also doing a series of mule portraits.



Daily Whip Out: "Mule Portrait No. 1"



Daily Whip Out: "Mule Portrait No. 2"

   I also asked for mule stories and almost immediately, got this one:

True Stories of Mules In Action


How A Mule Reset My Broken Arm
   Several years ago I went on a riding vacation in the Sierra Nevada mountains in Southern Spain. I had intended to ride a horse, but I broke my arm in a riding accident a month before we were due to leave on vacation. So, instead, for safety's sake, I was teamed up with a steady, 16-hands-high bay mule named Cordera. We rode 100 miles through the mountains along tiny goat paths that were only a few feet across and a long drop on one side. Here's the weird thing that Cordera did. We had to ride up onto a ridge at one point on the trail. It was a steep slope, with loose rocks, that seemed to go straight upwards, before it narrowed onto a trail that wound around the side of a cliff. The other horses on the trail took their time and found the climb hard going. We all ended up lined up on the edge of the slope. I couldn't ride forward because of the horse in front. My mule grew impatient to be moving and cranky at being wedged between two horses while standing on the slope. He began to flick his tail dramatically at the horse behind him, took a few bouncy hops backwards and forwards, launched his back legs into the air and walloped the horse behind him cleanly in the chest. He didn't so much as buck, but do a sort of jump-kick, which was impressive considering he was standing at an angle with his front end higher than his back when he began. My broken arm, which I had been resting on the saddle horn, flew up into the air and out and back to the side. There was a loud pop. I was in agony. I said a few choice words to Cordera, I can tell you! The days afterwards, I realized I could move my arm around better than before. When I went home, I had an x-ray done and the doctor told me that my arm had started to heal. Basically, to sum up, in doing what he did, the mule reset the bone in my arm. I was due to have surgery when I returned home, but I didn't need to thanks to him. It's been 20 years since this happened and the arm that was broken probably has better range of motion than the other does and it's all thanks to a cranky mule!
—Elena Sandidge
Lexington, Kentucky


Daily Whip Out: "Charging Mule"

   I have been learning quite a bit about mules and I have to admit there is something very appealing in their oddness. There is also an attraction:

"Until one has loved a mule, part of the soul remains unawakened"
—Old Vaquero Saying

   All in all, the mule is quite an enigma:


"The mule is an enduring animal, he will bear fatigue and cold, and heat and hunger, and abuse. The greater the hardship, the more patient he becomes. But no man can trust a mule"
—Lieutenant Joseph Sladen, remarking in horror at General Howard's choice of mounts on their peace mission to meet Cochise, page 177 of the book "The Apache Wars" by Paul Andrew Hutton


Friday, February 17, 2017

My Kingdom For An Ass

February 17, 2017
   Spent the morning utilizing some great photo reference I got yesterday with Lee Anderson and his mule. 


Daily Whip Out: "Kit Carson On The Hunt"

   Wanted to capture that early morning light and how it plays on a mounted rider traversing a mountainside:


Daily Whip Out Sketches: "Kit Carson On The Hunt"

My Kingdom For An Ass
   I read somewhere that both Napoleon and Santa Anna (who styled himself as the "Napoleon of The West") barely escaped capture on separate ocassions, by fleeing on mules. In the case of Napoleon, he knew a mule was more sure-footed and would help him traveling by night, whereas his Arabian stud would probably cause him to be discovered. I believe Santa Anna was in a carriage pulled by mules and cut one loose to effect his escape from U.S. troops who were closing in on him.

   Speaking of great mule stories, I want to gather a few more mule stories. The kind where you have witnessed mules doing something amazing, or crazy. If you have one send it to me at:

bozebell@twmag.com

   Include your full name, city and state. If I use your story in our upcoming mule opus you will receive a free subscription (or artprint, if you already have a sub). Thanks.

   Learning to push the color on those mules, above. Learned that from van Gogh, of course. I am learning, slowly but surely.

"If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you."
—Old Vaquero Saying





Thursday, February 16, 2017

Mules at Sunrise

February 16, 2017
   Had a photo shoot this morning at Ken Amorosano's ranchito off Fleming Springs.


BBB On Zelda

   Lee Anderson and his wife Margarite came out with their sweet mule, Zelda, at seven, and we rode out to the canyon to the north of Ken's house and waited for the light. We weren't disappointed.


BBB On Zelda

   Ken took the above shots. Lee also brought along his trusty steed Concho and I took some reference shots of him as well:


Lee Anderson On Concho Cutting for Sign

Ken also grabbed this shot of me in the arena at the end of the shoot.


BBB In The Arena

"Creativity is freedom. Ability is a poor man's wealth."
—Ricky Gervais



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mule Face: His Voice Is His Own Derision

February 15, 2017
   Slamming along the old mule trail. People seem to love 'em and hate 'em in equal measure. As one wag put it: "All the bad things they say about them are true, all the good things are also true. To know them is to love them."


Daily Wbip Out: "Old Mule Face"

"Father and mother he does not resemble, sons and daughters he will never have; vindictive and patient (it is a known fact that he will labor ten years willingly and patiently for you, for the privilege of kicking you once); solitary but without pride, self-sufficient but without vanity; his voice is his own derision."
—William Faulkner

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Mighty Mules & Shave Tails

February 14, 2017
   I'm hard at work on a big feature story we are planning for May: How the mighty mule conquered the West. For me it's turned out to be a bit of a love story, so it's perfect for Valentine's Day.


Mountain Men On Mules

  I was more than a little surprised to find out how many legendary Westerners rode mules. Buffalo Bill rode a mule when he was a scout. Wild Bill Hickok rode a mule when he was in the Army. The list goes on and on.


Daily Whip Out: "Wild Bill Mule Man"


Turns out almost all the early expeditions were mule mounted.


Mule Man Frank Dellenbaugh

The Shavetail
   "Shavetails were new and untrained mules sent to a packtrain. A packer shaved the new arrivals' tails and roached their manes to distinguish them from the bell sharps, who knew to follow the sound of the bell on the mare's neck and to line up before their own packsaddles at the sound of the bell each morning. Shavetails tended to wander around and get into trouble."
—Emmett M. Essen, "Shavetails & Bell Sharps: The History of the U.S. Army Mule

Crook Nails The Packtrain
   "The officer who was recognized as using packtrains to full advantage was George Crook. He took such pains to organize his civilian trains with efficient packers, well-bred, barrel-bellied mules, and properly fitted Mexican packsaddles that other commands initially scoffed at his efforts. Only after his troops performed so well in subduing the Paiutes and Apaches and he was promoted over some forty senior-ranked officers of the line to become a department commander did other envious officers take notice and begin organizing trains of their own based on the Crook model. Until then some had ridiculed him with a little ditty about his mule packers."
—Emmett M. Essen, ibid

I'd like to be a packer
And pack with George F. Crook
And dressed up in my canvas suite.
And be for him mistook.
I'd braid my beard in two long tails,
And idle all the day
In whittling sticks and wondering
What the New York papers say.
—Downey, Indian Fighting Army

   And, of course, as I've said before, not everybody was, or is, a fan of these mighty mules:

A Hybrid Outrage Upon Nature
"[Since before the Mexican War] many soldiers were, therefore, closely acquainted with mules, and most looked upon them with scorn. To them this hybrid cross of the ass and the noble mare was an outrage upon nature, a monstrosity, unapproachable in devilment, fathomless in cunning, and the originator of a distinct and uninterrupted series of tricks. The mule showed little dexterity except of the accurate flinging of its hooves or its ability to step on the nearest solder's feet or gear."
—James W. Steele, 1883

"A mule is as good as a horse until you need a horse."
—Baxter Black

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Baja Hinny

February 13, 2017
   Worked over the weekend on a mule scene for our upcoming issue on how the mule conquered the West. 




Daily Whip Out: "The Baja Hinny"



Daily Whip Out: "Muy Malo Mula Sketch"



Daily Whip Out: "Mule March Sketch"

Got several books, but more importantly, I know the right muleteers and I'm on the hunt.

"The American government resembles a burro; but on this burro lawyers will ride, not priests."
—Padre Antonion Martinez, Taos, New Mexico (1860s)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Horse Who Loves to Moonwalk

February 12, 2017
   Yesterday, Greg Carroll, myself and Hilda Huntress, motored  over to Wickenburg to ride in the annual Gold Rush Days Parade. Joining us, as usual was Mr. Crowd Pleaser,  Lee Anderson aboard Concho:


Lee Anderson on Concho in the staging area

For this year's parade, Lee wore his authentic vaquero gear. Spanish spurs, charro outfit and a tricked out sugarloaf sombrero to die for. He also made the saddle himself.

Moonwalking With Concho
The crowd, especially the kids, go crazy over Concho's Moonwalk.

"The American government resembles a burro, but on this burro lawyers will ride."
—Padre Antonio Martinez (1793-1867), Taos, New Mexico



Friday, February 10, 2017

A Rare Alchesay, Chief Rectum And Good Old Toggy Snoggy

February 10, 2017
   Thanks to our intrepid image hunter Rhiannon Deremo, I was able to dig out some very rare Apache photos this morning. Check out these beauties:

Chief Chino, at left, and his staff,  Coyotero Apaches

And here's a group photo with Alchesay (name written on vest)


Alchesay and a group of White Mountain Apaches


Alchesay was a Medal of Honor recipient, he is in the famous photo of Crook on his trusty mule and, thanks to Pastor Arthur Alchesay Geunther,  the high school in White River is named Alchesay High School in his honor. Here's another photo I have never seen, taken in Globe, Arizona:


A group of Apaches in Globe, Arizona, 1899

And here's a close-up of Alchesay from the above photo:


Alchesay and pony, 1899

   These photos and more are on a website: www.American-Tribes.com along with several pages of the "Apache Tag Bands of Fort Apache," compiled by Greenville Goodwin.  It lists many of the clans and tribes and their leaders. Some of the chiefs have weird monikers, for example, for Alchesay it says his Apache name is tsajn ("swollen one"). Reading between the lines, could it be that someone said he was "full of himself"? Another chief tcilki ane ("Rectum"), which I assume means Chief Rectum? Or, once again, reading between the lines, Goodwin asks the translator, who is that guy? And the Apache says, "He's not a chief, he's an asshole." And the Greenville says, write him down as "rectum." Another chief's name translates to "Angry He Waves Something Long Back And Forth." I can imagine the scribe saying, "Quit messing with me and tell him to put his pants back on."

But, my personal favorite from the list is Hacki-nay, also known as Toggy Snoggy ("Big Nose"). 


Good ol' Toggy Snoggy ("Three Noses" also "Big Nose") Hacki-nay

"You can't make this stuff up."
—Old Vaquero Saying





Thursday, February 09, 2017

A Mule Savvy Vaquero Explains The Superiority of A Mexican Mule With A Donkey Mother

February 8, 2017
   Knee deep in Mule Skin Nation. And wouldn't you know it would involve the Father of our Country.


A Borax Mule Team Train On The Move


   One of the things most Western movies don't get right is the mix of horses, mules and donkeys being used for mounts. We have been conditioned by so many Westerns where everyone is riding a horse, we have lost site of the reality. Like this:


The Donkey Patrol, 1890s

   And, of course, in the real Old West the mules came in all sizes.


Andrew Jr. 217,  first-prize two-year-old American Jack, 1906

   One of the odd outcomes of the cross pollination is that the offspring are larger than the parents.


   Most people know a mule is the end result of a horse and a donkey making whoopie. But, the variations are tricky, and quite astounding. For example, in the mountains of Baja, California, the vaqueros there prefer a mule that is born from a female donkey who has mated with a stud horse (the offspring is known as a hinny). Why do they prefer hinnys?

"In the U.S. they prefer the horse mother with the burro father. In Baja, we only have mules from burro mothers. They are a bit slower, but they last longer. They don't tire like those of mares. They also have better, stronger hoofs. They walk carefully in the rocks. They are also easier to feed. They will eat mesquite. dipuga, palo verde. Almost any branches. Mules from mares will stop and leave you on foot. This mule [he's being interviewed while he rides] will go three or four days without drinking any water. And when it gets cold, he will last even longer without water. Muchos Dios (many days).


A Baja Jack Keeps Going And Going And Going. . .


"It can be hard on a mule born from a horse because his feet are spread out wider. That's not good on the rocks. In loose rocks, he falls on his face. And these (pointing to his mount), No. These are better because they handle the worst rocks—like a four by four. Like a Toyota."
—A Mule Savvy Vaquero, in the documentary "Vaquero Corizon" (Heart of the Cowboy)

"The ancestry of the ass may be traced to the wild ass of Asia and Africa. The males are usually termed 'jacks,' and the females 'jennets.'"
—Types And Breeds of Farm Animals, by Charles S. Plumb


Wednesday, February 08, 2017

How Do You Stop A Big, Bad Jack? By Baxter Black

February 8, 2017
   My father was a very stubborn Norwegian, and, according to my wife, the wing nut didn't fall far from the crankshaft.

   Speaking of being stubborn as a mule, I am hot on the trail of the history of Mules in the American West. And, if I have my way (see first paragraph), we are going to do an entire issue on these incredible, impotent, under appreciated, beasts of burden.



Mexican Muleteer with Armitas (leather leg coverings)

   Now, unlike the American cowboy, who wears his chaps, these leather leg coverings are attached to the saddle, not the rider. I have an excellent DVD on the vaqueros of Baja and there is a sequence of a rider mounting his trusty mule and then pulling the leather wings across his legs before taking off. 

   Okay, here is the sequence taken from the wonderful DVD "Vaquero Corazon" (The Heart of The Cowboy) which I highly recommend:


Saddling up Armitas #1



Saddling Up Armitas #2



Saddling Up Armitas #3


Very ingenious, those Mexican Muleteers.

   Thanks to Stuart Rosebrook, I was able to talk to the legendary Baxter Black the other day and we got to talking about mules. Baxter lives just down the road in Benson, and although he claims to be retired, he is busier than mere mortals like myself. Here is Baxter's take on how to stop a mule:

How Do You Stop A Big, Bad Jack?
People ask me how can you stop a mule. Well, out in California my Uncle Jack let Lon ride one of his mules. In no time they were kicked into overdrive in spite of the fact that Lon had the mule’s head pulled clean back to his boot top! The road turned right. The mule never noticed. He ran smack dab, flat into an orange tree! From Jack’s vantage point, it looked like the orange tree had been struck by lightening! A terrible crashing sound ensued as Lon flew off the mule and shot through the branches like a six-foot smoked salmon fired from a battle ship! It stopped that mule, but they say you can still see pieces of Lon’s hat, shirt and glasses embedded in the bark.

   A funny bit, but to me, here's the line that kills: 

"Lon flew off the mule and shot through the branches like a six-foot smoked salmon fired from a battle ship!"
—Baxter Black 


Now THAT is some funny imagery and is damn near poetry, to boot. And, finally, coming full circle on the stubborn Norsky subject:


Donkey Dynamite!
  When the Norwegian explorer Carl Lumholtz was traversing the Sierra Madres with a large pack train in 1890, he heard a noise above him on the switchbacks and looked up to see a donkey with its pack on come hurtling past him, "turning over and over with astounding speed." The donkey sailed over his head, and down to a pillar of rock below him. The donkey hit the base of the pillar, then rolled over twice before coming to a halt. The donkey then got up in the midst of its scattered cargo which turned out to be a case of dynamite. Two of the Mexican packers scrambled down the slope, repacked the dynamite on the shaken but perfectly fine little donkey and led it up the trail where it pushed on "as coolly as if nothing had happened." This is from Richard Grant's wonderful book, "God's Middle Finger."

   Of course, not everyone is in love with mules.

"A horse is a noble animal who performs his service with grace. A mule will wait his whole life for the opportunity to kill a man."
—J.P.S. Brown


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

He Searched Among the Rocks for The Body He Hoped He Wouldn't Find

February 7, 2017
   Working on a variety of things. Last weekend, I finally got to see "Manchester By The Sea," and I wasn't disappointed. I absolutely think Casey Afflect is one of our finest actors and it makes me want to revisit his stunning, dead-on portrayal of Robert Fort in the Brad Pitt Western, "The Assasination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford." Anybody who can make us feel sorry for that back shooter is doing something amazing.

   Meanwhile, went home for lunch today and finished a little study.


Daily Whip Out: "He Searched Among the Rocks Looking
for The Body He Hoped He Wouldn't Find"

  Yes, I poached that head-down cowboy from a certain movie poster.


Chris Casey's: "Vaquero In Sunset"

BBB's Obit Bits: One Sentence at A Time
   All my life I have tried to uncover the truth about the real Old West. I just want to know the truth, warts and all. I admit, I was offended by some of the hero worshipping but I also hated the opposite: the revisionist takedown. If I had my life to do over I would do everything exactly the same except I wouldn't go see "Dirty Little Billy."  In the end, I was disappointed to discover, most people don't want to know the truth. But I did.

"History is defined by people who don't really understand what they are defining."
—Chuck Klosterman

Monday, February 06, 2017

Staring Into The Abyss

February 6, 2017
      For the past forty-some years I have returned, time and again, to a theme that haunts me (see The Doper Roper, 1975). 


The Doper Roper Cliff Diving, in The Razz, 1975







Daily Whip Out: "Looking Into The Abyss." Or, "He's Down There Somewhere."


   And, this abyss view shows up in other stories as well:



Daily Whip Out: "Mickey Over The Top"

Here's a dead-on-accurate take on the current cultural divide in the U.S.

Our Settler Culture
   “Our founders built a new order atop specifically European
intellectual traditions. Our immigrants joined a settler culture,
Anglo-Saxon and Protestant, that demanded assimilation to its norms.”
I reject the idea that today’s American story should be a Protestant
or Anglo-Saxon story (and Douthat does too). But his column makes a
crucial point: The universalist narrative that stirs passion and
patriotism in so many liberals has failed to win over most parts of
the country that don’t touch an ocean. The heartland instead prefers
an image of America more closely tied to the country’s cultural past.

The party would be wise to spend some time thinking about
how to construct a story about the country’s future that’s less
skittish about honoring its past.
If you think I’m being harsh, remember that many Democrats are no
longer comfortable naming events after Thomas Jefferson.
—The New York Times

"Everyone appreciates your honesty until you're honest with them, then you're an asshole."
—George Carlin

Friday, February 03, 2017

The History of Big, Bad Jacks

February 3, 2017
   Studying big, bad jacks:


Daily Whip Out: "Big, Bad Jack Sketch"

Whoa-Haws & God Damns
When the Shoshoni and Paiutes encountered their first white immigrants in 1846, they saw their first oxen and mules. Heinrich Lienhard remembered, "The Indian vocabulary in the Humboldt Valley was rapidly enlarged by contact with the white immigrants, for Shoshoni and Paiutes were soon referring to oxen as 'whoa-haws,' and to mules as 'god damns.'"


Daily Whip Out: "Mickey Free Rides A God Damn"


Mules vs. Missionaries
   "It is my honest opinion, founded upon much observation, that so long as and considerable numbers of mules are employed there, it is utterly useless for missionaries to go to the Rocky Mountains."
—Ernest Ingersol, 1870s


Daily Whip Out: "Mickey And His Big Jack Near Hell"


Three Times Is A Charm
"J.W. Wilson was thrown from his mule three times! Which excited a good deal of merriment and fun. . ."
—Madison Moorman, along the Platte River, June 6, 1850


Daily Whip Out: "Mickey Sees The Light And Makes The Switch"


The Superior Endurance of Mules
"The total distance today was 36 miles. The horses were now falling away in an alarming manner, but the mules seem to require the stimulus of distention, and nothing else: this the dry grass affords."
—Lieutenant W.H. Emory, a topographical engineer on Kearny's expedition to California, 1846


Daily Whip Out: "Mickey's Big, Bad Jack"


Free Falling
"Mule rolled downhill for five hundred feet, yet was uninjured."
—Charles Preuss, German cartographer on John C. Fremont's first, second and fourth exploratory expeditions, December 16, 1843


Daily Whip Out: "Mickey's Mule Climbs The Ridge"


Jackass Bill Cody
"Bill Cody, one of our scouts and one of the best shots on the plains,. . .gets $60 per month and a splendid mule to ride."
—George Armes, army officer


Daily Whip Out: "Mexican Mule Days"

"Horses were worth from fifty to one hundred dollars, and mules from seventy-five to one hundred and fifty."
—Dr. George Keller, St. Joseph, Missouri, 1849

All of these quotes are from the wonderful book "The Mule Alternative: The Saddle Mule in the American West" by Mike Stamm, Medicine Wolf Press

   We are going to feature the history of the mule in the West in an upcoming issue.