Three Mules in Los Angeles

UPDATE 01/21/13: We’ve been informed via the comments that a volunteer has set up a Facebook page for the Mule Man–and with his approval. It’s called 3 Mules. So if you Facebook you can go there for more info., or to post pictures or stories. There’s even video interviews.

Of course, you are very welcome to continue post your sightings or thoughts here, too–especially those of you who don’t do Facebook. We’ve been touched by having some small role to play in passing on his story and giving people a place to gather and share their own stories. The truth is, we really like getting Mule Sightings in our inbox every day! So we’ll keep this open. If you have a picture you want to post here, you can send to our email address and we’ll start collecting them at the bottom of the post.

Last weekend, Kelly and I were treated to one of the most surreal scenes I’ve ever witnessed in Los Angeles: three pack mules being lead down busy Sunset Boulevard. On the side of one of the packs was a hand painted sign reading, “3mules.com“. As is fitting for a man leading three mules across the US, 3mules.com is just one page, managed by someone else. On that page is the following poetic statement:

To answer the most asked questions: Who are we? Where are we from? and Where are we going?  We are mules. We are from the outside. We live outside all day, every day. Where are we going? Nowhere, we’re here- the outside, the web of life- a beautiful  place like no other.We have come to this place-a place of golden sparkling light, a place for anybody and everybody. If your faithful of energy to this place at which time you connect to it and you’ll see the magic and endless possibility of infinity. As you walk in this place with these mules you spread the awareness that this beautiful earth like no other can only be protected by the way we live one day at a time.

Amen to that.

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161 Comments

    • Some poking around the Internets revealed that he’d likely just arrived in LA after walking here from the East Bay. Spottings show that it took him 2 weeks to get to Gilroy from the East Bay and about 2 more weeks to get from Gilroy to LA.

  1. He passed through here (San Luis Obispo county) several weeks ago. Of course in our rural coastal area, he wasn’t as out of place as he would seem to be in the bustling city, but the local newspaper still did a write-up about him and his mission.

    Amazing how much mileage you can cover when you walk all day!

  2. I had the “HONOR” of meeting John and his three Mules Last week as he passed thru Orange…the locals were all Happy to hear his story and offer goods (thats the Spirit!!!) I was truly Touched by Him and his Journey…Many Blessings to you John and your Mules….Safe journey my friend and may Peace always be yours.

  3. Saw the mules just today walking through Rancho Bernardo in San Diego. They seemed so out of place and everyone just sat in their cars staring silently as they passed by.

  4. My Mom called to tell me she saw the man and his mules today in Poway, CA. She was very surprised to see them tied to a fence in her apartment parking lot. She said the man went into one of the retail stores just a few hundred feet from were he tied them up. She said the Mules were very fat and looked incredibly healthy.

  5. 1:00 Sunday 10/28 the same 3 mules tied to the trees outside Food4Less in Mission Valley San Diego. By the time we came out they were gone! Hmmm – now I want to go and find them!

  6. I saw them around 1:30pm on Sarurday 10/27 at the corner of Clairmont Mesa Ave and Kearny Villa rd. in San Diego. Makes sense that they were spoted in Mission Valley the next day.
    I was riding my bike to work for the first time and seeing them gave me a boos of motivaion.

  7. I saw them at around 5:30pm on the bike path on Friars Road almost at Sea World Drive in San Diego today. Was quite a sight to see mules in the bike path! I slowed my bike next to the man, said hello and told him he must have a pretty interesting story. He smiled and said “I’m sorry, but I’m too tired to tell it right now.” He did look pretty tired, but he said it with a smile and wished me a pleasant day. Made me commute home a bit more interesting!

  8. Saw him walking down Camino del Rio North 10/30/12 at 1:10! We watched him from the 15th floor of the Centerside 2 building wondering what his story was. Now we know a little bit more!

  9. I saw the man and his mules today in Santee, CA walking through Mission Trails Regional Park heading East toward Lakeside.

  10. Passed him while on my bike ride as he headed East through Mission Trails Regional Park on Father Junipero Serra Rd.

  11. Something about seeing a man with three mules walking down a busy street (in Santee) and waiting at a crosswalk, just really made me think. And I thought/wondered all kinds of things! I stalked him for a couple of miles in my car. Wish I had gotten out to say “hi”. I thought it was strange and awesome all at the same time, but something about the eccentricity of it all made me happy and hopeful, and really, what more could you ask for? I wonder where he is today.

  12. Alyssa, I saw him in Santee this morning you described the feeling so well. My husband and I voted and then ran into him. I felt like there was some connection with it being election day. I love his poem. Very enlightening. I wanted to get my kid’s from school and show them. It was surley humbling for me.

    • I have to say how much I love the fact that we’re getting these reports in. Love hearing about the progress of three mule man.

    • Saw him yesterday in Cardiff. They were headed north along the railroad tracks. He smiled and waved. I believe he was reading something on a smartphone.

  13. I saw him yesterday, Nov. 13th, in Santee, CA at the crosswalk on Mast Blvd by the Circle K. Had to make a U turn so my granddaughter and I could get a better look! Awesome!
    Then my husband called to tell me he saw them in the sand pits between Lakeside and Santee this morning heading back toward Santee. They look so cool I wish they would stay in this area forever!

  14. Just saw him at Waring Rd. and Greenbrier in Allied Gardens. Went back in house for a minute, came back out and he was gone. Saw him a couple weeks ago coming up Waring near 8 also.

  15. He stoped and talked with me for about 15 minutes in Santee by Santana High School on Nov 22. He is a trip to talk to, half nuts, half crusader for getting back to nature, stopping industrialization and genetically altered food. He told me he has had one of those mules for 27 years and is going nowhere and is a place in his own right wherever he is. He has walked through AZ, NM also.

  16. Chatted with him yesterday in the San Diego riverbed east of Wildcat Canyon. He’s new to this area; been around for a week or so, heading east. He said he’s been moseying down from Washington, much of it along the PCT. We shared stories of the High Sierras and our passion for living next to the earth. We shared a sadness for the disappearing wild places. I told him about the Cuyamcas and Lagunas to the east through this watershed.

  17. I just saw this guy with the Mules today 2:30pm in El Cajon Ca…heading west…wow..The things you see in El Cajon will blow you away..Yesterday I spoke Armando Basile-the man riding his bike around the world.He stop to ask me direction to the San Diego Airport.. What a weekend…with everything going on in the midst of caos guys like this still live life to the fullest and dream real dreams…God speed..

    • Used to go thrift shopping in El Cajon when I was in grad school at UCSD back in the early 90s. When I think of El Cajon I think of the Unarians and their UFO museum.

  18. [email protected]

    Just saw him nov 26 at 4pm in San Diego. So completely random

  19. Coming up La Jolla Parkway today around 1:45pm, I had to stop because there were three mules in my lane ahead of me…I thought I was going insane.

  20. I heard the mules steps first, outside my house, Prospect Ave, La Jolla, just went by and it was such a sight.Took some pictures, it was just a great feeling. It takes you away from the everyday boredom and routine of our dayly lives.
    Loved seeing them. Watched as they keep going down Prospect Ave.
    Good be in your journey and guide you trough.
    Loved the website too. it should be called “3 mules & a man”

  21. Saw them today in Pacific Beach in San Diego the site was close to holy. I was driving and had to stop my car and get out to see this beautiful site.

  22. I just passed them at 7:50am as I drove in to work up on Torrey Pines Rd. The 3 Mules were heading north down the hill towards Torrey Pines State Beach. Watch for them along the north coast (Del Mar/Solana Beach) today!

  23. Pingback: 3 Mules at Torrey Pines « Trees & Flowers & Birds!

  24. I saw them yesterday walking on Coast Highway in Solana Beach. I was completely taken aback and am so happy to read about others having seen them. It made my day!

  25. I saw them yesterday walking on 101 by the Cardiff reef parking lot….
    going north…what a sight! Something I’ve never seen around here:)

    • 12:30 pm. They are in Encinitas on D street tied up to a fence by the Library. No man around maybe he’s in the Libary. They look tired. Cool to have seen.
      Carol

    • Let me know where and when you see John and his mules. I’d like to meet him and get the scoop on his journey. I’m sure he must have some interesting stories to tell.

  26. Ran into our 3 mules in Cardiff By The Sea,I couldn’t believe what I saw and had to pull over and talk….mules were grazing by the railroad tracks,stubborn animals as he would tell me,one actually protect the owner from the others….Nice Guy…………

  27. I actually had a conversation with John we talked for an hour or so,though it took some prodding ,he finally opened up abit……he actually got a ticket for camping .from the State Park Ranger……he has to appear in court to appeal,picture him showing up in court downtown with the mules…..where’s the hitching post around these parts?…..such injustice ……really,the guy is sooo harmless ,I gave him my card and said I would take him down there and he told me he didn’t ride in cars…………………….

  28. Naturally, I was shocked to see this man and his animals on El Camino Real in Carlsbad. Had to stop for a short video to share with my friends. What an amazing journey he is on. God bless him —and keep him safe..

  29. Just saw them in Carlsbad today! My mom and I grew up with ponies and horses. Our question, does anyone know how he feeds these mules?! Our guess is they can graze…. But there are zoning laws and such! Any insight?! Such a cool sight to see though!

  30. Just asked him if he needed anything for his journey at target off el Camino real in Oceanside. After the security kicked him out..
    ( he said I’m good) and walked back over to the 3 guys cleaned up there droppings and headed north on el Camino real.@4:20.. No pun intended

  31. Just spotted them on oceanside blvd headed east. It appered they where being harassed by the local COPS again let them be they dont ask for anything just free rome!!!

  32. Just saw them 2 days ago Monday 12/3 walking down Oceanside blvd and the 5 being harrased by Oceanside PD and again today in fallbrook on mission avenue.

  33. Saw them today inSan Clemente at Pico & La Pata. Went to 3mules.com, read the statement …. It’s beautiful, enjoying the earth, the light and just being. Sad for me, I thought it would be “reason” … But I was wrong and I wish him and the mules many safe miles

    • Watched the 3 mules (and John) heading west on Pico in San Clemente yesterday (12/9) and again today (12/10) heading east on Vista Hermosa by the Sports Park. Good luck to him! He needs to get back on the PCT (or the Colorado Trail or Arizona Trail).

  34. Saw the man yesterday (the 10th)and his mules grazing in a field on the way to work (La Pata in Talega neighborhood, San Clemente). I just happened to see him out of the corner of my eye – seemed so “out of place,” yet “Wow!” Today (12/11/12) I saw him again walking with the mules up north on PCH near Golden Lantern. Amazing – reminds me of John Steinbeck’s book, Travels with Charlie. I miss camping…..

  35. I saw them this morning in Dana Point. Due to the traffic situation, I was unable to stop and chat.My husband asked why a person would have a horse instead of a mule. My answer was totally superficial, I said horses are prettier. That was all I could come up with.

  36. I’m in Dana Point, going to go look for them. Does anyone know if he accepts donations to feed himself and the mules?

    • I saw them in South Laguna Beach at 2:00 pm on Tuesday Dec-11-12 traveling toward North thru the Pacific Coast Hwy.

    • I asked him if he needed anything for his journey, but he said ( I’m good). That was after he got kicked out of target.. I think he would appreciate at least your offer:))))
      Pete

  37. I just saw them on Edinger Ave in Tustin. Wishing him a safe journey and love the message that he is spreading. Beautiful animals!!

  38. Just saw him a hour ago walking on Memory Lane and Bristol in Santa Ana. He took a short cut through the Shell gas station south on Bristol towards 17th street. I was driving home and I saw him and thought what in the world. He looked like he just stepped out of the old west. He had a sign over the back of the mules saying “3 Mules”. I looked it up on line. He has quite a history of walking all over the place with these mules. Very interesting.

  39. Saw the 3 mules today! Sis and I were eating pizza on Harbor Blvd. in Anaheim, across from Disneyland, when we saw the man walk by with those healthy & beautiful mules! It was truly inspiring. I laughed when my sis asked “what’s a mule?” hahaha. It’s great that this man makes this statement and reminds us of simpler times in our busy world. Cheers! :)

  40. I saw him on Lincoln Blvd. today around 3 pm. He was West bound near center street in Anaheim. Was with my kids. Very cool.

  41. The mules stopped at Lakewood Equestrian Center in Long Beach this afternoon. They headed west on Carson. Fun to see!

  42. I saw them today while I was waiting for a light on Woodruff and Carson in Long Beach around 2pm… I wish I would’ve turned around and talked to them! So mysterious!

  43. I wanted to add that I first saw them heading west on Carson as I was biking along the bike path. I couldn’t tell what I was approaching until I slowed down and the mules formed a single file line to let me pass. Beautiful. The next day I was in a car on a the 91 fwy onramp from Atlantic Blvd when I saw them on the LA river bike path that passed below me. I couldn’t believe my eyes; it made me so happy.

  44. We saw him going West on Huntington Drive in San Marino in front of the City Hall/Police Station … All looked very fit …

  45. Saw them walking along the L.A. River on the horse trails in Burbank. He asked how to get to Pasadena, Ca. Perhaps they were in search of the Rose Parade!

  46. It is 1:15 pm on December 29th.
    John and his mules spent last night in a small field adjacent to my backyard in Eagle Rock, his mules tethered to my fence. What a fascinating man, living his truth with gratitude and an elegant faith that requires nothing in return.

    He is a man of few words – my offer of a hot cup of coffee and the time it took to drink it is just about all that transpired between us, yet not much more was needed to sum up his take on life. He seems to have all he needs in life through the magic that results from recognizing and honoring his unique space in the Universe, and abiding in its truth and harmony.

    This simple message is the gift he left with me as he and his mules moved slowly east on Colorado Blvd. toward the Rose Bowl, a mile and a half away. He hopes to position his mules for a portrait in front of one of the floats . . .

    Happy New Year, everyone!

    P.S. John is looking for a kind soul who might help to maintain his website. Just putting it out there to the universe . . .

  47. Hi Eagle Rockin’,

    Thanks for the report. I’d be happy to put him in touch with someone who could maintain his website. Judging from the huge number of comments on this post, his website needs to have a place where people can leave comments and a donation button.

  48. As my kids and I drove west on Hill Drive in Eagle Rock, we saw him going about his travels on December 28 @ 3:54 pm. It was unreal…three mules (not horses as we thought)and a very serious looking man. Now I wish we would have talked to him. Best wishes to him and his mules!

  49. At 11:45 AM Monday, Dec. 31st I saw them them heading west on Del Mar Blvd. towards Lake Ave. three blocks south of Colorado Blvd. where he joined the Rose Parade the next morning. Thought he was going to be an official part of the parade.

    • It would have been great if he’d been a part of the parade. I think his message needs to be heard.

  50. Just saw him and his mules in Glendora, CA on Route 66. He had to shovel up what they left behind, but everyone was fascinated and out there taking pictures with their cell phones.

  51. My wife just saw him walking down Route 66 today in Glendora, heading East. She was really surprised by the sight and texted me the website to take a look. After reading the website and all about people spotting him throughout CA I have to admit it’s really made my day. Unfortunately by the time my wife came back his way, the Glendora PD had began questioning him. Hopefully all they had to offer was “keep moving” which from the stories I’ve read, is just what he enjoys doing!

  52. I saw him in San Dimas Ca. I wondered if there was something I could do to help out, and he was very quiet, but crabby when cash was offered. An officer pulled up and looked like he was gonna give the weary travelers a hard time and probably a hefty ticket. The donkeys looked extremely exhausted.

  53. I first spotted him in South Pasadena on Dec. 23 and learned that he was heading to the Arroyo south of the Rose Bowl to spend the night. I went there the next morning and was able to find him. I’m a documentary filmmaker and asked if I could interview him as I am really intrigued with what he’s doing. Since then I have stayed in touch and filmed a great deal of footage. I start a lot of projects that never evolve into something. This one might be different.

  54. 4 boys and a mom were privileged to view this dedicated man and his companion travelers. He was in Hemet today walking East in the direction of Idyllwild. Is there a place to post the picture my son took?

  55. Spotted the little group in Hemet, California today about 4 pm on east Stetson Ave. and San Jacinto street, heading east.

  56. Saw them this evening on the La Cienega Truck Trail, (part of the California Riding & Hiking Trail) about 2 miles north of Twin Lakes, south of Anza. Headed south to San Diego & doing fine.

  57. I saw the mules a long time ago walking down Hillhurst in Los Feliz. My first reaction was I hope this guy is okay and he is able to care for his animals. I actually did check his website immediately. I am going to follow him on Facebook now. He walked his mules on Eagle Rock Blvd. in the path of the Christmas Eve parade. Photo was him was published on the area paper front page called the BOULEVARD SENTINEL. Awesome!

    • Nice! If you have a copy of the newspaper and can scan it, please let me know. You can send to me or post on Facebook/3Mules. I’d love to show it to him. He’s in Warner Springs right now. Thanks!

  58. Saw John and his String up here in Ramona(San Diego foothills)about 2:00pm. He was grazing his mules alone the roadside of Highland Valley, while watching the mustang heard that occupy a large field there. Even here in “horse country” this isn’t something one sees everyday (unfortunately).Sooo after passing them by, I turned my truck around, got out and visited for a short bit. I looked up this website when I got home and wish now…. I had offered them safe haven for the evening here at our ranch (although being so early, I doubt he would have been ready to “call it a day”)Wishing you a safe journey and much luck along the way.

  59. Wow….we just saw him walking up Archie Moore Rd towards Highway 67 in Ramona.. Quite a sight and a man of few words….we live outside all day everyday..

  60. Wow….we just saw him walking up Archie Moore Rd towards Highway 67 in Ramona.. Quite a sight and a man of few words….we live outside all day everyday..

  61. On a pure whim, I went for a walk around the block after lunch today (~3:00PM) and, there they were! Three Mules (munching on grass) and a Man (checking his map)…and a videographer…and a lawyer.

    Apparently, he’d just been to Municipal Court in San Diego (Clairemont Mesa Dr. in Kearny Mesa) for a ticket he recently received for “Illegal Camping” up in Torrey Pines. The videographer asked me if I thought Johnny Law might’ve been a bit more lenient…I agreed. And yes, he was a man of few words.

    • I don’t understand why law enforcement didn’t give him a break. He wasn’t hurting anyone. It seems that most who see and run into him….smile at the whole thing. And yes Fern, he brought a smile to our face too in December over at Eagle Rock, adjacent to Pasadena.

  62. I saw him 15 minutes ago going south on Ruffin turning east bound on Balboa Ave in San Diego…..it was a sighting that made me smile….something different to end my workday!

  63. Just saw him on H st in Chula Vista Ca !!!! Random ! I’m so intrigued ! Could take a picke happened to fast! Take care of the mules! And Good luck!

    • Just saw him and “his beautiful family” about 4:15pm walking down 1st Ave. past Jst. in Chula Vista, pulled over to give him some money because he looked like he and his family could use it. Asked if it could help his “family” with food or to be reshoed. He softly said every little bit helps. I asked if he needed a warm place to stay for the night. He said they have all they need. I then asked is name. He said “Mule. I’m just one of the mules.” I decided to ask how long he’s had these beautiful babies. He stated he’d had one for almost 29 years and another for 18. I then slipped a little more money to him as he continued his long journey.
      I decided to see if anyone else on online had seen this incredible sight. I am now truely amazed that I was touched, as so many others were, by this moment in time when 2 random spirits crossed… for just that moment leaving an indelible mark I will not forget. That sight …something so simple yet profound on ones soul.

    • Eileen,
      I’ve been filming a documentary with the Mules for the last few months. In Imperial Beach with them now. Really like what you wrote. Would you let me have a short on-camera interview with you?
      Thanks,
      John
      p. s. The Mules’ website is 3mules.com

  64. I first saw this amazing man just north of Salinas, CA, end of August 2012, walking down a busy highway with his three mules. My sister, mom and I had a discussion about who he is and why? Later he showed up in San Luis Obispo, my sister lives nearby and she shared his story with us from the local newspaper. She commented that maybe he would travel down to San Diego, I thought, no way, there’s not good vegetation down here, not like up in central and northern California. Low and behold, here he is, bless his soul. Some people might think he’s crazy, I don’t think he’s crazy. I think he has a great message. I think we could all learn a little from him to make own lives more meaningful.

  65. I saw the man and his mules in Oceanside, Ca today, March 13, 2013. They were heading north on El Camino Real towards Mission Ave. I sat at the red light wondering who they were and where we’re they going. It’s an usual sight to see three mules standing at a stop light waiting to cross the street. After researching the Internet a bit here I am posting about the wonderful sight I saw, the man and his three mules.

    • I spotted him in the southbay are so. Cali. I was with my nephews and we did a u-turn to come around and take a picture! I thought it was awesome!

  66. I saw them walking up San Vicente in Brentwood yesterday (4/1/13) around 5pm. Such a wonderful sight on a busy road during rush hour!

  67. I was taking my daughter to get her hair done around 2 o’clock this afternoon. I was turning right from Roscoe onto Balboa, and we saw him crossing Balboa heading West on Roscoe in Northridge, CA. I was speechless, and wondering why there was a man leading three mules on a city street. I looked up the website when we got home a little while ago. At first I thought it was some birthday party thing, but after looking at the website I realized it’s not. I just pray that he arrives where ever he’s going safely.

  68. He is in Paso Robles. I saw his mules grazing on the lawn on Airport Rd. just north of the airport around noon.

  69. We spotted him along Ave 7 in Madera County, heading towards route 99 south of Fresno. He’s arrived here during a very hot 100 degrees!
    Don’t see three mules and a man every day!

  70. Saw him on nut tree parkway in vacaville today. Called my daughter to look up 3 mules.com for his story . God bless him and his mules.

  71. John and his three beautiful mules are an inspiration. The Irish ‘Travelers’ used to live this life until their freedom was taken away.

    John may claim he’s going nowhere, but he belongs everywhere: in our hearts, in our spirit, in our hopes and ultimately in our desires for a natural world that we can all share.

    God Bless, John. May you and your spirited equine friends travel in safety and change hearts.

  72. As some of you know, I’ve been shooting a documentary for over a year about the man and his 3 mules who live outdoors 24/7 and travel wherever they want to go. Sadly, one of the mules had to be put down. He was a beautiful soul and will be missed by all who came in contact with him. Photos and an account of what happened are posted on the 3 Mules Facebook page.

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