That's one thing about getting a used mule, you just never know what talents may be lurking that you hadn't bargained on. Tobe was too slow to really turn and burn those steers, but he had a beady eye and they definitely knew he was coming for them.
And where did we do this?
On a lovely return visit to the V6 Ranch in Parkfield, CA with Las Caballeras.
Parkfield, which consists of a cafe, an inn, a school and a volunteer fire station
A place where the town population is 18, and the kids presumably ride horses to the tiny grammar school.
This horse skeleton is in the playground, a marvelous way to teach kids first-hand the anatomy of the animals they and their families depend on for their livelihoods.
As shown on the map at the heading of the post, there were 3 different rides while we were there.
On 4/15/16 we did 7 miles in 2.5 hours
then later went back out and did 3.5 miles in 2 hours
on 4/16 we did 11 miles in 4 hours.
Climbing up and down hills with a large group of people there is just no guesstimating how long a ride will be.
I was excited to see the ranch so green. When I came up last year it was burnt brown, but this year it still retained the lush look of winter.
“Nobody run off with her,” Roscoe said. "She just run off with herself, I guess.” - Larry McMurtry
This is John and Barb Varian, in the back of their restaurant, with the gift I brought them.
But I am not here for an earthquake, I'm here to move my mule to move some cows!
In the top photo Cowboy Boy waits on Ananda with the side while Tobe and I gait over to the steer and tell it to get going. In the second shot Cowgirl Linda and Skip are seriously flying to cut off the steer while Tobe is intent on bending it to his will.
I hate to admit that horses CAN do some things better than a mule, but in this case a gaited mule gliding around an arena was simply no match for a quarter horse with real cow sense.
A lovely time was had by all.
And maybe, just maybe, this has awakened in Tobe an ambition for cow working ranch life. For now it was a vacation for us both, a glimpse of how the timeless activities on a ranch go on as they have for generations.
See you on the next trail!