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Wapaloosie73

The big hitch

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Wow! That’s Cool! :D:D:D

 

Thanks Wapaloosie. :)

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You bet!

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Porbably an extra measure of control on main street.

 

But them ore carts dont have a seat for the teamster. So somebody had to be leading those mules.

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Whole lotta time to rig that for the parade.

Great video :excl:

OLG

 

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Instead of a wooden tongue, a chain is used. In a turn the inboard wheel mules are forced to jump the chain.

 

Quite the process as 20 mules are quite long.

 

 

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Never seen that before, thanks for sharing.

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... you could take everything I know about runnin' a hitch, tamp it down in a sewin' thimble and have room enough to dump in a quart of whiskey on top ...

Posts like this are appreciated ... I'm listening with both eyes and paying close mind to every last comment!

I learned long ago to appreciate the voice of experience, especially when comments on this-yere Saloon generally come from folks who are younger, smarter and better lookin' than me (not necessarily in that order!)

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9 hours ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

I don’t think Death Valley Days showed extra riders on the mules. Is that what they do ?

What looks like riders on the mules are actually horseback riders beside and behind the mules.  I am a bit surprised that there is no rider on the nigh (near or left) wheeler mule.  Unless they are using a horseback rider ahead of the nigh leader, who guides them somehow.  Charlie Russell painted a "jerk line" wagon, with horses.  It is hard to tell from the painting, but it appears there is a rider on the nigh wheeler, who controls the jerk line.  A pull on the line gets the team to turn one direction (left, maybe), and the crack of the whip gets the leaders to swing right...or visa versa.  There does appear to be a man standing on a step on the wagon, and there is an empty saddle on the nigh wheeler.  I'll have to switch to Google to get the video to work.  OK, it appears that the rider on the left side of the leaders has the jerk line in his hand.  The rider on the left side appears to have a pole of some kind that he uses to signal the leaders to turn right.  The whole thing is fascinating!

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That is incredible!! Thanks for posting.

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3 hours ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

Always 20?  Never 22 or 18?

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-mule_team

 

Its a thing.

 

Each wagon carried 10 tons or 20,000 lbs. So a 6 wagon load would be 120,000 lbs of ore not counting the wagons and tack.

 

A modern US semi (5 axles) is 80,000 lbs gross with a payload of around 48,000 lbs.

 

So it would take roughly 2 1/2 semis to haul the same load as a 20 mule team!

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Im a mule skinner but not a teamster. I pack mules in the mountains. I would love tho to get into driving.

 

Mules can be very hard headed and require extra persuasion from a horse.

 

But I had a Molly (Female) one time that was more light and nimble than a horse.

 

I was packing into the Bob Marshall one time up by Danaher meadows with my daughters. I was packing the string of two mules. I was riding a knot head mare. She spooked and went to bucking and kicking down the trail. The piggin string broke (as it should) between the Molly and the John mule in the rear. But Mary Lou? She tip toed right along side me and I swear she pushed me back into the saddle a couple of times. Her lead rope never got taunt. She could have ripped me right out of the saddle.

 

I had to put her down when she was 32 years old. Hardest thing I ever did.

 

I bought her and the John mule called Benny from the Busted Ass Ranch sale in Arlee, Mt. Those two mules taught me more about packing than anybody or anything in my life.

 

And unlike Mary Lou? Benny? There were not enough rocks in the world..... his transfer case was permanently stuck in low range.

 

But they both would stand in a gut pile dead quiet and wait for you to load elk quarters on em!

 

You could train young mules by tying em behind Mary Lou. When they tried to pass her on either side she would pick a foot up and warn them to get back in line. This is while she is walking down the trail loaded. If they did not heed the warning she would put a well placed double aught shoe right on the end of the nose. Ending the threat of a pile up.

 

She was amazing and I miss her so much!

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Good stuff, right there. Thanks.

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The replacement:  

 

 

How wheels are made.

 

 

 

A year or so ago I had posted a video of a mule team making a left turn on some roads around Bishop, CA.  Called jumping the chain "dance of the mules."

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That was cool. Seems those things would have a high center of gravity and be prone to tipping when loaded. What did they do to prevent that in the days before graded roads?

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39 minutes ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

That was cool. Seems those things would have a high center of gravity and be prone to tipping when loaded. What did they do to prevent that in the days before graded roads?

 

Ive thought that too. Im sure that outfit was not just bombing out through the puckerbrush.

 

But I do know the grader at one time was horse drawn. At would have been possible to maintain a road.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

A year or so ago I had posted a video of a mule team making a left turn on some roads around Bishop, CA.  Called jumping the chain "dance of the mules."

 

Every Memorial Day, Bishop Ca celebrates Mule Days.  Back when I was stationed at China Lake we made it a point to attend. The years I went they had a 20 Mule team hitch in the parade. They had to make a left turn off US395 onto Sierra Street on their way to the Fair Grounds.  Very impressive to watch them Jump the Chain so that the wagons can make the turn.

 

Also impressive is the Pack scramble. Some exceptionally trained animals.

 

 

 

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Saw one up at Bishop in 1981.  Had sixteen mules and four wagons including a water wagon.  Very interesting, but I was disappointed at not having a full twenty mules.

 

Tom "Muley" Mosley had one of the gentlest lady mules I ever saw.  She was gorgeous and as tame as a kitten, but she was willful.

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