An Unusual and Interesting Yellowstone Adventure

When you RV in Yellowstone National Park, you sometimes get lucky and have an interesting and unusual adventure.

This happened to me several years ago, and it has become a memory I have treasured ever since that time.


Mule Team in Death Valley
PD US NPS via wikimedia commons 

When Fantasy Becomes Reality

When I was young I used to watch a TV series called "Death Valley Days".  It always began with an advertisement for a cleaning product called Borax. (If you want to watch a sampling from this series, I've provided a link to a DVD for you below.)

To show how "tough" the product was, the ad depicted a team of mules hauling a heavy load across Death Valley.  

As a child, I always fantasized about being part of the old West culture, so I especially enjoyed watching this ad as well as the western themed show that went with it.

Little did I know back then that one day I'd actually get to see a real mule team, but this is what happened one summer when my husband and I took an RV trip to Yellowstone National Park.


(click link to buy)

An Accidental Meeting

My husband is an avid fresh water fisherman who enjoys fishing in wilderness areas whenever possible.

At the time of this story, we were traveling in a slide in camper that was perched on the bed of a large Ford Diesel Super Cab pickup truck.

Since I do not fish, I was going to relax in the camper and maybe read a book or take a nap.

As my husband was preparing his gear for the trek into the woods, I looked out the window and saw something I never expected to see.

There, right in front of me, was a small mule train that had been led into our area by a cowboy on horseback.

A Talk with the Head Cowboy

As I watched, he started to check the packs the mules were carrying.

They were tied together in a line while he was doing this, which was how he was able to control them.

As he was finishing up, my husband went over to talk with the man.  He found out that the cowboy actually was a seasonal employee of Yellowstone Park.

His job was to haul the mule team into the back woods where he would meet a team of men whose job it was to clear pathways through the woods.

He warned my husband that perhaps going back into that area wasn't exactly the wisest thing to do because Grizzly Bears also liked to fish in that area!

What Happened Next

My husband, an experienced woodsman, decided to go back there anyhow.
  • He didn't catch anything but enjoyed his fishing experience,
  • the cowboy climbed on his horse and led the mule team into the woods and
  • I took a nice, long nap!
This was just one of my interesting and unusual adventures this city born girl has had over her years of RVing, and is one of the reasons that she continues to travel into areas that allow her to get the feel of the old West.