Yellowstone Mule Team Adventure

When I was young I used to watch a TV series called "Death Valley Days"  that started with an advertisement for 20 mule team Borax.  As part of the ad, it showed a mule team slogging through the dessert.


I never gave it much thought until many years later when my husband and I were visiting Yellowstone National Park.

A Real Life Mule Team!

My husband is an avid fresh water fisherman but he likes to go into the back woods to fish 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:  an actual mule train!

Yellowstone Cowboys

A Talk With the Head Cowboy

A cowboy was unloading the mules and lining them up right outside of my window.

It was fascinating to see him load those mules because they were already tied together in a line while he was doing this.

As he was finishing up, my husband went over to talk with the man and found out he 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

However, my husband went back there anyhow, had some fun fishing and eventually returned in one piece.

The cowboy climbed on his horse and led the mule team into the woods, and me? 

I took a nice, long nap!

20 Mule Team History