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Mule Days welcomes back an American treasure

May 22, 2013

Bobby Tanner’s 20-Mule Team is comprised of highly trained pack mules lined up in two, 170-foot-long rows of 10, hauling two ore wagons that weigh 7,800 lbs. each, empty. Spectators will have several chances to see the team in action this weekend. File photo

Bobby Tanner and his 20 mules have a marketing whiz and a photograph – taken just a few years before the original mule teams were replaced by a train – to thank for the icon-status of the 20-Mule Team and its connection to Borax, a laundry product that “lifts stains and controls odors.”
But none of that really matters as the romance of the 20-Mule Team and the sight of the 170-foot-long parade of paired mules followed by two ore wagons weighing 7,800 lbs. each, empty, rumbling down Main Street for this year’s Mule Days Parade is an irreplaceable piece of Western history and the grit that eventually built California.
(Read more about the historic 20-Mule Team in the special Mule Days edition of The Inyo Register on Thursday, May 23, 2013.)

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