Updated: Oct 24, 2020
Now you know that your adventure guides are going to keep you safe every step of your exciting day, but that goal started long before you arrived! It started with picking out the very best stock at the sale that we could train to safely carry our guests on their adventure.
One of our favorite annual sales is Jake Clark's Mule Days.
If you have never been to a Mule Sale this is one you cannot miss. When you’re out on the trail you want to know you have the best stock behind you and there aren’t many people who can guarantee you’ll get just that. Being in the business since 1978 the Clark family knew all about this problem and so began the annual Father’s Day Mule Auction in Ralston, Wyoming.
From when I was very young I can still remember this being one of my favorite times of the year from the vendors, rodeo, and music to the auction itself where I would try to impress my Dad and Grandpa by picking out the best mules.
When I got older, helping out with Mule Days became my first job. There I officially learned how to keep score for the different rodeo events, drive a 4-wheeler and cook for about 20 people two to three times a day!
Needless to say, this is another one of my homes away from home so I thought I would share it with you.
Now you might be thinking, I’ve only ever dealt with horses why would I want to deal with one of these tall donkey looking things?
Cool fact number one: mules have an extra vertebra so they have a smoother gait than horses do, making them a more comfortable ride for both people and cargo.
Cool fact number two: mules are more surefooted than horses making them especially valuable on steep and windy mountain trails. That is why you want a mule or a whole string of them at your back.
There are many other amazing things about these gentle giants that you will want to get to know. Until then you can see from how much those in the business are willing to spend on one of these guys just how precious they are; the highest selling mule in 2017 went for $28,500! Why would anyone be willing to make that kind of investment in one animal?
Part of it is because of the events leading up to the auction.
First there are stringent requirements to be able to sell a mule there at all.
Second, there are the roping and barrel racing competitions that go from Wednesday to Friday, then the mounted shooting competition, and most importantly the Ranch Mule Competition.
Before you spend a dime you can see exactly what the mule you want to bid on is capable of in the everyday tasks you’ll need him for and then some. There is even a parade Saturday morning to celebrate all the hard work everyone has been putting in before going into the final competition prior to the sale. That afternoon there is a rodeo followed by a BBQ dinner and barn dance.
You can probably see why this was one of my favorite times of year growing up and why it remains one today. With so many things to do and see it’s hard for anyone to be bored. Plus it’s the perfect way for us in the Wild West to come together and celebrate our favorite cowboys of all, our Dads.
If you’re interested in going to buy or sell and need more information here is a link to the Mule Days Website: Mule Days
*pictures provided by Kay Clark
Thank you, fellow adventurers! You can follow the lilmissbearpaw blog page on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @lilmissbearpaw for sneak peeks into upcoming posts and my adventures. This will also be a great place to share your own adventures!