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LAMORINDA: Residents Welcome Return of Mule Man, Note Absence of His Third Mule

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John Sears, aka Mule Man, is back with his two best friends.

Lamorindans unfamiliar with the traveling Life Wanderer we call “Mule Man” gaped and gawped as the live-what-you-preach wrangler made this way through Orinda and Moraga Wednesday. His message hasn’t changed in more than 30 years – say no to sprawl.

Sears, who actually hails from Los Altos, but makes his current home wherever he puts down a bedroll, is a serious man. He’s seriously concerned about mankind’s rush to cover the planet with strip malls and parking lots, and his quiet, clip-clop message is to think that over, folks, before we lose what’s left of this state and other parts of the West.

“I admit it took me by surprise,” said Bob Rodriguez of Concord, passing through Orinda on a delivery mission and stopping to watch Sears and his procession of mules, pared down from his usual three “best friends” to two for unknown reasons. And lest you think Sears’ animals are limited to a life of hard labor carrying his few belongings, they eat before he does and are routinely examined by friendly veterinarians. “I like seeing horses here again.”

More than a year has passed since we last spotted Mr. Sears and his mules. He prefers the roads less travelled and camps in open, public spaces to publicize the need to preserve open space.

Orindan Amanda Ferguson, who snapped a couple of pictures of Mule Man on her way home, said he was placidly snacking on blackberries by the side of the road as she drove past. That, folks, is just the way Sears rolls.

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