On October 18th, 100 mules and people from Eastern Sierra pack stations will gather at the intake of the Los Angeles Aqueduct to begin a 240-mile march to Los Angeles. The event marks the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power aqueduct. This anniversary is met with some cynicism in the Eastern Sierra where DWP has played a heavy hand on water and land matters. The director of the mule event wants to raise awareness of LA’s water source.
Lauren Bon of Metabolic Studio in Lone Pine and Los Angeles and an Annenberg Foundation Trustee favors a reconciliation of LA and the Eastern Sierra. She uses public art and happenings to demonstrate her goals. Department of Water and Power invitations to the start of the mule walk on the 18th say it is “an artist action to connect Los Angeles to its water source.” On the other hand, the mule march will benefit local packers.
Jennifer and Lee Roeser of McGee Pack Station were hired by Lauren Bon and Metabolic Studio to perform the 100 Mule March. Ms. Roeser said all of her mules and some from other local pack stations will join in this event along with staff, equipment, purchases and many services from Inyo County. She told the Inyo Supervisors this week that the event amounts to a real economic gain for the Owens Valley.
The mules and people will assemble at the Roeser’s Eight-Mile Ranch on Friday, October 18th, and then move across the highway to the Aqueduct Intake. They will kick off the event around 10:30am and start the journey at noon. For most of the walk, they will follow alongside the aqueduct but also trailer the mules through a section of the Angeles Forest to Newhall. They will then march down to the LA Cascades where Eastern Sierra water flows into the City. That’s November 5th when LADWP will also hold a ceremony at the cascades.
The mules and people will continue through the San Fernando Valley and finally to Glendale where they have been asked to take part in a Vetereans’ Day Parade. They will lay over at the LA Equestrian Center and finally back home on November 13th.
Roeser said she is honored that the Studio and Lauren Bon entrusted this event to her and her husband. Said Roeser, “As a packer you prepare your whole life for something like this. You can put together your skills and assets for a unique event to celebrate a modern, engineering marvel, aside from political feelings in the Valley.” Roeser also said mules are getting overdue notice.