100 Mules Off to Good Start
By Charles James
If one person can be “stubborn as a mule”, how stubborn could 100 mules be? If you were the least bit curious, you might have found out on Friday at the L.A. Aqueduct Intake in Aberdeen. That would be if you could find it! There was considerable confusion over exactly where the event was kicking off, with many people confusing the Intake with Aberdeen Station.
A plaque ceremony at the Intake was followed by a 12:30 p.m. departure of 100 mules managed by Roesers of McGee Creek Pack Station recruited by artist Lauren Bon of Metabolic Studio to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the L.A. Aqueduct, which first opened in 1913. On hand were a number of dignitaries, including Inyo County Supervisors Linda Arcularius, Mark Tillemans, and Matt Kingsley. Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Doane Lui sitting atop his mule was also traveling south with the group.
Also on hand was Jim Yannotta, Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Aqueduct. According to a spokeswoman for Bonn, “The DWP could not have been more cooperative. Lauren feels that they genuinely pulled out all the stops to help us make this presentation a success.” Use of the mules to symbolize the 100th Anniversary of the Aqueduct was a natural choice. Without the hundreds of mules used to build the aqueduct, it is unlikely it would have ever been built. Stubbornness has also been a common hallmark of the relationship between valley residents and LADWP.
Traveling all the way to Los Angeles took some serious effort, involving some serious logistics. To feed and water mules and people alone would have been a challenge, but getting all of the approvals from government agencies and private land owners to traverse the 240-‐mile trip for 27 days along the L.A. Aqueduct was a considerable achievement all on its own. Bon hopes the performance will remind Los Angeles residents that they have been receiving water from the Owens Valley for 100 years. Interested readers can follow the 100 Mules Walking the Los Angeles Aqueduct performance’s progress at a special Facebook online site https://www.facebook.com/OneHundredMulesWalkingtheLosAngelesAqueduct.