Five days on a mule? Really?? When my sister first proposed this trip I was skeptical. I had never ridden a horse or mule before, but it seemed like and adventure and I knew the scenery in the High Sierras would be amazing.When we arrived at the stables they introduced me to my mule, Marilyn Mule-roe. Get it? :-) I later renamed her to Marilyn Munch-roe because she constantly wanted to stop an eat grass!I learned a lot on that trip. First of all you don't really sit in a saddle, you kind of half sit, half stand in your stirrups. This makes it very tiring on your legs since you are basically standing for four to five hours per day. But if you put all your weight in the saddle it would be too jarring.Also, you actually do have to tell the mule where to go. It is not that they don't know, but they get easily distracted by grass. And not just grass -- they will eat leaves, pine needles, the tops of small trees. We also would feed them parts of our lunches and left over pancakes from breakfast. It was actually very fun -- though at times frustrating -- keeping our mules focused on going to our destination.I also learned that you as the rider need to anticipate what is coming ahead. If there is a drop -- even a small step -- you have to be prepared to lean back so you don't get thrown over the front of the mule. And when they are climbing, which is very exciting and which we did a lot of, you need to lean forward and let the mule find its way.It was an amazing experience and I would gladly do it again!
The beginning of our journey was at the stable at Tuolumne meadows. If you don't want to commit to five days they also have half-day scenic rides.