Mule Ride on the Rim

Charlie and I headed to the Grand Canyon from Phoenix a couple days ago.

My mule riding gear.
My mule riding gear.

One of our planned activities was a mule ride on the rim. I was afraid they wouldn’t let me ride if they knew I had a broken ankle so I forced my own boot on and tried not to limp.

Charlie and I were issued mandatory water bags which also served as our ticket to ride.
Charlie and I were issued mandatory water bags which also served as our ticket to ride.

After checking in the night before and getting weighed in our clothes to insure neither of us weighed over 225 pounds, we headed to the mule barn by Blue Route bus from Maswik Lodge where we were staying.

Our wrangler, Lily, is mounted in the center of the photo.
Our wrangler, Lily, is mounted in the center of the photo.

At the mule barn we were met by a bus which took us to another mule corral area about 15 minutes away on the eastern rim of the Grand Canyon.

Hoop showed us how to use the motivator (in his hand) on the hind quarters of our mule. I didn't use mine, instead I urged with my legs.
Hoop showed us how to use the motivator (in his hand) on the hind quarters of our mule. I didn’t use mine, instead I urged with my legs.

At the corral Hoop, a mule wrangler and instructor, gave tips and strategies for riding a mule. Each of us was issued with a motivator to encourage our mule forward since we were supposed to follow tail-to-nose the mule in front of us.

Lily helped me mount on to Charlotte.
Lily helped me mount on to Charlotte.

The wranglers helped us mount. I told them I had a gamey right ankle and so would need a mounting block which was a 2-step unit.  Mounting was not difficult but forcing my right foot into the stirrup was uncomfortable.

Charlie and Jo on mules on the Canyon rim. The mules are muzzled at the request of the Park Service to restrain them from eating the wild foliage.
Charlie and Jo on mules on the Canyon rim. The mules are muzzled at the request of the Park Service to restrain them from eating the wild foliage.

We were 7 riders including our wrangler, Lily.  Charlie brought up the rear on Decker and I was just in front of him on a black beauty named Charlotte.

We were above the clouds on the rim of the Grand Canyon.
We were above the clouds on the rim of the Grand Canyon.

We rode along the rim for about 4 miles stopping at planned vistas where we turned our mules to look straight out over the canyon.

Some folks had little control over their mules who took them very close to the edge of the Canyon.
Some folks had little control over their mules who took them very close to the edge of the Canyon.

The views were magnificent.

The expansive vistas looked like a painting.
The expansive vistas looked like a painting.

Charlie had a camera tied around his neck (mandatory) and took pictures each time we stopped.

This trek cured Charlie of his fear of heights just as Hoop, the wrangler, suggested it would.
This trek cured Charlie of his fear of heights just as Hoop, the wrangler, suggested it would.

I don’t do photos much while I’m traveling so I just enjoyed the scenery.

Are you the picture taker in the family?

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Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

10 thoughts on “Mule Ride on the Rim”

    1. Mules are not as difficult to ride as horses would be my estimation. But maybe these are just very well trained because some people had very little control. Jo

  1. Beautiful! I’m so glad you made on the ride – it looks spectacular. No, on our trip my sisters were the picture takers. The only reason I got any pictures was because of my phone. Mt. Rushmore made me take it out of my purse and start snapping.

  2. OMG you are such a bad a$$!!! i can’t believe you forced your broken & swollen foot/ankle/leg into a regular boot and stirriup. holy cow! OUCH! but I guess the views and experience were worth it – amazing! i would love to visit the Canyon some day.

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