Life Lessons from a Pack Mule

  • July 19, 2018
  • Posted by Andrea Lielkoks

MCC continues to throw new learning experiences at me, and this last hitch was no exception. My crew just got back from a hitch in the Scapegoat Wilderness near Lincoln, Montana, which we were fortunate enough to be packed into. I’d been around horses and mules before, but never in this kind of setting. I learned the obvious things, like how to properly saddle them and tie on the boxes carrying our gear. However, the unexpected learning came not from the wilderness ranger but from the animals themselves. Here are some takeaways I’d like to share with you.

1. Some days, you just feel like Big Mikey - the oldest, biggest mule who never wants to go to work. And that’s ok. You saddle up anyway and gain a lot in the process of pushing through.
2. Scotty’s are a necessary part of every team (they cause a little trouble, but they keep things entertaining and are good for group morale. Sometimes the unexpected paths they lead you down are serendipitous).
3. Teamwork makes the dream work (you can accomplish much much more working together than apart).
4. Stop and eat the wild plants (or smell the roses, or watch some birds, or soak in the view of those awesome mountains. You won’t regret it).
5. Just put one hoof in front of the other, and soon those steps add up to miles and miles.
6 Don’t be afraid to let your Neigh or Whinny be heard (Ok but maybe when it’s 3 am and you’re right outside my tent you might want to keep it to yourself).
7. Working in the Wilderness is AWESOME.


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