It’s 3:30 in the morning and Kate Kahla unlatches a horse trailer’s door, triggering the start of another workday. She’s been awake for hours though, preparing: loading mules, horses, pack-bags, and driving miles to a dirt road’s abrupt end amongst scrubby cactus, gnarly trees, and bursage. With clangs, rattles, and “whoa there’s,” Kahla unloads and tacks up animals, continuing nearly a century’s tradition of mule packing in our National Parks. She and her husband Sid, own Elgin’s Walking S Ranch, a working cattle ranch, and supply a valued commodity to the National Park Service. They lead packed mule strings into the rugged backcountry of southern Arizona’s Saguaro National Park, Organ Pipe National Monument, and Chiricahua National Monument, and New Mexico’s Bandelier National Monument. For more, click download button above!


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