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February 09, 2005

Borax 20 Mule Team

I'm sure at one time or other you have probably heard of the 20-mule teams that hauled borax out of Death Valley in the late 1800s and early 1900s. But have you ever seen a real live 20-mule team in action?

When we attended Bishop Mule Days in 2002 and 2003, we got to see Bobby Tanner's borax 20-mule team in action. They are really a sight to behold. Here are several pictures of them and their awesome original borax wagons.




It is really awe inspiring to think about how well this team of 20 mules worked together with their driver with just a very simple system of a jerk-line and voice commands. Here are several great web pages I found that describe in more detail the history of the borax 20-mule teams, and how they navigated the harsh journey into Death Valley and back with wagons full of borax.

The Borax 20-mule team, by Floyd Jury

Borax: The Twenty Mule Team, by U.S. Borax Inc.

The 20-Mule-Team & its Famous Driver Borax Bill, by the Pacific Coast Borax Co.

You might also enjoy visiting the Borax website to learn more about borax and it's history.

And if you ever get a chance to visit the Mojave Desert in Southern California, you ought to visit the Borax Visitors Center and Twenty Mule Team Museum, too!

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at February 9, 2005 06:03 AM