Mules Teams Meet Spaceship Dreams in Mojave

Virgin Galactic's 21st century FAITH hangar looms in the background as mules -- a key 19th century mode of transportation -- rest at the Mojave Air and Space Port. (Credit: Douglas Messier)
Virgin Galactic’s 21st century FAITH hangar looms in the background as mules — a key 19th century mode of transportation in the desert — rest after a long journey through the Mojave. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

The Old West met the new earlier this week as the Mojave Air and Space Port played host to a team of 100 mules and their wranglers.

Credit: Douglas Messier
Credit: Douglas Messier

The mule team is being taken through the Antelope Valley to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Aquaduct. The group stopped for a rest at the spaceport in midweek, and there was a viewing period for the public on Thursday.

Credit: Douglas Messier
Credit: Douglas Messier

Mules were ubiquitous in the Old West. Mojave was the terminus for the 20 mule teams that would bring borax down from Death Valley for shipment on the railroad.

Cathy Hansen makes friends with a mule. (Credit: Douglas Messier)
Cathy Hansen makes friends with a mule. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Today, Mojave is more famous for the space planes being built in its hangars and tested in its skies than for its mules. But, for a brief period earlier this week, the past and the future met in the High Desert.