Famous nomad arrested in SLO for camping
June 16, 2014
By KAREN VELIE
Since the 1800s, people have traveled up and down California bedding down alongside their pack mules or horses, but not now, especially not in the city or county of San Luis Obispo.
While working as a landscaper, 66-year-old John Sears began traveling with his mules across the country about 30 years ago, a common sight in some states such as Montana. After Sears retired at 54, he began spending full time on his hobby.
On May 29, San Luis Obispo Police officers arrested Sears after they found him sleeping near the tracks by Woodbridge Street. On his Facebook page, Sears says the police also determined his two mules were homeless.
“The metropolis says the mules are homeless, they don’t live in one of my city’s shisy (sic) buildings and they don’t go from one building to the next in my glitzy, shiny automobile, they are homeless,” Sears wrote on May 31.
Sears, who survives off his meager Social Security income, has a court date on August 14, according to his Facebook page. However, he is attempting to get an extension to November so they he can leave the area and move north were the climate is easier on his mules.
In addition, on Saturday at 11 p.m., a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff deputy woke Sears up and ordered him to move along or be cited.
“Last night, we were woken about 11 p.m. by SLO County Sheriff and told we would be cited under law 647 (e) PC if we did not pack-up and leave in the dark with automobiles blinding our vision with their bright lights and no alternative place to go unless lake Margarita, 10-miles away, is considered an alternative,” Sears said on Facebook. “We will not die for our way of life; we will live for it until we do die whether by accident, stealth, or natural causes.”