Walker's Wild Ride
monday April 18, 2005
By Nancy J. Bringhurst
Welcome to As It Was: Tales from the State of Jefferson
Here's one that might even baffle the folks at C-S-I: Gordon Jesse Walker spent 31 years mule skinning in the Rogue Valley, packing government mules to deliver supplies to fire lookouts and construction and maintenance crews working in remote areas.
He had his share of adventures, but none as mysterious as the day in1979 when he headed to McKie [mah-KEY] in the Sky Lakes region.
From the start, his animals were nervous, and by the time they reached the shelter, they were so agitated that Walker could barely unpack them. A cold, spooky shiver ran down his spine.
It was well-founded, for just then a powerful and painful blow hit his shoulder. His arm suddenly went numb and he couldn't move his shoulder at all. There was no one, no sound, nothing in sight. It was difficult to finish unpacking the panicked mules with one arm while trying to calm his terrified horse, but he wanted out of there quickly.
It took a month for his animals to calm down, and even longer for Walker to heal what an
X-ray revealed to be a bone displacement and a badly bruised muscle. But nothing ever explained how he got the injuries or why.
Today's episode of As It Was was written by Nancy J. Bringhurst, the program engineer is Raymond Scully. I'm Shirley Patton. As It was is a co-production of JPR and the Southern Oregon Historical Society. To Share stories or learn more about the series visit asitwas - dot- org
"Gordon Jesse Walker," Water Witching Mule Skinner by Nancy J.
Bringhurst, Southern Oregon Heritage, Vol.3, No.3, 1998