Cuervo: Nomad & Mules

While coming out of Salvation Mountain into Niland, California yesterday, my wife and I came upon a character. A disheveled man was leading two mules and a dog toward shade…an abandoned Mexican restaurant’s front porch area. We stopped and conversed with the man, who identified himself as Cuervo. And, ‘Yes you can take my picture for five bucks!”.


My wife snapped away as I talked to Cuervo. He was calm, measured and talkative. He related stories of Mexico, arrests, the transient lifestyle, all the while easily moving about posing and feeding his mules. His dog hid in the shade. It was an interesting enough experience.

CUERVO-Bucky-mules and dog

But, later that day, I wondered if that was a random event with Cuervo or a staged photo op for camera touting tourists coming down out of Salvation Mountain feeling the good vibes of that experience and coming upon Cuervo! Hmmm? What were the odds if I queried ‘Cuervo’ & ‘Niland’.

Well low and behold Cuervo (Craig Kline) does attract a bit of attention (mostly positive) and that was alright. A Nomad with Mules that hustles to survive is a step up from the guys hustling the freeway exits with dogs, etc. in Portland. Perhaps they are just missing the mules, but I am rarely driven to talk to them or photograph them. A difference in circumstances and locale I suppose…all relative. 

Here are a few of Cuervo’s entries: His Facebook page someone created…and a couple more interesting pieces from folks finding Cuervo’s nomadic life interesting  Banderas News & Cuervo Passed Through 

Cuervo-Bucky-Craig Kline-Niland-Nomad-Mules-SwittersB

5 Responses to “Cuervo: Nomad & Mules”

  1. April 13, 2015 at 11:37 PM

    Interesting that his choice of dress is a kilt. Scottish heritage, somewhere, perhaps?

  2. April 13, 2015 at 10:59 AM

    Looks like he is quite a celebrity!🙂

  3. April 13, 2015 at 10:04 AM

    Quite interesting looking character. He is probably the real deal. When we lived in Arizona we ran across several old prospectors that looked quite rough as they led their mules along. They were hunting gold in “Them Thar Hills,” and loved to tell their stories. My husband hunted gold in those hills off and on for years, but never had much luck. Maybe he needed a mule instead of a truck. Ha Ha

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