COWBOY CRAIG'S "OREO" Isn't he magnificent! 

Browsing Archive: November, 2009


Posted by Teri Freeman on Friday, November 27, 2009,
Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving - I know we did! Dakotah gets pretty excited about the holidays and all the sweets and goodies that go along with it!  He's working it off today by cutting up all that wood (that's me watching).  We've been waiting for the wind to quit for days and no end in sight!  Sometimes I think Dakotah is sorry he's not in balmy Texas, but this is better than South Dakota, I'm sure.  All, in all, he's keeping busy, no end of chores on our tiny farm.  I'm going to try...
Continue reading ...


Posted by Teri Freeman on Thursday, November 19, 2009,
Yesterday the wind died down, so we took the opportunity to take the wagon out and test the lights.  They went on for a split second and then the transformer died - got to work on that and xmas music off a new transformer. Trotted down Main Street to everyone's delight and slowed down the semi truck traffic. Dakotah is still a long way from getting the wagon gutted so we can restore it.  He's having a good time and settling in to domesticity and putting on a few pounds~

Happy trails!
Continue reading ...


Posted by Teri Freeman on Saturday, November 14, 2009,

Dakotah is coping with the first snow of the season! Between doctoring my horse, fixing the chicken coop, gutting his wagon, changing out wood stoves and now shoveling porches, Dakotah is busy!  He spent part of the day putting lights on the hay wagon which we are going to use to haul people - it's going to be a long, but fun winter!
Continue reading ...


Posted by Teri Freeman on Wednesday, November 11, 2009,
 Sunday, Dakotah and I took the day off and had breakfast in historic Virginia City, Montana. The weather was absolutely gorgeous there, considering that the wind  was howling in Ennis. Had a beer at the famous Pioneer Bar and met some colorful locals!  We've been busy changing out wood stoves - Dakotah finally made the commitment and took his wood stove out of the wagon and brought her into the house. It's been so toasty since, but the wagon is cold and lonely, but that's OK - we are going t...
Continue reading ...


Posted by Teri Freeman on Saturday, November 7, 2009,
 Ron spent hours riding Yuma (above), JR and Contina - everyone did well and I can't wait to ride Yuma, when he's ready.  Dakotah is thrilled to be riding again and I have to tell you, watching him is a treat - he is quite the horseman!

Check out the "Images" section of this site for more pics of Ron doing chores at the Rusty Cowboy!
Continue reading ...


Posted by Teri Freeman on Friday, November 6, 2009,
 Dakotah back on the road again, shy 4,000 lbs. The horses are enjoying the easy load thanks to Billy Clark who loaned us the people hauler. What people fail to realize is, horses like us, are much happier with a job.  The weather has been great except for the wind...more wind than I would like. More like South Dakota!

We have been invited to participate with the wagon in the Christmas Stroll and will be hauling people up and down Main Street with the wagon. We took a test drive with JR and Mo...
Continue reading ...





Brett Thomas-DeJongh
Big Horn County News

There’s a great scene in the 1939 John Ford movie Stagecoach, where the infamous Ringo Kid, played by John Wayne, offers his awkward version of a proposal to Dallas, an independent, brave and fetching woman.

Handier with a six-shooter than with words, the Ringo Kid tells Dallas, played by Claire Trevor, “… well, maybe I'm takin' a lot for granted, but... I watched you with that baby - that other woman's baby. You looked... well, well I still got a ranch across the border.

There's a nice place - a real nice place... trees... grass... water. There's a cabin half built. A man could live there... and a woman. Will you go?”

The Ringo Kid is a “trees… grass… water” kind of guy. In his frontier world, those are the things a man and a woman need to make a life together. And John Wayne makes you believe it. The movie makes you believe it.

If there’s anyone around these days who is living his life with this set of necessities, he calls himself Ron Dakotah, and he travels the highways and byways of the West aboard a nearly two-ton sheep wagon pulled by four horses.

A slight man in his late sixties, Ron “Dakotah” McGilvery has been on the road for 26 years, he says, and there are indications he may be looking to settle down. For now though, he’s on the road. “I been out 26 years,” he said, “And as long as I can shoe the horses, that’s the important thing.”

He rolled into Hardin Thursday and stayed for a few days at the home of Mike Martinsen, where the Big Horn County News caught up with him.

Logistically speaking, he says his chief concern is keeping his horses fed and watered. Each horse gets a gallon of oats in the morning, and one at night. He buys alfalfa and hay as he goes, and the horses graze when he camps for the night, often not far from the highway. “Most of my camps are in a ditch by the side of the road,” said McGilvery.

Whether he’s camped by the side of the road or on the land of someone he’s met on the road, he strings up a generator-powered electric fence that keeps the horses from wandering off.

His makeshift camps and slow-moving vehicle have landed him in trouble with the law on many occasions. He says he’ll never go back to California because of the way he’s been treated by law enforcement there. “I think it was so unusual,” McGilvery said. “People just couldn’t deal with it.”

He says he follows the law wherever he goes, and that law enforcement in Montana has been helpful. Ouside of Reedpoint, he was stopped by a Montana Highway Patrol officer who he says told him, “I want you to know you are completely legal and there’s no problem. I’m just making sure you are alright.”

This is the attitude that greets him most of the time, and it’s what sustains him. McGilvery is upfront about the fact that he lives by the kindness of strangers who may feed him or give him water for himself and the horses. “The best thing about this is the people I meet,” he said.

He’s says he’s not sure why people respond so well to him. “There’s something about a horse and wagon,” said McGilvery. “It’s not a scam. It’s real life.”

One person who has responded especially well to Ron “Dakotah” McGilvery is Teri Freeman, a woman who runs what she calls “a cowboy store” in Ennis, Mont.

She recently met McGilvery when he was passing through Ennis and her roommate told her she should check out this guy in a sheep wagon. “He’s handsome, he’s got horses, and he’s headed to Texas,” Freeman recalled the roommate saying.

“He said he needed a place for him and his horses, and I have some land.” Freeman said. So he camped at her place, and the two hit it off. “We got to be really good friends,” said Freeman. “Maybe more than that.”

Actually, it’s a good bet that it’s more than that, because not two minutes after saying they might be more than friends, Freeman said, “Nobody has ever touched my soul the way he has, and I’m sixty years old.”

Freeman keeps in contact via cell phone with McGilvery and has set up a Web site, located at, to chronicle his travels. Freeman, who hopes to meet him in Texas this winter, said she’s trying to convince him to settle down in the town of Bandero. “That’s the cowboy capital of the world – they’d love him there.”

For his part, McGilvery, who has been married three times, seems equally smitten with Freeman. “I fell in love with her as soon as I saw her,” he said. She’s kind of a horse gal.”

And for a horse guy like McGilvery who doesn’t need much to get by, that might be enough to build on. Now they just need to find some “grass… trees… water…”


Ron Dakotah in his fringe on the front porch of the Rusty Cowboy

Ron Dakotah pouring a cup of joe in his wagon