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

Browsing Archive: September, 2009


Posted by Teri Freeman on Wednesday, September 30, 2009,
 Dakotah & Teri in Sturgis, SD.

Check out - click on "Trails End".

Yesterday was a terrible day for Dakotah - wind blowing so hard, it blew him into another time zone. How bad was the wind? Blew rocks and debris at the horses so hard that they bolted and took off down the road.  Ron was a little shook up last night.  Today has been an easy pull and when I talked to him a few minutes ago, he was hiding behind a grain elevator out of the wind.  He is half way to Vivian ...
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Posted by Teri Freeman on Tuesday, September 29, 2009,
 As I was talking to Ron last night, he said he could hear music coming from this little 1800's town close by.  The town was originally built as a movie set and the horse Kevin Costner road in Dances with Wolves (Buck) lived there until he died in 2008 at age 33.  Ron has received alot of visitors from the town and has enjoyed it thoroughly.  He's on the move again today.  Looks like he has to do some interstate traveling today, so look out for him and pass with care.

Please check out www.mysp...
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Posted by Teri Freeman on Sunday, September 27, 2009,
 After getting run out of Phillip, SD, Ron is resting comfortably  in Kadoka on I 90, and enjoying old friends. Went on a mule round up yesterday for Harold Schnee (please excuse me Harold if that's not the right spelling) and a horse sale with Jeff. The people in Kadoka are good folks. He is taking Sunday off and then will be on his way.

Picture at the top is courtesy of The Black Hills Review.

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Posted by Teri Freeman on Friday, September 25, 2009,
 This is a picture I took when I was at the wagon in Sturgis.

Well, once again Ron meets with unfriendly authorities and has been run out of Phillip.  Ron is really surprised this time. Complaints about the horses in the ditch - worries of them running on to the road. However, on an up note, Ron got to spend time with a childhood friend Sonny and talk over old times. Ron is now going up the road to Midland, SD and let the horses rest there.

Ron needs to get to Plankinton, SD by 9/15 in order to...
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Posted by Teri Freeman on Wednesday, September 23, 2009,
  "Blue Horse" - Broadus, Montana

Ron is on Highway 73 headed towards Phillip, SD. Other than a few steep pulls out of the Cheyenne River, and some cold weather, he's had a pretty easy time of it. The horses are good except for temper tantrums by Yuma and Monty.  Ron says howdy to all nice people he's met in the last few days.  If anyone takes pics of the wagon, please forward them to

Giddy up!
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Posted by Teri Freeman on Sunday, September 20, 2009,

Here's a picture I took of Dakotah when I was in Sturgis, just relaxing after a harrowing experience with the wagon wreck. Today, he says the weather is perfect and some kind soul gave him a shortcut around the Cheyenne River pull, so he's really in a good mood. He's headed for Howes where he thinks he can find water. For those folks out there who took pictures today, please send them via email to STETSON@3RIVERS.NET . Everybody else out there, give Ron a howdy as you go by and if anyone has ...
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Posted by Teri Freeman on Saturday, September 19, 2009,
 Photo courtesy of Rod Argello.

Hi Teri,
      My name is Rod.  I just spent the past 20 minutes looking at your website. I do believe it is one of the most rewarding and down to earth sites I've ever visited online. I have to tell you the story on how I happened to find out about it.
      First let me say I am have a small construction company in New Underwood, South Dakota,,, a small town of about 450 people. This explains the "why's and how's" of the rest of the story. Ye...

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Posted by Teri Freeman on Friday, September 18, 2009,
 Ron left Sturgis yesterday and is headed to Union Center on Hwy 34. The picture you see is just some of the damage done to Ron's wagon in Sturgis.  After spending two days to Ron, I don't see any damage except that he has no more awning.  The wagon is stronger than ever thanks to the good people of Sturgis.  He has had quite a set back though having to take 6 days off to heal his horses. I saw JR limping a bit, but according to Ron, the horses are now in good shape.  This morning is wonderfu...
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Posted by Teri Freeman on Saturday, September 12, 2009,
  Dakotah is smiling today! He was parked on the northeast corner of the VA and got evicted. After a short scout, he found a nice grassy spot with trees which is even better.

Kolton Kissinger, the welder that worked on Ron's wagon gratis, called to tell me how much the kids at his wife's preschool enjoyed Ron's visit and to tell Ron for him.

As usual, he's having problems with the VA, but hopefully it will get worked out.  JR's leg is swollen and he desperately needs to rest.  If anyone else g...
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Posted by Teri Freeman on Thursday, September 10, 2009,
 This is most likely Ron's look when he saw the wreck! Dang horses!  Well the folks of Sturgis are awesome! A whole crew came together to fix Ron's wagon and after a hard day's work by all, the wagon is better than ever!  There is now a toggle switch on the brakes so there will be no more "joy rides".  The welder who worked so hard would not accept any pay, except a firm handshake and a promise from Ron that he would stop by the preschool on the way out of town and give the kids a wagon tour....
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Posted by Teri Freeman on Wednesday, September 9, 2009,
    This picture of the wagon is courtesy of   If you would like to hear the audio, email me at address below. Dakotah seems to be dealing with a bad situation well. Looks like the porch is gone and I guess he's going to be doing house work for a while. I'd like to know which horse decided to go on a joy ride!  I guess the frame of the wagon is tweaked and much repair is needed.  The folks in Sturgis have been fantastic in helping this cowboy out - thank you!  By the way, th...
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Posted by Teri Freeman on Tuesday, September 8, 2009,
I just got off the phone with Ron and he's pretty shaken up.  Apparently, while he was in the feed store in Sturgis, the horses took off with the wagon and the only thing that stopped them was a huge sign.  The horses went down. JR has a chunk of wither's missing and the horses are so freaked, it's hard to get near them.  The wagon is in pretty bad shape, tounge broken, porch gone and alot of other damage.  It seems the sign was worth $3,000 and Ron is probably liable. The nice man in Sturgis...
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Posted by Teri Freeman on Tuesday, September 8, 2009,
 Ron is headed to Sturgis! This ought to be interesting!  He camped right outside of Whitewood, SD last night.  He was in great mood.  Good camp and Uncle Jim came and delivered sweets & goodies from his Aunt.  A beautiful Swedish girl stopped by and then came back with more sweets for him - he's going into sugarland!  Finally, a day without shoeing.  One of Ron's myspace friends has offered him a place in Box Elder - I'll tell Ron as soon as he calls. Mailed his second care package today - c...
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Posted by Teri Freeman on Saturday, September 5, 2009,
Photo courtesty of

Talked to Ron last night and he is finally in Belle Fourche with cell service.  He broke wagon policy when he took off from Alzada in the fog - all went well. Every since he left Crow Agency, he's had to "pull a pass or a divide".  His cell is in and out - very frustrating. He's still fighting the heat and the bugs. Monday, he's anxious to get off towards Sturgis and then on to Fort Mead to the VA hospital. He got a big welcome in Belle Fourche and...
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Posted by Teri Freeman on Thursday, September 3, 2009,
 STONEVILLE SALOON, ALZADA, MONTANA.  Dakotah called me from a bar in Alzada yesterday afternoon - I am assuming it was this bar - perfect for Dakotah don't you think? He's been out of cell range for 2 days and I only got to talk to him for a minute and he was not in a good mood - flat tires on his pick-up (bicycle) and flat tires on his horses.  He told me he was over it and can't wait to get to South Dakota. He was camped out in the Alzada Fairgrounds.  Ara caught up with him yesterday afte...
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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