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

Browsing Archive: July, 2010


Posted by Teri Freeman on Thursday, July 15, 2010,
The Rusty Cowboy chickens Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane know when it's lunch time and they ultimately find us and basically take the food out of your mouth - literally!  Can you believe they are babies!

 The Rusty Cowboy Cowgirl trailer, along with the willow wagon are both on - Check out the progress on the trailer!

  Ron put canvas on the ceiling and I am painting the walls faux wood.  Little by little, we are making progress.  Check back for pics of Ron's new invention - t...
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Posted by Teri Freeman on Wednesday, July 14, 2010,
 Dakotah and Rick "Hawk" Hurst coming into the driveway of the Rusty Cowboy. I got a call from a girlfriend that a mountain man was coming up the road from Cameron dressed in mountain man garb - of course we were intriqued.  Ron decided to ride out and meet him on the road and ride back (we have the most interesting people stop in at the Rusty Cowboy).  Imagine my surprise when Ron rode in with Hawk - an old friend that I did a movie with in Nevada City, Mt. 10 years ago!!! The name of the mo...
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Posted by Teri Freeman on Wednesday, July 7, 2010,
 The one thing I'm going to miss about The Rusty Cowboy is meeting wonderful people like Jim & Angela.  I think unique people attract unique people! They are on bikes touring the US. They bought one of my painted cowgirl tables which will be waiting for them when they return.  This morning, they showed up in their regalia (I should have taken a pic) with a wonderful note and a wonderful contribution for our trip to New Mexico. Thank you so much Jim and Angela!  We will definitely keep in touc...
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Posted by Teri Freeman on Wednesday, July 7, 2010,
 Ron & Teri in the Ennis, Montana 4th of July Parade.  The whole dang family was in the parade. The "Willowwagon" was a huge success, but unfortunately we didn't win - I'm very disappointed that the Bozeman Tea Party won the parade on a political platform. Oh well, we had fun and everyone got to see the wagon and all the work Ron put into it.

 Ron looking like his old self!

 Check it out - our little wagon that Ron made on the back of the Willowwagon - Contina (on the right) was not impressed a...
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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