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Browsing Archive: November, 2010

BENSON ARIZONA - THE ARENA BAR!

Posted by Teri Freeman on Saturday, November 27, 2010,
Well, we've arrived in Benson Az - we are staying at the Arena Bar - roping arena with a bar - we are staying beyond the arena next to the roping cows and it is a dust bowl and Ron is not happy - we had the horses in a round corral and then had nothing to chew on so we had to go buy more hay! Getting expensive! Thanks to Joanne Hedge, who contributed to our "pony fund"! Any of you kind souls out there that would like to contribute to the "Dakotah Pony Fund" - a dollar goes a long way and it's...
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WANTED CARETAKER JOB - HORSES NM, AZ, TEXAS

Posted by Teri Freeman on Wednesday, November 24, 2010,
Well, that's what we're looking for! Too hard to land somewhere with horses and pay for rv/horse motel while we look around.  Ron is available to drive wagons, but can't seem to find any takers. So, after Thanksgiving with my Mother, we are headed towards Az and see what happens there.  Here are pictures of my Mom and I  in Hatch, NM and Mom with Ron and  Ron doing his not so favorite job - emptying out the "potty" at Ft. Seldon park right down the road.  Had to buy more hay yesterday - wow, ...
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LAUGHING SHEEP RANCH - CAPITAN, NM

Posted by Teri Freeman on Sunday, November 21, 2010,
Well, we were on our way to Las Cruces to see Mom and we got a call from Sally Canning at The Laughing Sheep Ranch to come by and see her, so we did a "uey" and went to the ranch. Wow - what a beautiful place! I was in hog heaven - sheep everywhere, cows, ducks, geese, horses, lamas and must have been a 1000 chickens running around as well as 5 dogs.  We had to leave our chickens in the horse trailer because they would have left home and we would never have been able to get them back.  Sally ...
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ON THE ROAD AGAIN - DAKOTAH BREAKING CAMP

Posted by Teri Freeman on Tuesday, November 16, 2010,
Well, we are off to Las Cruces tomorrow - find somewhere to camp around Hatch, somewhere my mom can get to easily.  Tried to secure a place at the rodeo grounds, but they charge and it was very unclear how much they were going to charge and good luck getting them to answer the phone.  Tried contacting the Las Cruces Horseman Association for help, but no response - I am learning a very disappointing lesson - just because you have horses, doesn't mean other horse people are going to help you ou...
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THE TURQUOISE TRAIL & SANTA FE

Posted by Teri Freeman on Saturday, November 13, 2010,
Decided to take a day trip and venture up the turquoise trail - wanted to see Madrid and Cerrillos. Wandered through the mountains through little towns and past huge expensive gated communities. Pulled into Madrid - what a shock - all the color and art, the old train and this groovy little red wagon Ron found parked at the end of town - I emailed Madrid and ask them if it was for sale. Real Estate very expensive there and a little too hippy to consder being a part of the art community. Very g...
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SUNDAY - HANGING IN VEGUITA

Posted by Teri Freeman on Sunday, November 7, 2010,
Just hanging out today - did alot of internet work this morning. Check out Ron with the kids "Anniejane".  They should start producing soon. Tomorrow - out in search of hay.  We can be reached at rustycowboys@gmail.com



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VEQUITA - FIRST WEEK

Posted by Teri Freeman on Saturday, November 6, 2010,
We went to Las Cruces yesterday to see my mother.  The trip was long, but we got to see some of the countryside. Driving in LC was a nightmare and LC is not somewhere we want to be. Picture of Ron and I in front of one of my sister's paintings. Picture of Sam and Marie eating my cowboy ribs. Painting of "dog" by me. Look at that little ant carrying off a piece of Lynn's cake.  Well, emailing people everywhere trying to find a place.  We like Madrid and Cerrillos, but too cold to stay in the m...
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VEGUITA, NM DAY THREE

Posted by Teri Freeman on Wednesday, November 3, 2010,
Yesterday was a beautiful day! Got alot done - Ron tried to put new shocks on the front, but he doesn't have the tools.  In the afternoon, we saddled up and took a ride across the desert looking for the wild herd of horses.  We found them and some mangey cows.  No rocks here like Montana - sand everywhere, but it gives under the horses and Yuma almost went down to his knees on me.  This morning I started my cowboy ribs - feeding the group tonight. Eli, Alex, Sam & Marie - all wonderful people...
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VEQUITA, NM - DAY TWO

Posted by Teri Freeman on Monday, November 1, 2010,
Woke up to a beautiful desert sunrise!  Decided to go to Belen to get supplies - the big city!  On the way home, picked up hay - that's where we saw the unique motorhome with cadillac front. Went to Wells Fargo - still trying to collect on a bad $300 check a old cowboy wrote for an antique saddle of mine. When we came out, there was this antique police car which was groovy - only $12k.  Had to get new shocks for the motorhome - man, the money is just flying out of the wagon account. Thank god...
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 THE SAGA OF RON DAKOTAH

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 www.rondakotah.com, 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