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

Browsing Archive: January, 2011

BANDERA - FRIENDLIEST PEOPLE WE'VE EVER MET!

Posted by Teri Freeman on Sunday, January 30, 2011,

   RON & TERI

Ron and I have never consistently met so many nice people as since we've been in the hill country! Everyone is trying to help and make suggestions and find a place for us to land. Since Ron is going to be doing the carriage for Jeannie Parker from the Kadilec Ranch, it makes more sense for us to be based there and drive the carriage into town, rather than hooking uand unhooking the horse trailer.  I got Ron's publicity book together with all the newspaper interviews from the last...
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BANDERA, TEXAS - BRIGHTER DAYS HORSE REFUGE

Posted by Teri Freeman on Sunday, January 30, 2011,

We went out to see the wonderful ladies of Brighter Days in Pipe Creek (near Bandera) and met some of the wonderful creatures that they have rescued.  Ron offered to take care of their feet and donate his services.

This is the largest donkey I've ever seen.  He can barely walk, but he's well taken care of!

The lepord appy and white horse are both blind and they take care of each other and are just the sweetest horses.

The horser with the blue blanket is 40 years old and can't hardly eat, but hap...
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BANDERA HILL COUNTRY - END OF THE TRAIL

Posted by Teri Freeman on Tuesday, January 25, 2011,
Well, after a long hard trip, this is the end of the trail as far as I'm concerned.  We've been staying in the back yard of a dear sweet man who is a character - Howard Smith.  My friend in Colorado, Jerry McElroy has a brother in San Antonio who used to play in a band where Howard used to hang out, so a few emails later, I get an email from Howard who rescued us.  He made it real clear that we were not staying long, so we've been out beating the bushes.  We are meeting with a lady tomorrow w...
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CAMP IN OZONA, TEXAS - BANDERA, TEXAS

Posted by Teri Freeman on Tuesday, January 18, 2011,

Here are some more pics of our camp in Ozona, Texas - Very nice people - we were mowing their grass down for them.

We arrived in Bandera and went through rush hour.  Cute little town, like ennis, but more cowboy - we headed to the park, but it was closed because of a private hunt. Turned around and headed for the rodeo grounds - way too expensive. Then, we made the mistake of taking a windy, steep road looking for a place and it's all very private on the way back to Kerrville. It was getting l...


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OZONA, TEXAS

Posted by Teri Freeman on Saturday, January 15, 2011,
Boy, Texas is a big state! Pulled over in Ozona, Texas yesterday afternoon. Found the fairgrounds, but way too fancy and no grass. We were getting a little concerned about a place to stay when we happened upon a truck stop off a frontage road and pulled in behind and saw tons of grass, so thankfully we parked.  This morning, fog and rain, so we decided to stay another day and find propane and water. We will be pulling into Bandera area tomorrow, weather permitting.

The ponies have been having ...
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CAMP IN VAN HORN, TEXAS

Posted by Teri Freeman on Thursday, January 13, 2011,
I'm getting caught up, so here are the rest of the pictures to date.  Anniejane (calamity Jane and Annie Oakley - our beautiful Wynodotte chickens want to do a blog, so that will be coming up soon. Here's our camp in Van Horn, Texas.  They even left the light on for us. Ron got lucky, he didn't even have to put up a hot fence.  Anniejane are running amock, so if anyone tries to evict us, they will have to catch them. They are not fooled by marshmellows anymore.


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LAS CRUCES PICTURES

Posted by Teri Freeman on Thursday, January 13, 2011,
 RON RELAXING ON MY SISTERS COUCH!

 TERI'S MOM & SISTER

 BAYLOR TRAILHEAD (WOLVES & MOUNTAIN LIONS WERE A CONCERN!

 INMATES AT THE LEESBURG DAM RV DUMP!

 OUR BOYS KNEE DEEP IN GRASS!

 ANNIEJANE- They are so confused, or are they?












Pictures of our first night in Las Cruces - The Santa Fe train car inside the abandoned restaurant.




















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VAN HORN, TEXAS - GETTING CLOSER

Posted by Teri Freeman on Thursday, January 13, 2011,
Although I had a great time with my family in Las Cruces, it was time to go - getting too cold and the furnace kept killing our batteries.  We camped at the trailhead at Canyong Baylor next to Organ (a ghost town). We had permission, but of course another ranger visited us that didn't know that, so we had to move.  I made a deal with a guy up the street, Weston - great guy.  He had an RV park in Organ with knee high grass for the horses, so we dry camped and the horses did some mowing for him...
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TEXAS OR BUST!

Posted by Teri Freeman on Friday, January 7, 2011,

Well, we pulled up stakes in Wickenburg - nothing happening and tired of buying hay - you're probably sick of hearing me talk about hay, but not to worry - TEXAS HAS GRASS! Actually, leaving AZ and going into New Mexico - we realized that NM has more vegetation than AZ.  We also knew that 103 degrees in the summer wasn't going to be pleasant, so off to Texas.

Jayce gave up and decided to move too. Too much stress trying to hang on to that place, so they already had a new tenant, who begged us ...


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"MAYBELLE" DONKEY RESCUE - WICKENBURG, AZ

Posted by Teri Freeman on Saturday, January 1, 2011,
Well, the situation here got dire and Jayce decided it was time to find a good home and a better life for Maybelle, so my friend Dawn contacted her friend Susan at Dreamchaser Horse Rescue up in New River, Az - Susan showed up yesterday with her volunteer and we loaded her up for the trip to her new home with other donkeys and horses and lots of food and room. Susan was an amazing woman - been doing this for 25 years, even buys horses from the slaughter houses, so her bill every month is arou...
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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