Gumbo Ridge Wagon Train Brings People from 11 States to Ride the Range in Jones County
The Gumbo Ridge Wagon Train was held on June 18 and 19, 2021 in Murdo, S.D. People travelled to our little crossroads town from 11 states to participate in the event; Nebraska, Colorado, California, Montana, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and of course many South Dakotans. Seventeen wagons were pulled by ponies, draft horses, and mules. Riders of all ages joined in on the wagon train as well (Friday 45 riders showed and Saturday boasted 55 riders).
The group lined up for a parade down Main Street and past the Best Western and Range Country hotels on Friday morning - to the delight of locals and tourists. They then headed south across the I-90 bridge where passerbys in their modern day vehicles got an unexpected old west style parade as the large group made their way to the prairie. They crossed over the Seymour place, went through Dowling’s hay field, ventured south through the Seymour school section, through Baker’s, and stopped on Nix land to eat their lunches and take a little break. They circled the wagons back across Nix territory, past Dolloff’s and ended up back in Murdo at the rodeo grounds. One hundred folks attended potluck supper!
Saturday morning the group headed north from the arena for another day of adventuring. They rode through Chris Iversen’s and onto Roy Iversen’s, then through the Dale and Delores estate, and climbed to the top of the White Clay Buttes. After dismounting the buttes, riders and drivers pulled over for lunch on the ridge of the butte pasture near Roy Iversen’s stock tank. A catered supper awaited the crew at the rodeo arena. An additional 50 people also came to fill their bellies, meet the travellers, listen to their stories of the trail, and be entertained by cowboy poet Bonnie Krogman of Wood, S.D.
Wagon train rides are annual events that take place all over the United States, but this is the first time it has been held in Murdo. It seems clear from the great turnout of people that our little town may have just begun a new tradition out of an olden days way of life!