By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
You’re driving north on the Sand Draw road and you notice wagon tracks in the gravel. About six miles north of Highway 6 you drive up behind a covered wagon with a rider in front.
You will be meeting Ken Kleinsorge of Greeley, Colo. and David Pabst of Colby, Kan.
The two friends met in high school in Colby and are still connected by “being around livestock.”
And then, there’s their interest in the Great Western Cattle Trail, stretching from Texas to Calgary, Canada around the 1870s.
This is the second year the men have hit the trail. They started in St. Francis, Kan. last year and ended in Champion. This year they’ve picked up the trail and will end in Ogallala.
Kleinsorge and Pabst would like to travel 100 miles of the trail each year, but Pabst said they don’t plan to go as far north as Calgary.
“We’ve read the books” and wanted to duplicate the trail as far as possible, Pabst said. Kleinsorge, a restorer, added, “People have dreams and they don’t have them filled.”
But, “Our wives think we’re a little bit crazy,” Pabst chuckled.
Asked how long it would take them to make the trip, Kleinsorge said he didn’t know. He didn’t know when they started out from the Vincent Marvin farm Monday, so he didn’t know how long they would travel before stopping to make camp.
The two picked up four-year old Wyatt Krausnick Monday afternoon for a two-mile ride. Wyatt got to hold the lines of the horses. Later, parents Wayne and Chris and nine-year-old Jesse took Wyatt to the night’s campsite on the Moreland Ranch.
Jesse really liked the peach cobbler the cowboys baked in a dutch oven. The boys also admired the buffalo skins the men sleep under.
They like to break out the chuck wagon and set up a tent before dark. Due to the dry conditions, a campfire was out of the question, but they’d fire up the propane stove.
That’s when the wagon team of Bill, Bob, Bonnie and Buster, and Kleinsorge’s Rio take a deserved rest.
Pabst, a farmer, pointed to a carving on the back of the wagon’s fold-down kitchen. It consisted of three arrows, a cross and an arch. “That’s what we’re about,” he said of his message of Jesus Christ. “He came down, was crucified, rose from the dead and will come again.”
Then they headed up the road, the wagon team straining as they pulled the wagon to a roll.