S: Gyp Hills Trail Ride 40th Anniversary Memory Book & Celebration
FC: A History, in celebration of our 40th anniversary May 11-13, 2012
3: Experience and Explore the Rugged, Scenic Gypsum Hills Medicine Lodge, Kansas Every year since 1972, hundreds of equine enthusiasts gather together to spend a weekend at the Gant-Larson Ranch. The colorful Gypsum Hills located west of Medicine Lodge present one of the nations most perfect paintbrush regions. The stark red bluffs and buttes capped with white, gypsum ledges and deep, cedar tree lined canyons present an aura of color and beauty for year round riding pleasure. The rides occur over the same land once roamed by the five Great Plains Indian Tribes. A multitude of wildlife including white tail and mule deer, wild turkey, coyote, and bobcat are often spotted on the trail. With access to 10,000 acres, rider enjoy the wide-open spaces that make this ride unlike any other experienced. Both organized and private riding is provided on the ranch year round. Our rides this year are in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Thanks to everyone who has been out to ride with us, and we hope to see you again soon! gypsumhillstrailrides.com
4: Trail Ride Camp Ground in 1975 | The Beginning | The first ride took place in the spring of 1972. Gyp Hills Trail Ride started out as a joint effort between Glenn Shriver (Coats, KS) and L.H. "Dub" Rickard (Medicine Lodge, KS). They received help from ranchers Bob Larson (owner of the Gant-Larson Ranch) and Jim Lonker (owner of the Bar 7 Ranch). By 1981, the annual weekend ride had expanded to include three weekend rides in May, with each ride limited to 250 riders. Each weekend ride included a Saturday evening steak supper, Sunday breakfast and lunch, refreshments on the trail, and Saturday evening entertainment. | 1972 Board of Directors: Glenn Shriver, Bob Larson, Marvin Bland, Clair Beeman, John Clarke, & Jim Lonker
5: Saturday Night square dancing with Dub Rickard and Bob and Charlene Larson. May '75 | The pancake truck with Cliff Angle and Edgar House 1975 | Bob, Charyl, Robert & Charlene Larson relax | Charyl Larson Zier & Charlene Larson, 1970's
6: History of Ranch Signs | 1970's-1980's | 1990's-present
7: Trail riders in the early 1970's | Early Days On the Trail | Trail Boss Steve Smith 1977 | Charlene Larson on Blueboy
8: Bob, Charyl, Robert, and Charlene Larson 1975 | Trail Riders 1978 | Charlene Larson has always been the General in the meal department, and is always inventing easier & faster ways to feed the hungry riders and trail bosses. The kitchen has come a long way since the '70's! | Charlene and the "portable" wooden stove used in the '70's | Charlene and all the ice chests in her temporary kitchen | Trail Ride Cooking | In the '80's she had "The Cook Shack". It had a dirt floor and tin roof, but finally she had running water,refrigerators, and electricity!
9: Trail Rides in the 70's and 80's were often 250 riders per weekend. This made for some long lines getting your steak. The riders were entertained by a unique grilling invention: steak flipping. | Bob is serving up "The Rock" potato to some unsuspecting trail rider. Jim Lonker is trying hard not to laugh and give it all away! The very same "Rock" is still used at today's Trail Rides. | Steak flipping! | Steak Flipping was created to cook up to 50 steaks at one time. We still use the same method to grill steaks.
10: 1990 Winners Pauline Vestring Stephanie Berg Lavern Dreiling Massy Woelk | Belt Buckle Awards | Gyp Hills Trail Ride awards a belt buckle every ride weekend to riders who exhibited the best horsemanship and camaraderie with their fellow riders. The winners are picked by the Trail Bosses, and received their award during Sunday's lunch. Some belt buckle winners were known to bribe the trail bosses with candy!
11: Carry's Cavalry | Valorie Dutton, our friend and nurse out on the trail! | The first weekend in May, Gyp Hills Trail Rides holds an all women's ride called "Carry's Cavalry". The ride is named after Medicine Lodge native Carry Nation, the famous female prohibitionist. Since women are the only ones allowed on the trail, the Trail Bosses were forced to ride in drag. Bob often enlisted his granddaughters to help with "Roberta's" wardrobe, hair and makeup. | Bob dressed as "Roberta". "OK Girls, let's tally hooooooo!"
12: Bad Girls Ride | After a few year's with the Carry's Cavalry ride open only to women, a group of women riders decided to host a second all women's ride. This ride would be called the "Bad Girls Ride", riders that attended had to "ride 'em like ya stole 'em!"
13: Trail Competitions | Independent judges for each competition | With the growing popularity of RFD-TV shows such as "Extreme Cowboy Challenge", Gyp HIlls Trail Ride began to include a trail competition during the ride weekends. | Trail course setup is different every weekend.
14: Bob Larson on Emmy | All Mule Ride | The Gant Larson family has a lot of respect and love for mules. They started seeing more and more mules on their big rides, and decided to hold a ride every October solely for mules and their riders. They've found a lot of similarities between mule owners and their equine mounts: they're stubborn, mischievous, and have a true passion for trail riding! | Mark Zier on a very young Emmy | Robert Larson on Ellie Mae
15: Chase Mathews on Montana | The Winslow Family | Injury's and illnesses cannot keep the trail riders away! | The Bowman Family
16: RFD-TV Show | Popular RFD-TV show "Best of America by Horseback" filmed an episode on the Gant Larson Ranch in 2009. A crew from the show attended a fall ride and interviewed both Bob and Robert Larson about the various Trail Ride activities.
17: Movie Location for "Trail End" | In 2007, the Gant Larson ranch was approached to be the location for the short film "Trail End". The movie starred Barry Corbin as a man "fulfilling a mission for his late wife, he along with his horse attempt their last trail ride across Kansas". The film was shot on the Gant Larson ranch in October of 2007. | Corbin as "Hank" in "Trail End". | Mica Zier, Barry Corbin, and Megan Culver Shinliver. We thought Corbin was very nice, and he was a great rider!
18: Checking in at the TeePee | Mya the camp dog. She was known for sometimes moving food from one camp site to another... | Riding at Bear Creek | On the Trail Memories
19: Mark and Bob | Mica and Emmy headed for the barn after a great ride | Janet Ropp and Karen Larson at the noon stop
20: Robert is asking Karen if there is anything on his back? He said riders have been asking him funny questions all day.
21: Bob and Gary Holbert | Riders from the Kansas City Saddle and Sirloin Club
22: Robert leading a group of riders | Tied up at the corrals for a lunch break
23: Waiting for instructions from the Trail Boss! | Crossing the river | Joyce Bell, Bob Larson, and Dave Hoskinson
25: Mark Zier getting ready to ride on his first trail ride May 1976. He wasn't always such an expert horseman, and in the early years hadn't yet earned his yellow Trail Boss bandana. Mark and Charyl married in 1979 (and then he got his yellow bandana). | Charyl, Mark, Charlene, Bob and Robert. May 1977 | A Family & Friends Affair | Trail Ride season has always been a favorite time of the year for the Gant Larson family. Over the years, the family has made several friends that continue to make the work fun year after year. | Karen Larson, Kathy and Michael Williams help out at a Pop Stop
26: Mildred Gant, Charlene Gant Larson and Charyl Larson Zier try to get on (and stay on long enough for a picture) Gyp Hill Jane. | Charyl and Robert hatch a plan to get three people on Gyp Hill Jane for a picture. It's a good thing Bob is not around, they would have been busted. | Robert Larson watches as they finally get all three up and picture ready! | Family Fun
27: Robert Larson and Dacy Larson Woods, May 1982 | Trail Ride Cook Shack, May 1982. Dacy Larson Woods, Mica Zier, and Jennifer Smith all under one year of age! How did they get any work done? | Grandkids on the job | Clint Zier on Gray Ghost, May 1986.
28: grandkids grow up to be trail bosses | Mica on Goldie | Clint and Bob | Bob, Robert, Justin, Mark & Clint | Dacy and Mica take a nap in the back of a red van.
29: Emery and Grant playing in the trail ride kitchen | Future Trail Bosses Mya, MacKenzie, Hadley, and Emery | Emery serving Papa some tea at the noon stop | Great Grandkids | Aunt Charyl , Hadley and Wade Woods
32: Katie Zier on Jesse | Mya Culver on Badger | Emery Shinliver on Pretty Girl | Kenzie Woods on Jesse
33: Clint Zier, Mark Zier, Katie Zier, Charyl Larson Zier, Mica Zier, Megan and Emery Shinliver, Karen Larson, Robert Larson, Dacy Larson Woods, Wade Woods, Bob Larson, Charlene Gant Larson, Chris and Grant Shinliver, Hadley Woods, Mackenzie Woods, Justin Culver, Mya and Ryan Culver, and Buster the dog. | family
34: This book is dedicated to Bob & Charlene Larson In appreciation of your years of hard work to make these trail rides such a success. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ranch and hospitality with riders from all across the country.
35: May the roads rise with you, And the wind be always at your back, And may the Lord hold you in the hollow of his hand.