Wired for trails

Thursday, March 26, 2020
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The artwork of Drew’s father, Andy Bodner, who saw stagecoaches traveling across his father’s ranch near Spion Kop. Photos courtesy of Drew Bodner

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Dear Editor,

I enjoyed reading Geoff Casey’s stagecoach article. As the Preservation Chair of the Kansas City Historic Trials Association and also a member of the Oregon California Trails Association, I’m wired to be interested in all these trails. My father, Andy Bodner, remembered seeing stagecoaches traveling across his father’s ranch near Spion Kop. He was really a good western artist and painted several paintings the trail/road. He also saw freighters and painted those who could have used the same road. One of his paintings is of Indians in a buckboard traveling across the Bodner home place.

The ruts, although flatten some through storm time, can be seen better during certain seasons. Today, those ruts can still be seen just after turning north onto the Spion Kop road from Hwy 87. They crossed the Spion Kop road about 75 yards from Hwy 87. The stagecoaches crossed diagonally downhill. They are more apparent on the right side, heading east.

On a side note, it’s my understanding that the trail (road) cut into the side hill on the north side of Hwy 87 from Raynesford to Belt was not used as a stagecoach road.

Geoff, thank you for this interesting article. Keep more coming. These are the types of articles I most enjoy.


Drew Bodner