Californian Kathy Frick dreamed of watching
cowboys and ranchers doing their honest
everyday chores – and nowhere else but in
Wyoming. She talked about it often, she admitted.
Frick was diagnosed a year and a half ago
with pancreatic cancer and is now at stage 4.
Her large, close-knit family announced last
Christmas they were bringing her to Wyoming,
to watch cowboys at work.
“We thought, ‘Wyoming, cowboys – we
have to go to Jackson Hole,’” said her sister
Karen Byrnes, who with brother Bob Sebesta
set up side trips from Snow King Resort.
Jackson’s Lockhart Cattle Co. welcomed
the group of 10 – right down to 1-year-old
grandson Oliver Frick – to show them around
their Hereford ranch just south of Jackson.
It was the family’s first taste of navigating
in Wyoming, which is far, far less complicated
than their hometowns of Santa Clarita,
Calif., and Los Angeles.
“They said, ‘Go past Smith’s and look
for the big red barn,’” Sebesta said, not sure
what Smith’s was or how to find the ranch
without better directions. “And there it was,
just like they said…”
But Sebesta and Byrnes were out of luck
to fill their sister’s wish. Enter bar manager
and former Pinedale resident Natasha Baird,
who took their picture and posted it on social
“I am sharing this in hopes I can make this
beautiful lady in the middle dreams come
true. … Going to Wyoming and have a day
with the cowboys and cowgirls on a ranch.
They are not having any luck fulfilling this
wish here in Jackson. I am sharing this in
hopes to grant her wish. If there is anyone
doing branding or have time to show her and
her family the cowboy way of life please
give a call to Bob or message me. They will
be leaving Sunday and her sister says she
will pay any price to fill Kathy’s bucket list.
Thank you Sublette County.”
The post went viral as locals tagged
friends and neighbors. After one day, Sebesta
had invitations to fill their remaining
Joy Ufford photos
Rancher George Kahrl, center, gives Kathy Frick a hug while her nephew Ryan Sebesta, left, and son John Frick hold a calf.
Cowboy Jayden Burbank gathers pairs at the Sarah Faith Ranch, the old Gordon
and Mildred Mickelson place.
days. Dozens of people responded with calls
and texts, he said.
“Some people were really disappointed
they couldn’t have us come. They were almost
One call was from Big Piney ranchers
George Kahrl and Cindy Zullo, who own the
old Gordon and Mildred Mickelson place,
now the Sarah Faith Ranch.
“We were going to the pasture to gather
and sort some pairs and brand about 50 late
calves,” Kahrl said. “So we invited them to
Early Friday, Kahrl took Kathy under his
wing to the horse corrals and in the tractor to
grab a round hay bale. Kathy rode shotgun
in his ATV as ranch hands Jason Burbank,
Jayden Burbank and Cody Jensen with
Zullo gathered and moved the cattle.
Back at the corrals, Kahrl and cowboys
showed Sebesta, his sons Ryan and Scott
and Kathy’s son John Frick how to wrestle
calves while brother-in-law Don Byrnes
vaccinated. There were laughs, huge smiles
and loads of pictures of the family men in
their once-clean clothes, wondering what
to wear for Saturday’s branding at the Pape
Ranches, next on their calendar.
(When asked if they had directions for
Pape Ranches, daughter Tiffany said, “Yes
– we take a right at the gravel pits.”)
“Unbelievable,” Kathy and her family
said again and again of the hospitality, generosity
and warmth they found in Sublette
After branding, 15 people gathered at The
Bench Grill in Marbleton with more mementos
for Kathy and her family. At 7 a.m.,
Susan Pape Riggs had met them at Daniel
Junction with a cowboy hat and chaps. At
lunch, a Sarah Faith Ranch ball cap on her
head and a lavender Wyoming Cowboy Hall
of Fame T-shirt for warmer weather, Kathy
was speechless as Tawnya Miller came up
with a large bag holding a rope, horseshoe
for good luck, one of Mildred Miller’s
vintage scarves and Green River Valley
Cowbelles’ brand placemats. As a special
memento, Miller brought Wyoming license
plates crafts her son Kaleb made for each
Kathy and her family – who “do everything
together” – never dreamed how things
could fall into place to help fill her Wyoming
wish, expressing thankfulness and disbelief
at the overwhelming generosity.
“We were doing our everyday work,”
said Kahrl said. “It could have been just an
ordinary day – but by joining us, you have
turned it into a day that none of us will never