By Scott Bidroski
During their annual “Meet Ya in Clinton” event, the Cowboy Trail West organization made a very special presentation.
Ross Elwood, who has been a cherished member of the organization for many years, was presented with a plaque in recognition of his continued service to the Cowboy Trail.
As you traverse Highway 20 in Sheridan County, if you glance to the north there is a good chance you will spot Elwood doing some form of maintenance on the Cowboy Trail.
Elwood sprays for weeds along with mowing the edges of the gravel trail from Rushville to Gordon and back, 34 miles round trip.
He also mows and sprays the unfinished trail from Rushville to Hay Springs, adding another 24 miles to his duties.
Elwood has been in this volunteer role for 10 years for the Nebraska Game and Parks and is truly an unsung hero of the communities.
“The Nebraska Game and Parks and the Cowboy Trail can rely on Ross to keep our beautiful trail mowed and sprayed all season long. Without Ross and his tenacity, we would not have the trail as we enjoy using it today,” said Cowboy Trail West Board member Trisha Loosvelt.
“Ross is the definition of humble and kind. He doesn’t want any recognition but he always wants to get the job done and certainly done right,” added Loosvelt.“
Elwood’s duties extend well beyond the required maintenance of the trail.
Elwood acts as a line of communication to the Game and Parks office in Lincoln, Neb. and keeps them in loop on all the activities that are occurring on the Sheridan County section of the Cowboy Trail.
He played an integral part in the initial clean-up of the previous railway and continues to work on a daily basis to maintain the recreational avenue through the development of the Cowboy Trail West Board.
“Ross has grown our Trail Board into a model for others of a group of folks that get things done,” said Loosvelt.
“The Nebraska Game and Parks has often said what an example our board is for others who want to get something accomplished in their area,” added Loosvelt.
Elwood’s drive has led to the building of five bridges, installation of a gate on the east end of the trail, selling sponsorships for the mile markers along the trail, and the installation of the shelters in all 4 towns in Sheridan County.
One might think that after all that work, Elwood would sit down for a much needed break.
But a betting man would not be so quick to wager on that. Chances are, Elwood has work to do.