By Jared Janzen
HALSTEAD—Randy Boehmer is on a mission to save souls for Jesus. And, he’s doing it by covered wagon.
“I’m traveling in a covered wagon, trying to live a slower paced life,” he said.
Boehmer was spotted traveling west on US-50, Monday afternoon. His team of five Belgian draft mules pulled a caravan of two covered wagons, with himself and his two dogs in the first one and the second holding water for the mules.
Boehmer was enroute to Hutchinson that day, traveling at about three-and-a-half miles per hour. He was passing by Hertzler Road at little after 3 p.m. He had been in Newton the Friday before, as well.
Beyond Hutchinson, he said he was heading down to Texas, New Mexico or Louisiana for the winter. He likes to be far enough south in the winter so the water wagon he hauls won’t freeze.
He’s been traveling in this fashion for the past thirteen-and-a-half 13-1/2 years and in that time he’s traveled through 31 states. He thought this was his sixth time in Kansas. His team of mules didn’t seem to mind the traffic rushing past.
“Through 31 states, they handle it excellent,” he said.
Boehmer estimated he’s done way over 200 interviews with newspapers over the years. He was anxious to keep moving on his journey and didn’t have time for many questions as he paused at the intersection of US-50 and Hertzler Road. He instead handed out a printout of a 2008 newspaper article describing his background.
According to that article, Boehmer is originally from Arizona and spent 40 years as a taxidermist. His parents died in 1991 and as he and his sister were cleaning out their possessions, he realized everything they had built up all meant nothing in the end.
The article states it was then that he first felt called to travel the country by covered wagon. It took him years to prepare for the journey, including seven months learning to shoe mules so he could care for his animals himself.
He built the covered wagons himself out of two old farm wagons. He’s equipped with a wood stove, a bed and a solar panel on top to run his lights, TV and DVD player. The wagons are also decked with signage, including the message “Jesus Saves” and the verse Acts 16:31. While he states his purpose as being to save souls, he didn’t know how to measure the impact he’s had.
“Only God knows,” he said. “Only God knows. Oh yeah, it’s all real positive.”
Boehmer said he has a Facebook page under “The Randy Boehmer Jesus Wagon and Mules,” though he admitted he doesn’t keep it update, yet. He also has a video on YouTube that can be found by searching Randy Boehmer Jesus Wagon.