What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

Mark Harvey, Founder of the Cowboy Health Plan Initiative

My name is Mark Harvey and I’m the organizer and author of this site…

I was born to missionary parents in Mussoorie, a small hilltop village in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains of northern India. My older sister, Beth, was born in China in 1947, the year Mao Tse Tung and the communists overthrew the government of China. Rev. Earle & Berneita Harvey had to flee Beijing south to Shanghai in order to escape to the States, but a telegram got to them before the ship left the dock. It was from the Missionary Board, saying that there was a post in India, and would he take it. Berneita was pregnant at the time, and I eventually came out of the chute on July 30th, 1949 (I am an avid San Francisco 49ers fan), The doctor who delivered me was Dr. Fleming, who became the first woman doctor to practice medicine in Nepal. There is a book that details her career by Grace Nies Fletcher, The Fabulous Flemings of Kathmandu.

The Harvey’s left India in 1952 and I have not been back since, fearing that I might be lynched for what I had done to cows – cattle are regarded as Holy and Sacred to Hindus.

My family went to California, where Rev. Harvey had a church in San Diego. In 1966, when I was entering my senior year in high school, Rev. Harvey left San Diego to become the minister of the Riverton, WY Presbyterian Church, along with the little white church on Main Street in Shoshoni.

After high school, I worked as a cowboy, sheepherder, hunting guide and horse-shoer for over fifteen years until a bad horse wreck sent me back to school. I attended CWC in 1987, then went on to the University of Wyoming, where I eventually received a Master’s Degree in American Studies; my thesis covered the Johnson County War. The last twenty years of my working life was being a surveyor for various outfits. I am now retired and living outside of Cody, Wyoming.

My Trail Name, Yogi, I received on the northern California coastline by Shadrock (Trail Name), who gave it to me after I did my Yogi Bear impersonation, “Hey … BooBoo … I think I smell a picnic basket” when I smelled supper being cooked by the women in the Camp Host Trailer. The next day we got to Moonstone Beach– just north of Trinidad – and I thought I found a Moonstone, so I gave my wife Valerie her trail name, Moonstone … She hated it and would blow a fuse if I used it. I tried Moonshine, Moonbeam, etc. but to no avail. She says she don’t want a Trail Name, and I say, “too bad … it’s your misfortune and none of my own.”

I have believed for a long time that everyone has a very human self … and a Divine Self. Abe Lincoln called our Divine Selves, the ‘The Better Angels’ of our minds, being, and self-expression. It is essential and vital that we all take the time to listen to our higher being … as my father wrote in a sermon, “Silence is for Listening.”

Psalm 82:6 – I Said, “ye are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High.”

My divine self name: Little Medicine Cloud … given to me by the Great and Holy Spirit and known to me as Big Medicine Cloud, Jeomah, Great Mystery, Christ Spirit, Buddha Spirit, Hindu Spirit, Krishna, Allah, Jehovah, etc.


By Mark Harvey

Wyoming … A poetic word that comes from the Shawnee and Delaware Indians, referring to a beautiful spacious valley along the Shenandoah River in the state of Pennsylvania. Some historians claim it originally meant ‘a land of alternating mountains and valleys,’ while others insist it meant ‘where the plains meet the mountains.’

In any case, it’s a cinch bet that the early trappers, mountain men, cowboys, and pioneers of the state that now bears its name didn’t reckon that its middle syllable, ‘om,’ was being chanted somewhere in Tibet by a Holy Man who regarded it as the sacred word of the universe. For those of us who call Wyoming home, we allow that Wyoming is a wonderful, magical land of about 98000 square miles, inhabited by about a half million human beings and about that same number of cattle and sheep, along with about every wild critter that was around since Noah.

They say God created the Universe in six days and on the seventh he rested. But I reckon on that seventh day He kinda figured that someday He’d need a place to vacation and play and rest when the world got too over-civilized and crowded and the job of running His outfit got to be too much of a headache. So on that seventh day he created Wyoming. The only trouble was that He had so much fun playing around making Yellowstone and the mountains and lakes and rivers that He ran out of daylight before he had a chance to work on all the flat land and sagebrush. So He just painted them up some, real quick, discarding His paintbrushes as He went. We know them now as the Indian Paintbrush, our state flower.

“Course the Devil got a burr under his saddle on account that God had staked out a homestead on all this range and filed a protest. Being the fair God that He was, He spoke to the Devil in His best John Wayne impersonation and said, “Devil, you go on and make some monuments to yourself, but then ya best leave Wyoming by sundown for there ain’t enough room in Wyoming for the both of us.” So that’s how Devil’s Tower and Devil’s Gate and Devil’s Playground and Hell’s Half Acre got to be and why the Devil ain’t been seen around this country since.

Knowing Wyoming would eventually become known as the “Equality State,” God figured He’d best express his respect and love for women, so on one of his vacations over there in the Yellowstone country, He created the Grand Tetons. Now there are some people who insist this story ain’t quite so. They say God made those mountains to honor Herself. Well, I guess we’ll never know exactly which side of this beast to mount, but it’s a sure thing that women are respected and honored around these parts. Women had the right to vote here fifty years before they got around to voting on the matter in Washington D.C. and you’re still liable to stretch a rope if ya don’t tip your hat and say, “Ma’am.”

Now that we got that straight, let’s saddle up and take a ride around our 44th state that celebrated her hundredth birthday in 1990. Naturally, we don’t have to worry about getting our hair lifted by Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull these days, but it’s a good thing to recall that not so long ago this country belonged to the Native Americans and the herds of buffalo which sustained their existence. A hundred and fifty years ago we’d of met up with hunting parties of Crow, Sioux, Arapaho, Shoshone, and maybe some Blackfoot depending on where we were riding.

From here in Laramie, we could ride about 50 miles east, crossing the Laramie Range and into Cheyenne, the state capital, and one of the two largest cities of Wyoming (Casper is the other and both have about 50,000 souls). But maybe we’ll want to wait until the later part of July so we can attend the “Daddy of ‘Em All” – the best rodeo go–round on earth, during Cheyenne Frontier Days. So for now, let’s head north and cross the North Platte River and the old Oregon Trail and ride toward the Big Horn Mountains. We’ll soon come across the Hole-in-the-Wall country, a favorite hideout of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and relive those by-gone days of cowboys, outlaws, and ladies of the night. If we ride north and east from there we’ll come to the town of Kaycee and the Powder River country where the Johnson County War took place in 1892. That was when the big ‘cattle barons’ of the state hired a bunch of Texas gunslingers to run out all the small ranchers, cowboys, and homesteaders in Johnson County so they’d have the range to themselves. They just didn’t allow for the fact that Sam Colt had made all men equal.

If we turn our ponies around and cross the Big Horns headed west, we can say our prayers at the centuries old ‘Medicine Wheel’ atop Medicine Mountain. Now there’s a real mystery, for we still don’t know who built it and for what reason. Dropping down into the Big Horn Basin, we can mosey on over to Cody and visit some of those art and historical displays at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, or lope over to the world’s largest mineral hot springs at Thermopolis, where we can soothe our saddle sore limbs. When we get done soaking, it’s up and over the Owl Creek Mountains into the Wind River Valley, home of the Arapaho and Shoshone Tribes on the beautiful Wind River Indian Reservation.

Seeing as how my pony’s getting played out and the Wind River Country is where I like to hang my hat for a spell, I’m gonna leave you here to find your way back to Laramie. ‘Course you probably might want to keep on riding over to Jackson Hole and gaze at the Tetons for a spell before rafting down the Snake River. Whatever pleases you, tickles me plumb to death. Then there’s Old Faithful and the Yellowstone country to see … and South Pass and the Red Desert … and don’t forget to stop at Saratoga and soak in the Hobo Pool … well, hell, you’ve only just begun to see and do everything Wyoming has to offer.

Adios for now – hope you enjoyed your ride. I’ll be seeing you when our trails cross again, hopefully someday soon. Until then, as the Indians say, May the Great Mystery make the Sun Rise in your Hearts.

Mark Harvey’s Resume:

Mark Erwin Harvey
Cody, Wyoming


1987    AA – Central Wyoming College – General
1989    BA   w/Honors – University of Wyoming – American Studies; Minor, History
1992    MA – University of Wyoming – American Studies
Thesis: A Civil War in Wyoming: The Johnson County War

Professional Experience

EMPLOYER: U.S. Department of Transportation: Federal Highways Administration
JOB TITLE: Surveying Technician/Inspector
DATES: 7/2000 to 10/2017; Retired
DUTIES: Survey crew chief; survey of Federal Highway Administration roads and highways. Stake centerline and construction limits, cross-section roads, perform topographic profiles and level loops, establish right of ways, etc. Operate Leica Total Station & GPS instruments, electronic and manual levels, edit and process data (Microstation & SurveyPro).

EMPLOYERNorthwest College – Powell, WY
JOB TITLEInstructor of History; Extended Studies Program
DATES8/95 to 12/01
DUTIESInstruct American History, History of the American West, and History of Wyoming courses for the Extended Campus Program of Northwest College. Lecture, grade papers and exams, assign projects, and advise students.

EMPLOYERBreteche Creek Ranch – Wapiti, WY
JOB TITLEHistorical Interpreter/Wrangler
DATES5/97 to 9/97
DUTIESBreteche Creek Ranch is an educational guest ranch located about twenty miles west of Cody, WY. The ranch offers week-long retreats for persons and families interested in learning about the Natural History, Geology, Ecology, and History of Wyoming and the West. My duties on the ranch were varied. They included, but were not limited to, giving interpretative talks and programs about the history of the local area, Wyoming, and the West, and being the horse wrangler — responsible for the care and upkeep of the horses (shoeing, grooming, and feeding), giving horse-riding instruction, and leading group horseback rides. I worked in conjunction with other members of the staff — Natural History, Geology, and Biology instructors — as they would accompany the group horseback rides, presenting interpretative talks.

EMPLOYERCampbell & Associates – Cody, WY
JOB TITLESurveyor; Senior Assistant
DATES8/99 to 5/00; 8/97 to 3/98
DUTIESCrew Chief on two person field survey crew. Conduct mortgage surveys, ALTA property surveys, and subdivision and property boundary surveys. Locate and tie-in section corners and other USGS, GLO, and Bureau of Reclamation monuments. Establish highway right-of-ways and center lines, etc. Operate surveying instruments: Topcon GTS 301 Total Station instrument, TDS data collector, and Zeiss Level. Conducted research for Records of Survey, property Legal Descriptions and Assessments in County Courthouses.

EMPLOYERWyoming Department of Transportation – Cody, WY.
JOB TITLEEngineer Technician
DATES8/94 to 5/97
DUTIESSurvey and inspection of Federal and State Highway Projects. Operated Geodimeter Total Station Instrument, Sokkia Data Collector, and Zeiss Electronic Level. Performed general lay-out of highway projects; staked right-of-ways, bridges, pipe culverts, box culverts, and stock crossings. Conducted control traverses and established benchmark elevations with level loops. Duties also included slope-staking, blue-topping of road grades, calculating areas and volume. Researched land records and water right adjudications for purpose of agreements with land owners adjacent to right-of-ways.

EMPLOYERAlbany County Historic Preservation Board – Laramie, WY
JOB TITLE: Historical Consultant
DATES8/93 to 8/94
DUTIESConducted a cultural resource study on the historic rural ranching communities of northern Albany County. Major requirements fulfilled were a published report with photographic evidence and three public slide-presentations. Documented, evaluated, and recommended historic sites to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended 1981. Conducted archival research of county and state land records and water right adjudications. Cultural Resources Encountered: Historic Ranching, Albany County, WY.

EMPLOYERAmerican Heritage Center – Laramie, WY
JOB TITLEHistorical Consultant
DATES9/91 to 4/92
DUTIESWrote and produced an interpretive historical theater drama on the Johnson County War for the American Heritage Center. Conducted archival research at the AHC and Wyoming State Museum for primary source documents and period photographs of nineteenth century Wyoming. Coordinated the original music score with the Head of the Music Department at the University of Wyoming and recruited actors from the Fine Arts Department. The program was performed to public audiences at the Horse Barn Theatre, Wyoming Territorial Park, during April of 1992. Wyoming State Historical Award for Best Documentary Drama Production.

JOB TITLE: Public Speaker
FROM1/93 to 1/95
EMPLOYERWyoming Council for the Humanities – Laramie, WY
DUTIESConducted archival research, wrote scripts, and presented interpretive slide-show public programs to Wyoming communities on historical subjects of Wyoming.

EMPLOYERUSDA Forest Service – Laramie, WY
TITLEArchaeological Technician
DATES5/91 to 10/91
DUTIESConducted cultural resource inventories which located historic and prehistoric sites in the Medicine Bow National Forest. Performed ground survey and subsurface testing to find and investigate cultural sites. Recorded sites, photographed artifacts, sketched maps and artifacts, prepared cultural resource reports and statements.

Biographical Note

In 1987, I went back to school. Prior to that decision, I had made a living working on Wyoming ranches for 15 years, primarily in and around the Big Horn, Absoraka, Owl Creek, and Wind River mountain ranges. 

Journalistic Script and Narration

Wrote and narrated a twenty minute segment on Cody, Wyoming, for Wyoming PBS. Compass West was the pilot show of a proposed documentary series. The show aired 5/24/00 on Wyoming PBS.

Drama Script

Wrote and produced an historical theater drama for the American Heritage Center, Laramie, WY. A Civil War in Wyoming was performed at the Horse Barn Theatre, Wyoming Territorial Park, April, 1992. Albany County Historical Society Award.


Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, WY

Interviewed and tape-recorded traditional Wyoming cowboy poets and musicians for the annual “Cowboy Songs and Range Ballads” program, 1989. Oral history tape collection.

University of Wyoming, Financial Aids.

Researched and wrote biographies of notable persons who donated to the University         Grants Program, 1988. Essays published in Profiles in Scholarship.

Guest Tutor/Class Leader: “A Word’s Worth Symposium.”

Conducted writing workshop for Jr. High students at LCCC, 1995.

Guest Speaker

Wyoming Speakers’ Bureau Member: Wyoming Council for the Humanities, 1993-1995.   Centennial Symposium: Johnson County Cattle War, Buffalo, WY. 1992.

Birth of Books Project: “Writers Write About the West,” Laramie, WY. 1993.

Western Outlaw and Lawman Assn. Symposium, Deadwood, S.D., 1994.

Albany County Historical Society Meeting, Laramie, WY. 1995.

“A Word’s Worth” Symposium, Cheyenne, WY. 1995.

“Western Boot Exhibition:” U.W. Art Museum, Laramie, WY. 1995.

Published Works

The Rural Community Centers of Northern Albany County; published by Wyoming State   Historic Preservation Office and Albany County Historic Preservation Board, 1994.

The Legacy of a Range War; Essay published in Wyoming Annals, Winter-Spring 1994.     Albany County Historical Society Award for Best Published Essay, 1995.

When Laramie’s Red Lights Were Dimmed; Oral-History article published in Frontiers,

UW Literary Magazine, Fall 1991; Rocky Mountain Collegiate Press Award.

Paul Stock and Timothy Peters; Biographical essays published in Profiles of Scholarship, University of Wyoming Press, 1994.

Awards for Papers

The Cattle Frontier in Wyoming; Jay Greene Award. Best American Studies Paper, 1989.

Threads of Sisterhood: A Social History of Quilting; Jay Greene Award; Best American Studies Graduate Paper, 1990.

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