Pony Express rides safely through region
June 15, 2012
More than 100 spectators watched as Nevada took charge of the mochila from California in the 33rd Pony Express Re-ride on Thursday.
Lincoln, Calif., rider Lee Hofer arrived in Woodfords promptly at 9 a.m. Thursday, taking the last leg, after riders carried the mochila all night across the Sierra Nevada.
Gardnerville rider Carl Malkmus took charge of the mochila in Woodfords on his way north on his horse, BB. People took photos and asked the riders questions in front of the Alpine County way station.
The Californians made good time crossing the Sierra, despite the lack of a moon and rugged terrain.
Cassey Holbrook said a full moon wouldn’t have helped her much crossing near Kyburz on Dakota.
The descendent of Charles Holbrook, whom Holbrook Junction is named after, the Garden Valley, Calif., resident participated in her second Pony Express Re-ride early Wednesday morning.
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“Full moon wouldn’t have done me much good in the forest,” she said. “There was no light. All I had was a saddle light. I had to trust the horse to know the way.”
Holbrook had been up since early Wednesday morning when she stood in Woodfords to watch Hofer riding into town on his horse, Valentine, as little Oly the dog ran alongside.
Hofer said Oly only ran the last half mile, because he had to make up some time.
California President Rich Tatman was confident that Hofer would be in on time.
“He’s a good rider,” he said.
Douglas County Ride Capt. Bob Moore oversaw the transfer and then headed north to carry the mochila from Douglas and into Carson City.
The rider arrived in Genoa around lunchtime and was greeted by 10 riders carrying the flags of each of the eight states the ride passes through, the U.S. flag and the flag for Douglas County, in honor of Flag Day.
Moore, 82, a Gardnerville resident, was one of the original re-riders, and was ready for another year in the saddle.
That first ride covered the distance between Salt Lake City and Pollock Pines.
“I rode 55 miles,” Moore said. “Not in one stretch, but in three. There were only 70 us to cover the distance.”
All three of those legs were in the middle of Nevada, including a stretch near Butte Station, another over the mountains near Austin and the third near Fort Churchill.
Today there are 600 riders covering the 1,966 miles from Sacramento to St. Joseph, Mo. The ride is expected to finish crossing Nevada on Saturday night and to wrap up on June 23.