Pony Express re-ride begins June 11

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Pony Express riders, who begin their 1,966-mile trek to Missouri in Sacramento on June 11, will ride through Carson City the next day.

The National Pony Express Association conducts a re-ride of the Pony Express Trail from Sacramento, Calif., to St. Joseph, Mo., through June 21. The mail will arrive in Nevada at about 10 a.m. June 12 and come through Carson City at approximately 3:30 p.m.

The ride is coordinated by the National Pony Express Association, Nevada Division, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the Pony Express Trail and the legend of the Pony Express.

The re-ride is a 10-day, 24-hour a day, non-stop event by more than 500 riders and horses.

The route passes over the Pony Express National Historic Trail through California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas to Missouri.

"The challenge of the trail and the adventure of a lifetime," is why Alex Higgins of Olancha, Calif., said he is rode the trail last year.

Riders leave camp every morning at 5 a.m., but crew member Ralph Blair said he starts his day at 3:30 a.m. cooking breakfast and preparing for the day.

Jeff Briscoe of Bakersfield, Calif., has been doing endurance rides since 1971, but said he was the number-one ferrier having shod more than 150 horses in 2001.

The event commemorates the Pony Express of 1860-1861 in which the Central Overland and California Pikes Peak Express Company carried letters and telegrams for 18 months to prove the central route through Salt Lake passable year round.

Riders will carry commemorative letters in a mochila, pony express style. These letters, honoring Pony Express history, can be purchased from NPEA members, historians, and philatelists in the United States and Europe. The envelopes show they were carried by a Pony Express and the first class postage will have a U.S. Postal service cancellation. The cost of each letter is $5 each, just as they were in 1860.

The amount of letters that can be carried is very limited.

The money generated from the sale of these letters help maintain the Pony Express Trail which is a registered landmark of the United States.

Anyone interested in being a riding or nonriding member of the association and in helping re-create the ride should contact Robert Stark at 629-6924, e-mail at ponyxprider@yahoo.com or come to the group's monthly meetings in Carson City on the second Thursday of every month at Grandma Hattie's Family Restaurant starting at 7 p.m.

Nevada re-ride schedule

Station Site Arrival Time

Woodfords 10 a.m. June 12

Carson City 3:30 p.m.

Fort Churchill 9 p.m.

Shurz Highway 1 a.m. June 13

Sand Springs 4:30 a.m.

Cold Springs 8:45 a.m.

Railroad Pass 2:15 a.m.

Grubb Wells 10:45 p.m.

Overland Pass 6 a.m. June 14

Ibupah 10 p.m.


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