Pony Express Re-ride passes Fallon; Carson City next

During the 1800s, letter carriers delivered mail across the 10-state-wide trail more famously known as the Pony Express.

By Wednesday, more than 550 horses and riders will have galloped the trail used by the famed letter carriers. They will arrive at Third and Carson streets at about 11 a.m. today on one of the last legs of the St. Joseph, Mo.-to-Sacramento route.

According to Pony Express Nevada President Larry McPherson, the riders were scheduled to arrive near U.S. Highway 95 close to Fallon's Top Gun Raceway after 10 p.m. Monday.

Commemorative letters and personal mail have been relayed over the trail by participants in the National Pony Express Association. The mail has traveled nonstop 24 hours a day since June 12 from St. Joseph.

McPherson said the re-ride is more of a "relay" than anything else, and that some riders travel anywhere from one to 15 miles.

One of those riders is Fallon resident and NPEA pony rider David Kittle, who first hooked up with the group as part of last year's re-ride.

Kittle said he would ride about eight miles this year from Sand Springs to Simpson Road, which is close to U.S. Highway 95 and near the Top Gun Raceway.

"We've got the back end of it," Kittle said. "Ours will be a mediocre ride. Some of it will be walking because of the rocks and stuff. But in the last couple miles, we're hoping we can get into a good stride.

"It's a little rough when you're out in the boonies. When you can run, you run because you know you're going to hit spots that still have snowfall or creek banks are a little higher than they're supposed to be. So you've got to find another way around."

The original Pony Express was a private mail service that carried letters and telegrams on the Central Route for just 18 months in 1860-61.

The owners hoped to prove the route through Salt Lake and Placerville was passable all year and win the government mail contract.

For Kittle, the re-ride is much more than simply a jaunt through the past. His wife is a descendant of Alexander Majors, whose oath of good conduct was later adopted by Pony Express riders.

"My wife is the great-great-great-granddaughter of Alexander Majors," Kittle said.

"So the ride to me is bit more personal. The ride to me means we are keeping our history alive, as well as our family history. So we've got our country's history and our family's history to take care of."

n Contact reporter Burke Wasson at bwasson@lahontanvalleynews.com,

Mail arriving

WHAT: National Pony Express Association Re-ride

When: Today's leg from Fort Churchill to Carson City, at Third and Carson streets, should arrive at about 11:15 a.m.

Then riders will move on to Friday's Station at Harrah's in Stateline at 4:15 p.m.

Call: Hotline - 783-0462.

Scheduling note: Times could vary by a couple hours either way.

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