Young, Skinny, Wiry Fellows!
That is what the ad read back in 1860 when the company of Russell, Majors and Waddell were looking for young men to be a part of the Pony Express. The ad said that the pay was $25 per week, which was a good deal more then most men could make in those days. Because of the possible dangerous conditions the company was looking for orphans. Little did they know of the history and legends that would come from their deeds.
Now, in 2013 the National Pony Express is looking for young, or older, riders to continue this part of our American history. No need to be young, skinny, or wiry to carry the mail today. If you are male or female and 14 years of age or older you too can experience the thrill of riding your horse on the same trail as those from long ago, carring on your horse a Mochila with mail bound for Sacramento. You may find yourself riding in the blazing sun of the desert or in the cool of the night. You may be in the mountains or out on the plains in the middle of a thunderstorm.
The National Pony Express Association (NPEA) was started in 1978. In 1982 the National Pony Express Association, Nevada Division was founded. The purpose of the organization is to keep the history of the Pony Express alive and to engage in the Annual Re-ride in June of each year.
This year the mail will depart from St. Joseph, Mo., on June 17 and will arrive in Sacramento on June 27. The Nevada Division will get the mail at Ibapah, Utah, on June 23 at 11:30 p.m., and they will hand off to the California Riders at Lake Tahoe at 11 a.m. on June 26. The Nevada Riders have 60 hours to cross the state.They will be riding 24/7 and averaging a speed of 8 miles per hour.
If you are interested in participating we would love to have you. You may go to www.nevadaponyexpress.org, download the Member Application and follow the instructions. You may also send a letter to be carried in the Mochila by going to the website and downloading the Letters Form. For information or assistance, call Arthur Johnson at 775-427-4061.
David Kittle is past president of the NPEA NV Division.