A yearly re-creation of the legendary Pony Express route from California to Missouri begins today in St Joseph, Missouri.
The National Pony Express Association’s Annual Re-Ride is intended to reignite the spirit and memory of the mail service of the Wild West. It alternates directions each year with the riders heading west this time.
As with the original Pony Express in 1860-61, this week’s more than 750 riders will travel the 1,966 mile route through 8 states 24/7 until arriving in Sacramento, Calif.
Of course, there are big differences from the original. Those young riders could weigh no more than 125-pounds and each normally rode 75-100 miles at top speed while the re-creators come in all sizes and ages with most riding just a few miles slowly.
Many communities are planning celebrations when the Re-Ride comes through, and one will be at Scotts Bluff National Monument Wednesday afternoon – where the Ride is scheduled to arrive at 4:00.
Monument volunteer Jerry Lucas will give a series of short talks about the history of the Pony Express on the Visitor Center lawn starting at 2:00 and continuing until the Ride arrives.
Those who want to follow this year’s Pony Express Re-Ride can go online and find out exactly where it is because a special GPS unit has been installed in the mochila or saddlebags carrying the mail. Go to nationalponyexpress.org/annual-re-ride/follow-the-ride/