Reports from the Trail 2016

We need Reports from the Trail!
Please send your reports and photos to Tom Crews.

Reports will be posted as soon as they are received.
You can follow the progress of the Mail on this Pony Express Tracking Map.
The National Pony Express Hotline (1-855-809-8589) will be active 24 hours.

All reports must to be submitted NLT June 30.

*** Note: If a name is spelled wrong, please advise me so that a correction may be made. ***


National President Lyle Ladner will be posting photos from the Re-Ride. ******************************************************************************

From: Petra Keller, Nevada NPEA
Sent: Sunday, July 3, 7:34am PDT

I wanted to share the write up of Chloe Young, 4H Youth rider that shadowed me on the re-ride.

One hundred and fifty-six years ago, when there were no railroads and the telegraph wasn't yet invented, horses and their riders carried the public's mail. From California to Missouri, these riders went back and forth with news. They were the Pony Express! Though the Express lasted only 18 months, it is one very important event in U.S. history. As of 1960, a re-ride of the pony express began. This year (2016) I, a 13-year-old girl, rode my horse Lassen on a section of the trail as part of the re-ride for the very first time.

The section I rode was just out of Cold Springs Station, Nevada, many hours away from where I live. When we arrived at the station I was feeling that, "Wow, I am actually going to ride my horse somewhere another rider rode 156 years ago." The "Camp master" was Doug, and along with him came the rest of his family who were riding, as well were two other groups (besides us) riding.

When it came the morning for Petra and I to ride, I was tired because I hadn't slept well from the anticipation for that day. Then finding out the mail was three hours late made me more and more anxious to go. Finally, when we had packed up camp to head to the spot the mail would be handed off to Petra, with myself shadowing, I became nervous of the ride just because I hadn't ever really ridden for an actual purpose except enjoyment (and because my horse can be a bit of a brat sometimes). The mail was coming soon; I could see the riders coming to hand us the mail. This is when my stomach flipped. I was so nervous that I had to keep giving myself giant gulps of water just so I didn't throw up in front of everyone. Thankfully that nervousness went away as soon as the Mochila was put on Petra's horse Red. I took a giant breath and we were off. Lassen and Red were side by side canter-galloping, and at this point I was having the best time ever. This went on a little while until it was good to let the horses walk. As we rode that five miles transitioning from walk and canter-galloping I looked at my surroundings and wondered if the rider who rode through here saw the same thing we did today. I also realized both the first riders and us were scared of something. The first riders were scared of not getting the mail back and Indians and we, also scared of not getting the mail back were more scared of running across a rattlesnake. I remember looking everywhere at every sound I heard and continuing to ask Petra what we would do if we saw a snake. When the ride was over and we had passed the mail on to Doug, I felt proud of what I had just accomplished, both with my horse and passing the mail on. My horse Lassen and I probably had our best ride ever that day riding wild and free for the Pony Express.

From: Gene Ockert, Ride Captain
Sent: Friday, July 1, 5:13am PDT

The Schellbourne ReRiders (Pony Express) have had another great year. We covered over 144 miles with some awesome riders. We have some great riders our friends from Pahrump Jim and Mary Hannah, Jimmy Hannah, Jasmine Kern, Douglas Shaw, George Veliz, Tara Donohue, Claire Mickelson. There horses can cover some ground and make up some time.

I have my two assistance Wendy Anderson and Tony Zamora. Then Doc Christiansen, Chris Christiansen, Drake Christiansen, Dana Grover, his helper Judith Grover, Alvaretta Hill, Deanna Hoge, Nora Hoge, Rebecca Hulings, her driver James Mosson, Candice Bridgers and Gene Ockert the Ride Captain.

We had 7 new members this year, they were ready to ride and be part of history.

Gene and Nora went to the top of the diamonds to pick up the mail. We picked up the mail 4 hours late with some difficulties on the west side of Nevada. The Christiansen's picking up the mail from Gene and Nora. After that the friends from Pahrump jumped in and everyone else playing leap frog all the over to Utah.

With everyone moving the mail at a very good pace. No one had any flat tires this year, although one vehicle did get stuck. We also had to do some shoveling to fill in Long Valley wash, which was good two weeks before. With having some heavy rains that washed out some deep ruts. We did pick up an hour before we dropped the mail off to Utah who was waiting very patiently wanting to get the mail.

Here are Gene's photos.

From: Karen Trotter-Melton, Cushing, Oklahoma
Sent: Thursday, June 30, 3:58pm PDT

My first Pony Express Rerun Race 2016

Sabetha KS 2015 Went to Sabetha, to meet my great niece, Whitney. While visiting with her and her maternal family, I notice the Pony Express Race signs. I was, like, OMG, this is where, they ran the pony express race.

After Goggling, the National Pony Express Race Association webpage, I contact Daniel with the Kansas Division, if I could ride for Kansas. After receiving, "If you are willing, to drive that far, from Cushing OK to Sabetha KS, we will give you three miles, at midnight. I said, "Great, I do most of my training at night time."

On Wednesday, June 22, my Pony, The Harley Hank (Hank) and I drove to Sabetha, KS. Doug Garber and family was nice enough, to let Hank stay at his farm and I got a room at the Magnuson Hotel. On the following Thursday, I went to Seneca and Maysville, to take in the Pony Express museums. And Beattie. The next day on Friday, I was given my contact point, north of Beattie, at Summit.

Hank and me had arrived early, around midnight, Saturday AM, at our contact point. I was glad to give my pony, Hank, time to acclimate himself to the sounds of the winds flowing through the corn fields and the whooshing of the big windmills. As I watched Hank look around and down the road, we were to travel, I notice how calm he was. I sill didn't know, if I had brought the right horse. Hank by nature, doesn't like surprises, he cautious, and he likes to buck. I just knew he could cover a lot of road, in a fast distance.

Darrel Boyd, an 90 year old Pony Express rider, show up and while we were visiting, Hank walked over to him and laid his head on his shoulder. This was not usual for a cautious horse, but he truly rested and show Mr. Boyd, he was his friend. And Mr. Boyd truly enjoyed it. About 15 minutes before the arriving Pony Express horse appeared, Hank relieved himself. He knew something was getting ready to happen.

And then they came...Hank and me bothe had the same expression...Wow, there's a horse and rider. As Lyle Lander removed the mochila from this rider to Hank, and said, "Karen, go with it." I knew the moment had come, when Hank would show me what he was going to do. As we finish up our fifth mile, I was so proud of my pony, because he had been willing to carried the mochila and me to where we need to be and I felt a sense of pride knowing we had help the Kansas division arrival in Seneca KS.

Riding on the reenactment of the Pony Express race had and will always be a wonderful memory, but it's not the main reason, I did it. It was a honor and privileged to remember the Brotherhood of the young riders, who did an extraordinary task in adverse circumstances. No one told them to stay out there and deliver the mail. They just did it. I hope, our youth of this county is never forgotten.

Thank you, Kansas, for letting me ride for you.

From: Lyle Ladner, President NPEA
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 3:38pm PDT

The mail arrived in St.Joe on time.

From: Susan Lousberg
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2:29pm PDT

The Berkley riders arrived in Elwood, Kansas just as the last Kansas rider arrived to hand the Mochila off the the first Missouri rider, ahead of schedule at 2:30pm CDT.

Bruce and Susan Lousberg and Matt and Joyce Holt drove 11 hours from North East Texas to ride with Doug and Tyler Berkley on the re-ride, it was well worth it!

Here are Susan's Photos.

From: John Bowser - N0YXG
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 9:30am PDT

Hwy 20 & Hwy 120
Time: 11:28
Temp: 88

From: John Bowser - N0YXG
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 8:33am PDT

Purcell KS
Hwy K20 & Hwy 137

From: John Bowser - N0YXG
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 8:21am PDT

110th St & Timber Rd
Time 10:18
Temp 86

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 7:26am PDT

At 09:20 hrs CDT the Pony was at Kennekuk, KS.

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 6:56am PDT

At 08:50 hrs the Pony was in Horton, KS, running 20 minutes ahead of schedule.

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Friday, June 24, 7:52pm PDT

At 20:30 hrs CDT the Pony was in Hollandberg Station, KS. One hour 30 minutes behind.

From: Susan Lousberg
Sent: Friday, June 24, 5:24pm PDT

Just exchanged on the Kansas Nebraska border at 7:22pm CDT, 1 hour 20 minutes late.

From: Dennis Mason KØBYK, Amateur Radio support
Sent: Friday, June 24, 12:43pm PDT

We have a breakdown in the system, I just tried the 855 number and the updating is a day behind and will not accept any transfer to add info in.

From: Dennis Mason KØBYK, Amateur Radio support
Sent: Friday, June 24, 11:48am PDT

Latest location reported by Supt. of Rock Creek SP, NE on the trail, at HWY53, indicated a 1 hr. late to schedule.

From: Lyle Ladner, President NPEA
Sent: Friday, June 24, 9:39am PDT

In Oak, NE, 1 hour and 30 minutes behind schedule.

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 5:219m PDT

June 23, at 19:00 hrs CDT the Pony was at Cozad, NE. about an hour behind schedule.

From: Mary Cone, Keith County, Nebraska, Trail Captain
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2:32pm PDT

The weather received an A+ for this year's Re-Ride in southwest Nebraska. Very little wind and temps in the 60's. A slightly cloud-obscured moon that has waned a bit from full helped, too.

Unfortunately, our contingent was short of riders, horses and rigs this year. But, in true Pony Express spirit, we received help to cover some miles at both ends of our Re-Ride distance. Colorado Riders came an extra 6 miles on our west end. Then the North Platte Riders started riding about 6.4 miles early to help us on our east end. We were at Big Springs about 2:35 am. We rode making good time, passing Tri-Trails Park south of Ogallala at 5:45 am Thursday morning, on schedule. The local newspaper lady was there, smiling, with camera in hand, to record our passing. National President Lyle Ladner and his compadre Dean Atkins missed us at Tri-Trails Park, but caught up with us at Ole's in Paxton to have breakfast with our ride group, plus Nebraska Division President Lyle Gronewold and his wife Carol. While there, Lyle G. administered the XP oath to our group, somewhat backwards of norm, but in a very respectable setting. We stamped bibles and handed out ride pins and the other extra goodies that makes it special to be a Pony Express Rider!!

Our 5 riders, including Kristy, Mary, Donna, Bill and Mary Dale, rode 8 ponies to "git 'er done". Mona, Irene, Ron and Joan helped drive rigs and "ride drag" for us, too. We were leap-frogging and playing "musical ponies" in and out of trailers the whole way. My appreciation goes out to everyone for all their help!

Thanks, also, to the extra effort from our neighboring ride groups to help get the mail through this year-Linda with Colorado and Matt with the North Platte gang!

It may be boring to hear about, but a safe, quiet ride is a good one to have!!

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 10:06am PDT

On 23 June at 11:45 hrs CDT the Pony was at North Platte, NE.

From: Carol Hunt, Schellbourne Re-riders
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 10:29am PDT

The weather wasn't too friendly here in C/E Nevada for us to get on our "ponies" and get them conditioned, but finally a few days with no rain, the wind died down, and we brushed the dust off the horses and saddled up and we were off and running. My granddaughter, Nicole, a new horse owner of just a couple of months, but with a couple of years of riding experience and a love for horses (what teen girl doesn't love horses?) wanted to ride "the Pony." Daughter, Karen, and Nicole came up a few days before the XP so we could get in some last minute conditioning and for them to escape the So. Nevada heat. We enjoyed lots of riding. A friend of Nicole's from Henderson, "Walking Tall" Louis Hall, had joined the Pony Express, and has really been excited to do it, and now it was here! Louis brought two horses, an Arabian and a Paso Fino. Louis knows the Paso owners from Pahrump that have ridden with us for two years, and he was ready to see what all the fun was about. We went to McDonald's to meet riders from around the state who would convoy out to Huntington, at the foot of The Diamond's, the mountain range dividing White Pine and Eureka Counties. We greeted old and new friends, then Gene Ockert, ride captain, arrived, and away the entourage went to the base camp. I and my "group" went home to finish loading the truck and trailer, then we set out to join the XP riders for dinner. It was quite a distance to go for dinner, but the idea was to see the country, and know what was in store for our part of the ride. We got to camp in time for dinner, and reunited with friends and swapped a few stories before we left for home, and our beds! We would meet them with fresh horses the next morning. Geno told us to be at Schellbourne about 8 a.m. because "he thought the mail would be early." So, who gets any sleep when you're excited about riding the Pony? I guess we got a little shut eye, then up way too early, fed horses, and got ready to head out. We passed Joyce Christensen on the highway. She was hauling up water, and lunch, and gas/fuel as there just aren't any convenience stations along the 144 mile trail, plus other added miles. We got to Schellbourne, and enjoyed the facilities, and the Kiosk which tells about the Pony Express. We also learned that the mail was four hours late. (Groan. What was that about sleep?) Oh, well. We stalled around for awhile, Karen and Nicole, and Eva Jensen, who would be riding for her fifth time. We went to our exchange post, unloaded the horses, and set about to relax. We went on a little limbering up ride. We sat and chatted. We watched a cattle drive come up from Schellbourne, passing not too far from us, and go right up Egan Canyon. We wondered if they would cause a problem for any rider. National President Lyle Ladner and First VP Dean Atken showed up. We visited. We all were wondering where the pony rider might be. Nicole rode. It was 75 degrees, and a strong wind, but it was pleasant. And we waited. We did another little "limbering up" ride. We saw a couple of deer cross the road. Maybe here is a good time to tell you about Eva. She is an archaeologist with Great Basin Park. November of 2014 she and her crew were checking out where a project was intended. She happened onto a little grove of trees and brush, and there propped up against a tree was an old, weathered rifle. It turned out to be an 1873 Winchester, which obviously had endured a few decades in the shelter of the trees from the snow and rain of the 8,000' elevation. Eva's group "rescued" the rifle. She took it to Cody, Wyo, to have it stabilized. The rifle story exploded on the internet, and on Face Book. Reno and Las Vegas newspapers told the story of the rifle. The London Telegraph called Eva and interviewed her, as well as Hong Kong and Seoul, Korea. The humble little Winchester had gained a following of gun buffs, history enthusiasts, and just people who wondered why the rifle was left there, who could have left it, why? Was anyone harmed so couldn't go back for the rifle? The Winchester is now enclosed in a glass case, complete with a little brush to remind viewers of where it had been found. Then, Winchester invited the "rifle" to the Shot Show in Las Vegas this past February. Eva got to "escort" the rifle. Then the Winchester and Eva were invited to the NRA convention in Louisville, KY, last month. How fun it has been for her. Makes me want to go "prospecting" for a gun, or gold, or whatever!

Finally, almost seven hours in to our wait, we saw Gene and Louis's rigs turning up Egan Canyon. Finally action! After a while here comes Louis, galloping in like the Pony riders of old. The mochila was put on Eva's big paint mare, and away we went for a four mile stretch. Nicole's wonderful paint horse matched strides with Eva's horse, and they ate up the trail, finally passing off. There was six more miles into Schellbourne. We passed other riders waiting for their turns. We got in to Schellbourne, and riders and crews got there and got a break and some lunch. We were assigned to go to the top of Schellbourne Pass, and take a downhill stretch of trail. Nicole rode Louis's Arab, and away they went. Then I let Nicole ride my Missouri Fox Trotter. This 13 year old girl was having the time of her life. Louis and Nicole hitched a ride to Rock Springs, the tallest part of the entire 1,966 miles of the Pony Express, almost 8.000 feet. They were to take the mochila up the "hardest part" of the hill, and no one seemed excited about doing it, so with his well conditioned horses, the two adventurers did the job. I think they passed on to Wendy Andersen and Candy Zamora, from Colorado. Eva and I drove on around and followed the truck route that bypasses Rock Springs. We got to Tippets and waited. And snacked. And fed and watered horses, and waited. Finally Tony Zamora came and headed up the back side of Rock Springs to pick up riders. After some time other rigs showed up. Here came the mochila, and the mochila was passed to Doc Christensen, our "eldest" wiry young "orphan" on his 36th or so time riding the re-ride. He passed to Eva and I for our two miles. It was now dark, and riders scampered to get in line, and head the final 17 miles into the National Pony Express monument at Ibapah, Utah. We had cut off an hour and 20 minutes of the deficit. I knew those hardy Utah riders would close that gap. We got into Ibapah, and saw several rigs waiting to take the mail and continue east. The Schellbourne Re-riders headed for camp, where a very late night dinner was just starting to be prepared. I saw beautiful steaks on the grill, but we didn't want to wait 45 minutes before dinner would be ready, so we headed for "home." This is our part of the story. I hope some one writes about the first half. I heard there were some pretty exciting events happened. I look forward to the riders' reports. So go get on it. God Bless all of you for your efforts in making a success of the 156th re-ride. Oh, did I mention the National Park Service administrates the historic trails, including the Pony Express trail? Eva was quite a handy person to have along! This was my eighth year. Don't know how long I can be a "young, wiry orphan!"

Here are Carol's Photos.

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 10:06am PDT

On 23 June at 11:45 hrs CDT the Pony was at North Platte, NE.

From: Paula Bath, Colorado Divison
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 8:18am PDT

The Colorado division under CO director Linda Dolzal picked up the mail at Chappell, NE last night at 10:08 pm. Riders had a beautiful night ride and delivered the mail to NE at Big Springs 2:37 pm by my watch. The Chamber of Commerce held a BBQ for the riders and folks at the Julesburg, CO visitor center prior to the night's ride. Western music was play by Rigg Leachman past Pony Express rider. Relaxing and enjoyable prelude to the transfer of the mochila at Chappell. I am attaching a few photos at the BBQ as a night ride does not lend itself to great pictures.

From: Lizzi Tremayne, Waihi, New Zealand
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 1:15am PDT

I started posting about the PX on 13 June and have several highly photographic blog postsup now! Note: Lizza has been riding across the trail and is tour the US.

From: Lyle Ladner, President NPEA
Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2:48pm PDT

Chimney Rock exchange on time.

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 11:49am PDT

At 12:45 hrs MDT on June 22 the Pony was at Scottsbluff, NE, running on time.

From: Les Bennington, President Wyoming NPEA
Received: Wednesday, June 22, 10:23am PDT

We got to the Nebraska Line 10 minutes late at 10:40am MDT. After changing the batteries and resetting the GPS they headed off east.

From: James Wertelka, Wyoming NPEA
Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 8:36am PDT

This was the rider riding past South Torrington.
Thank you for keeping history alive.

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 5:52am PDT

At 06:00 hrs on 22 June the Pony was at Old Fort Laramie, WY.

From: Sarah Norvell, Wyoming NPEA
Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 11:30pm PDT

The mail made it to Glendo about 12:20pm MDT. 20 minutes behind schedule.

From: Leo E. Morin, USAF/RET.
Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 9:22pm PDT





From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2:37pm PDT

At 15:13 hrs MDT on June 21 the Pony was at Fort Casper Historical Grounds in Casper, WY.

From: Petra Keller, Nevada NPEA
Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 1:28pm PDT

Petra Keller - Rider Report 2016

Thank you to all the incredible folks along the route to make this the best Re-Ride year to date for Red & I. Re-Ride 2016 for Red & I are in the 'books' and a very memorable one!

My first leg started at Mormon Station, Genoa. I woke up early and checked the tracker and saw the mail making good progress by the California division. Jim De Glopper helped me load and provide 'valet services' for the day (his words and much appreciated!). We arrive early at Mormon Station; Red unloads and is a tad uneasy with all the new things around him. I get him settled in and start saddling up. The Nevada Division had a special event planned at the Mormon Station; emceed by Kim Harris. As part of the days activities at the stockade, we have a 'Dress Up' and sit on a Mochila planned, Squeeze In Sponsor talk, music by Richard Blair, History of the Pony Express, Rider Oath, and much more. Great XP helpers for the event Kim, DebiLynn, Judy, Sally, Doyle, Anita, Carrie and Chloe for helping - THANK YOU! Lots of familiar faces in the crowd - thank you ALL for coming out and support the Pony Express. Whilst waiting for the incoming rider we talk to lots of folks at the venue.

Squeeze In folks that sponsored the Mochila arrive and the Young & Morris folks meet Red. The event at Mormon Station starts and Richard Blair plays his newly composed "Pony Express" song to the audience. The incoming Rider Deby O'Gorman arrives in the Stockade, we exchange the Mochila from Pony to Red, some photos with the Squeeze In folks and off we go. Riding out of the Mochila, we spy Buffalo Bill standing at the corner of the Stockade. We nestle in between the sheriff escort and down Jacks Valley Road we go. We alternate between a canter and walk avoiding the manhole covers and grates along the route. Then we come across two corrals of sheep, first one Red is unsure about those woolly creatures dashing away from him but continues on, second corral - the sheep are running towards us! A bit more than what he expected and we crossed the road to be able to get away from the fence with the sheep watching us. Note to self; expose Red to more sheep (and probably goats)! Along the route several folks had pulled over to greet and cheer on the Pony Rider; always fun to see so many folks out supporting the Pony. We arrive at our exchange at Genoa Golf Course. Ride Captain Mike Ryan is helping with the exchange - and off goes the next team. We hang out to have Red cool down a bit and share the Mormon Station event with Mike. Jim then moves the previous teams rig to the their end point and we chat with Cortney and Jane about their ride. As we are making our way towards home, we see the next rider up ahead. He is having some trouble with the horse; we pull up next to him and see if he wants help. "Yes, please". We pull off on the shoulder of the road and unload Red. I don't think I have ever saddled him so fast! I get back on Red and try to encourage Dale & Duke to follow. Duke, a big Belgian draft, is used to moving along with his teammate another Belgian Draft - not a 'small thoroughbred', and did not buddy up with Red. Dale & I talked about options and decided that he would give the Mochila to Red & I and we would take on that leg. Another Mochila exchange and off we go! Red and I take it down Jacks Valley Road - and I realize that I am not sure where my turnoff is supposed to be! I ride up next to the escort car and let them know I need help with the route. They were amazing and made sure Red and I knew the route to the next exchange. Note to self … make sure you know the route for legs before and after yours! Jim is waiting for us with the trailer and we unsaddle Red (again!) and head home. Good thing that we were taking our time at my end point, else we would have been ahead of the team and unable to help. A quick stop at the Carson Ride Captain handoff; to wish first time Ride Captain Heather Graziano Good luck (She rocked it!). A brief stop home before picking up Carrie & Chloe Young and Lassen we head out to our campout in Cold Springs. I am thrilled how well Red handled all of the days events, he was calm and relaxed at the stockade, not phased by all the activities and commotion around him! Even pulling him out of the trailer on the side of the road with lots of activities - he was good with everything going on around him.

Photos from this leg.

We arrive at Cold Springs on Hwy 50 - set up camp, picket line the horses from the truck to the trailer. The riders start trickling and setting up camp for the evening. Riders meeting in camp to discuss the next day's events, several first time riders for this section. Potluck dinner, Doug Jares BBQ tri tip and we have a wonderful dinner. We talk about the events of the day - mentioning the Mormon Station event - Doug inquires if there was media at the event and any chance that I might be in some local coverage. Little did I know that the Jares Family tradition is if you make media you need to buy a round. Good thing I was prepared for this (unknowingly) - I had bought a bottle of German Apfel Schnapps with shot glasses for the campout! After a great dinner and talk around the 'campfire' we settle in. The night was one with little sleep - Lassen was fidgety on the picket line, moving around all night, the movements cause the camper to rock just a bit and of course each time, you check to see if all is OK. Also checking the hotline and tracker page overnight for progress to see if the Pony is running early / late. We rise early in the morning to feed the horses and hear that the Pony is running a couple of hours late. We pack up camp and go to our starting point. This year I have a 4H youth rider, Cloe Young on Lassen, as a shadow rider on my 5 mile let from Hwy 50 to Edwards Creek. Red must feel the excitement in the air, he is unable to stand still. Thankfully, he wasn't like this the day before! This leg is a dirt road with a couple of cattle guards, gradual uphill until you reach the "white house" at Edwards Creek. Thankfully Cloe's dad, an ultra runner, ran along with us and was able to open all the gates by the cattle guards. We would leap frog each other along the road. Chloe and I would canter down the road side by side and the two horses did great. Next year Chloe will be old enough to be a rider carrying the Mochila. Looking forward to seeing her doing that next year! We arrived at the white house and handed over to Ride Captain Doug Jares who carried it over the mountain to Smith Creek Ranch. We were also blessed that we had several photographers who came out to photograph the riders and route! Thank you to everyone that helps make this a fun event! Riders, Support Crew, HAM operators, Photographers and Pony Fans!

Photos from this leg.

At the end of that leg, we unsaddled and put the horses in the cowboy corrals at Edwards Creek. To camp here has been on my list since my first Re-ride in this area! Thanks to Darren, Carrie & Chloe for camping out after the Re-Ride and exploring the canyon the day after. Beautiful place - here some photos from the campout and ride.

Photos from this leg.

From: Les Bennington, President Wyoming NPEA
Received: Tuesday, June 21, 8:43am PDT

We are running about a half hour behind just west of Casper. Everything is going good.

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 8:53am PDT

At 07:17 hrs MDT, the pony was at Martin's Cove, WY, about 17 minutes late.

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Monday, June 20, 8:57Pm PDT

At 21:05 hrs MDT the Pony was in Atlantic City, Wyoming. It appears that the Pony is one hour and five minutes behind schedule.

From: National Pony Express Hot Line (1-855-809-8589)
Received: Monday, June 20, 2:54pm PDT

At 12:00 Noon MDT the pony was in Granger, Wyoming.

From: Patsy Lange, Utah NPEA
Received: Monday, June 20, 12:10pm PDT

In looking at Team 2, Utah Division pictures that Jamie Marvidakis posted, and also Beverly Heferman posted; everyone looks like they are having a fantastic re-ride in the Western Utah Desert, from Ibapah to Simpson Springs! We had an energetic and enthusiastic team this year, everyone pitched in and did their best to make up as much time as we could (and did pick up an hour of lost time). We had a pretty bright moon most of the night that really helped, a few clouds for 2-3 hours, but all in all the full moon really helped (many thanks to our National President Lyle Ladner, and many others who helped put the schedule together each year!)

We saw sveral large herds of wild horses, and a lot of antelope, many with babies, had to dodge and lot of jack rabbits who came out to see what all the commotion was about. We had some daylight riding time in the early morning. It was such fun to see the scenery in daylight as we usually get a night run in that part of our run. It was in the 60's so was cool for the horses and us. Again, thanks team for a FANTASTIC re-ride!

See ya up the trail! Patsy Lange

Here are Patsy's Photos.

From: Les Bennington, President Wyoming NPEA
Received: Monday, June 20, 11:09am PDT

We are running about 45 minutes late. We were about 10-15 minutes late from Utah early in the morning. Had to do some work on the Mochilla, stiched it up which made us 45 mintes late getting away from the state line. We are keeping to the ride time schedule but still 45 minutes late. Hopefully they will make up some of that today although it is pretty warm out here so that won't help much. The mail just went through Granger about 10 minutes ago heading east toward Green River Crossing.

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Monday, June 20, 8:32am PDT

At approximately 09:00 hrs MDT the Pony was passing through Lyman, Wyoming.

From: Patrick Hearty, Utah NPEA
Sent: Sunday, June 19, 9:07pm PDT

Utah's Team 3 carried the mail from Simpson Springs to Murray Park in Salt Lake Valley, and man, did they do it right. Team 1 picked up an hour coming across the desert at night, and Team 3 picked up another half hour between Simpson and Eagle Mountain. After that, you do not gain any time, as all rides are on city streets with pavement, traffic, etc. But on the first half, we had Pony Express riders of the highest order. Trever Carpenter left Simpson and rode 2 miles in 5 1/2 minutes. A few minutes later, Gregg Hearty did his 2 miles in 7 minutes. Not all of us are young, skinny wirey fellows like that, but everyone turned it up a notch to make up for the loss of 6 of our riders due to health problems, etc. Horses were flying in and out of trailers as Kellie Kimber made repeated on-the-fly schedule changes. She's a marvel. One near miss, though, when Oakly Rogers' horse found an open post hole, and got a little dust on the mochila (and on Oakly). Frantic times, but we delivered the mail at Murray Park at about 6:30 P.M., only about 1 1/2 hours behind schedule, now. I can't say too much about the effort our riders and their horses gave. Everyone was asked for a little extra, and every one delivered. Best of luck to everyone to the east.

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Sunday, June 19, 7:10pm PDT

At 19:30 hrs MDT the Pony was passing the "This is the Place Monument" in Salt Lake City, UT, one and one-half hours late.

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Sunday, June 19, 2:04pm PDT

At 15:00 hrs, MDT, the Pony was at the North end of Eagle Mountain in Utah.

From: Jill Andrews Ride Captain
Sent: Sunday, June 19, 1:19pm PDT

This is Jill Andrews Ride Captain for Churchill to Highway 95 in Nevada Churchill County just want to pass on a big well done to all the Riders and California and Nevada and Utah to date even though the mail is behind I know they'll make it up and in true Pony fashion. all of my team was where they needed to be when they needed to be and did the best they can and I think that's all we can really hope for. It was a job well done it was a beautiful ride and let's get it on the cross-country done. I know we'll make it home yet

From: Jamie Marviddakis, Utah Division Team 2
Sent: Sunday, June 19, 10:53am PDT

Team 2 delivered the mail to Simpson Springs at 10:00 am MDT, 2 hours behind schedule, but we made up an hour on the desert, and the whole team did awesome. Thanks for everyone's help and support.

From: National Pony Express Hot Line (1-855-809-8589)
Received: Sunday, June 19, 7:31am PDT

At 4:42am MDT the mail was reported passing Boyd's Springs about 3 hours behind schedule.

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Sunday, June 19, 12:02am PDT

On 18 June at 23:44 hrs the Pony was at Ibapah, UT, running 2 hours and 44 minutes behind schedule.

From: Tom Crews, California NPEA
Received: Saturday, June 18, 7:13pm PDT

This may not be a race, but I know all riders strive to be on time. When California is running a little behind you would not believe how those riders in the mountains just crash down the hill. We have been known to make up 3 hours and arrive in Old Sac on time. I don't think the public realizes how individual this "sport" is. Yes, there may be some support people along, but out on the trail it is just one rider and his horse alone under the open sky. Ride safe!

From: Nevada Hot Line (1-855-809-8589)
Received: Saturday, June 18, 7:01pm PDT

At 1800 hours the mail was reported at Spring Valley Road approximately 4 hours behind schedule.

From: Nevada Hot Line (1-855-809-8589)
Received: Saturday, June 18, 2:15pm PDT

At 1:00pm the mail was reported 51.4 miles west of Overland Pass West approximately 3 hours and 31 minutes behind schedule.

From: Nevada Hot Line (1-855-809-8589)
Received: Saturday, June 18, 11:06am PDT

At 8:23am the mail was reported 10.7 miles west of Overland Pass West approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes late.

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Saturday, June 18, 8:18am PDT

The Pony was at Overland Pass at 05:48 hours on 18 June, and running 4 hours and three minutes late.

Tom, the riders just do the best they can. We have some riders who don't ride very well and others that are expert riders. We depend on the more experienced riders to try and make up time. Like this morning, the horse became lame at the tom of the mountain and had to be walked down the mountain to the next rider. These things happen and we just try to deal with them as we can. Like I always say, this is not a race, we are doing this to educate the world as to how the men did this back in 1860 and 1861.

From: Nevada Hot Line (1-855-809-8589)
Received: Saturday, June 18, 7:38am PDT

At 0548 the Pony Express Rider was headed east bound over Overland Pass East in the Ruby Mountains approximately 4 hours and 7 minutes late.

From: Nevada Hot Line (1-855-809-8589)
Received: Friday, June 17, 11:41pm PDT

At 10:42pm the mail was reported to be at Grubb Wells currently 2 hours and 42 minutes behind schedule.

From: Nevada Hot Line (1-855-809-8589)
Received: Friday, June 17, 8:26pm PDT

At 7:02pm the mail was reported to be crossing Rye Patch Wash currently 2 hours and 27 minutes behind schedule.

From: Heather Graziano, Ride Captain, Carson City to Fort Churchill, Nevada Division
Sent: Friday, June 17, 4:02pm PDT

Had a beautiful and fun evening riding into Fort Churchill as the light was just starting to disappear. We dodged a rattle snake along the way, waved to some hay farmers and watched the colors start on the hills. Our section got the mail about 20 minutes late and we were able to make up 10 min overall even after a couple of slow exchanges due to troubleshooting the tracker. Super proud of my riders and horses for covering our 34 mile section in 4 hrs and 40 minutes! Huge thanks to the Battleborn Reenactors for greeting us with snacks and drinks at the end!

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Friday, June 17, 3:56pm PDT

At 15:14 hrs the Pony was at Rail Road Pass, running 2 hours 45 minutes late.

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2:24pm PDT

Rider was at Smith Creek Ranch at 13:26 hrs running 1 hr and 26 minutes late.

From: David Kittle, Third Vice President, National Pony Express Association
Sent: Friday, June 17, 10:19am PDT

Rider at Cold Springs on HWY 50 at 09:50 hrs, 2 hours and 25 minutes late.

From: Lisa Agoitia, California XP Rider
Sent: Friday, June 17, 9:52am PDT

My ride was Hwy 50 to Celio Ranch. The mail was a 45 min ahead of time by the time I received it. Smooth sailing down the hill to Cielio Ranch. Ran it a few min. faster than the time given. If it was raining or wet pavement it would have been a slow go down the paved hill. But weather was on our side and Harmony (my horse) and I had a beautiful ride down. Passed of the mail to the next rider. Folks had pancakes and eggs at Celio Ranch. Very nice of them to cook for us. Good people!! We moved on to check down the road (in a trailer) on other riders till we reached Woodfords. CA. Woodsfords Station Deli/bakery had a great spread of baked goods and coffee where Nevada took over.

From: Nevada Hot Line (1-855-809-8589)
Received: Friday, June 17, 9:38am PDT

At 8:15am the mail was reported at East Gate currently 2 hours and 20 minutes behind schedule.

From: Nevada Hot Line
Received: Friday, June 17, 7:28am PDT

At 6:35am the mail was reported at Drum Summit currently 2 hours and 18 minutes behind schedule.

From: Nevada Hot Line
Received: Friday, June 17, 12:13pm PDT

On Thursday, June 16 at 9:54pm the mail was reported 8 miles east of Hooten Wells approximately 1 hour behind schedule.

From: Nevada Hot Line
Received: Thursday, June 16, 7:09pm PDT

At 6:50pm the mail was reported to be at Fort Churchill State Park approximately 55 minutes behind schedule.

From: Nevada Hot Line
Received: Thursday, June 16, 4:45pm PDT

At 1545 the mail was reported to be at HWY 351 and HWY 50 headed off road towards Dayton approximately 1 hour behind the expected schedule.

From: David Kittle, Nevada NPEA
Received: Thursday, June 16, 12:55pm PDT

Left Genoa, NV at 12:00 noon, running about 1 hour behind schedule.

From: Nevada Hot Line
Received: Thursday, June 16, 9:16am PDT

At 8:45 the Pony was reported to be 3 miles east of Woodfords Station, Califfornia, headed for Genoa.

From: Melba Leal, California NPEA
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 8:59am PDT

CA handed off to NV at 8:12 scheduled for 0900. As usual the riders were great.

From: Melba Leal, California NPEA
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 7:21am PDT

About one mile from Pickett's Junction.

From: Melba Leal, California NPEA
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 7:02am PDT

Approaching Luther Pass

From: Melba Leal, California NPEA
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 6:12am PDT

Arrived at Celio Ranch 30 minutes ahead of schedule.

From: Melba Leal, California NPEA
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 11:09pm PDT

Riders arrived at Cleveland Corral 45 minutes ahead of schedule.

From: Melba Leal, California NPEA
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 10:00pm PDT

At 9:55pm mail was just passed across the Brockliss Site 1 hour ahead of schedule. All is well.

From: Larry Carpenter, California NPEA
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 6:56pm PDT

I rejoined the Ride, or caught up with the Ride in El Dorado County, near Buckeye Road and Mother Lode Drive. It is not easy to keep pace with this Event. Riders are maintaining a speed of 8 to 11 miles an hour, but some don't know this is a Recreation, and they ride with Passion.

The route has been developed over the years to avoid traffic bottlenecks, etc, and the Riders disappear down an access rode or onto a dirt road and reappear down a road ahead of you. It is a challenge to keep up with them, or get ahead of the Rider and horse.

I arrived in "downtown" El Dorado (Mud Springs in Pony Days) ahead of the Rider (Janet Kampf) and had time to socialize with the Radio Net Team and Jerry Leal (CA Ride Captain) and Melba Leal his wife and CA Board Member . The Outgoing Rider Davey "Doc" Wiser was saddling his horse and about to Ride. Before we could finish our conversations, Janet was seen rounding the curve and getting a shout from the crowd at Poor Reds across the road....35 minutes early. Shouts of "Pony Rider Coming" soon erupted. The mochila was exchanged and shouting "Pony Rider," Davey a Veteran Rider ('83), spurred his horse and headed for Diamond Springs. Rich Tatman, acting as Escort pulled in behind him with a banner across the back of his pickup "RIDER AHEAD" and they headed up the two lane road and joined the evening commuter rush. Davey's Ride is Short, but the mochila will continue on, his signature on a Cantina, and in 10 days cross the Missouri River and arrive at the Patee House.

Long Live the Pony Express. Larry Carpenter, Member California Division.

From: Jeremiah Norrell, California Communications
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 5:23pm PDT

Horse departed El Dorado @ 1719

From: Larry Carpenter, California NPEA
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 3:52pm PDT

Folsom Report.

The Folsom Welcome Ceremony began On-Time at the Folsom History Museum, Sutter Street, Folsom. Hosted by the Folsom Historical Society. This began at 2:00 PM on the steps of the Museum with the public, NPEA Members, and the members of the Folsom Historical Society in attendance. Folsom after the first 6 week so Pony Express Operations was the Terminus of the Overland Route of the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company. The mail was then put on the Cars of the Sacramento Railroad for the trip to the waterfront in Sacramento and the waiting steamboat for the trip to San Francisco.

I acted as MC and introduced Anthony Ikeda Kolar, Director of the Folsom History Museum, who gave a brief history of the Palmer Day Bldg which houses the Museum and which in 1860-1861, was the Pony Express Agency and Remount Station in Folsom. Our proceedings were interrupted by shouts of "Rider Coming." The incoming Rider in a clatter and a flash rode up Sutter Street, some 15 to 20 minutes early. We quickly Swore in the Outgoing Rider, after she stepped into the saddle and onto the mochila, ready to ride. NPEA National President Lyle Ladner did the Honors and Administered the Pony Express Oath to her, and with cheers and whoops she and her horse disappeared up the street under Escort of the Folsom Police. We then continued with history and I introduced Aaron Mahr, Superintendent of the Intermountain Region of the National Park Service. Aaron told of the role the National Park Service has in administering the National Trails, and the necessity of us all to do our part in "Finding Our Parks." This is the Centennial of the National Park Service and an opportunity for us to call attention to the fact that the Pony Express Trail is part of the National Trails System, as a designated Historic Trail.

Long Liver the Pony Express. On to St Joseph! Larry Carpenter, Corresponding Secretary, National Pony Express Association.

From: Larry Carpenter, California NPEA
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 3:31pm PDT


The 2016 Pony Express Ride Departure Ceremony in Pony Express Plaza, 2nd and J Streets, Old Sacramento, began On-Time at 9:30 AM. California Division President Elizabeth Davis introduced a series of Speakers who told a group of 50 plus of the National Pony Express Association, the Pony Express, and the role the State Parks Department, and the National Park Service play in preserving Pony Express History and sites and the Trail. The event took place in the shadow of Holland's Pony Rider Monument across the street from the B.F. Hastings Building, that in 1860 housed the Pony Express Agency. Within sight just a block west was the waterfront where the New World, and The Antelope transported the mail to and from Sacramento, to San Francisco, in 1860-1861.

Phil Sexton, representing the Capital District State Museums and Historic Parks, brought greetings and explained the historic significance of Old Sacramento to the Gold Rush and Pony Express eras. Aaron Mahr, Superintendent, Long Distance Trails Office, Intermountain Region, National Park Service, Santa Fe, talked of the significance of the Pony Express National Historic Trail, and the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service. Lyle Ladner, President, National Pony Express Association, gave an overview of the 2016 Re-ride over the next 10 days, and Administered the Pony Express Oath to the first Rider, Sara Miller. She Departed Pony Express Plaza before Schedule with an Escort of two Riders.

Good attendance at the Ceremony of NPEA Members the public and Press. We had three television stations and the local Press there.

Good Weather for today's Ride, temperature in the 70's, good for the horses and Riders. Sara's Ride was a glorious one, a short one, but she was the first of some 600 who will transport the mochila to Missouri. It will travel from the Sacramento River to the Missouri River in 10 days, 24-hours a day. Long Live the Pony Express!

From: Annette Nylander, California NPEA
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 3:06pm PDT

We are at the White Meadows Road parking waiting for forest service so that we can get the Rope across the river at Brockliss Crossing. Ride due to come to me tonight at 10:23 pm, but need to get the ropes and cable ready early.

From: Melba Leal, California NPEA
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 1:28pm PDT

Just left Hazel.

From: Lyle Ladner, President NPEA
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 1:20pm PDT

Fish Hatchery Exchange - 30 min early.

From: Lori Babbage, California NPEA
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 12:57pm PDT

Ride #2: Jeff Babbage and daughter Allison Babbage arrived early to the exchange point in Sacramento at Discovery Park. Unfortunately, dad woke up with the stomach flu and felt it a wise idea to pass on this portion of the ride. Allison, as a lone rider received the mail on time and the exchange was picture perfect (thank you Sara Miller). The trail only brought one challenge to Allison at just over three miles in. The trail is beautiful as it follows the curves of American River. As Allison and Angel (her 13 year old Quarter horse Standard Breed cross) were loping around a curve, the trail was completely blocked by new construction, with workers on scene. Allison comes to a screeching holt realizing there is a 5 foot fence blocking the trail around a 10 foot deep trench running the length of the levee. Allison immediately calls out to the works to find out if she can make it around the construction. They instruct her to turn around and go back on a mile detour. She and Angel quickly assess the situation and make split decision. As any good Pony Express Rider knows, the mail must to be on time! So, down the levee they went, jumping a portion of the trench, then taking a short swim before heading up the levee to the trail on the other side of the construction. All while keeping the mail dry and handing off to the awaiting rider early!

From: Melba Leal, California NPEA
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 12:51am PDT

Big coverage in Old Sac. About twenty minutes of talks. About four TV stations. Just arrived at Sunrise 27 minutes ahead of schedule.

From: Lyle Ladner, President NPEA
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 11:22am PDT

On time departure from Old Sac.

From: Carol Hunt, Schellbourne Re-riders
Received: March 8, 3:06pm PDT

This will be the eighth year that I will ride the re-ride of the "Pony."

In White Pine County, there are 142 miles of 99% original trail. Remnants of several of the old "stations" which housed the horses and riders still exist. The Schellbourne Station on highway 93, about 35 miles north of McGill has a great exhibit and information at the rest stop. A huge silhouette of a Pony rider also marks the spot.

The group that carries the mail is named after the old Fort Schellbourne. There are usually about 22 riders to carry the mail across the 142 miles, the longest section of trail across the 1,966 mile route. We also have the highest peak, Rock Springs, at almost 8,000 ft. It is rugged, harsh trail. No "7-11's" or cell phones, but HAM operators do escort the group!

We do have the convenience of trucks and trailers and haul the horses to their designated spot to get the mail and continue up the trail. We pick up the mail from the Eureka riders atop "the Diamonds," a rugged mountain ridge dividing Eureka and White Pine. That usually is in the middle of the night, but we will have a partial moon. We have 18 hours to deliver the mail to the awaiting Utah riders (except last year we made up two hours and were early, and no awaiting rider)! This isn't a "spectator sport," but we do cross highway 93 at Schellbourne usually about 9 a.m. There locals and family are there to applaud the riders and encourage them to keep going. We have a refreshment of a "Brunch" but the mail does not stop. The rider had better have eaten and be ready when the mail arrives, and head east. (The direction of the mail reverses and every other year it goes east, or west. You might guess the riders get little sleep over the 30 hours they are out on the trail. No one seems to mind. They love the legend and history, and when we are out there on the historic trail we feel like we are a part of history. Maybe the ghosts of the Pony riders are with us, protecting us not from the Indians which were a threat in those bygone days, but the elements, the tough trail, wild horses that are at White Rock and sometimes the herd stallion attacks, but no serious problems in previous rides. Of course, we have the challenges of possible flat tires, other "interesting" attacks on vehicles, but the riders come together and help each other in a camaraderie that makes friends of strangers and riders who return each year to "pack the mail."

Gene Ockert of Ruth is ride captain. We are signing up horsemen who would like to participate. You must have a reasonable conditioned horse and be able to go at least eight miles an hour. Faster is acceptable. Most mail transfers are at about two miles, but some areas dictate a few more miles.

Riders need to be 14 years up to ride, but they can ride at a younger age when escorted by an adult rider. This year my 13 year old granddaughter, Nicole, will get to ride along and learn what it's all about It's the youth who will be the mail carriers of the future. It's good to get them started early. If you would like to ride the Pony, you can check with Wayne at the Chamber of Commerce, or call Gene at 775-296-0149.