History Comes Alive as the Pony Express Rides Through Casper [PHOTO GALLERY]
The west comes alive at the National Historic Trail Interpretive Center as the Pony Express Re-Ride canters through Casper. It starts with a lone messenger galloping in from the North West behind the NHTIC carrying messages from California on the way to Missouri. The rider carries the messages in a mochila which is a leather satchel that can easily fit over a saddle. He dismounts his horse, and they transfer the mochila to the next rider. Just as soon as the messages arrive, the next rider gallops away towards the next stop.
The National Pony Express Association, Inc organizes this event every year where they ride the historic trails that the Pony Express did in the 1860s. In 10 days they ride from Sacramento, California to St. Joseph, Missouri just as the real Pony Express did. That is 1800 miles on horseback.
This leg of the journey was not without struggle. The high temperatures caused more stops to let the horses rest or rotate in a different steed. Although their goal is to ride the trail in the same 10 days they did in the past, they are not about to do so at the expense of their horses. Even in the best conditions they rotate horses and rider at regular intervals. On Tuesday the riders were scheduled to arrive in Casper at 1pm, but they did not get to the Oil City until nearly 4pm.
The lore of the Pony Express has longevity whereas the actual Pony Express lasted only a short while. The need came from the boom of the gold rush in California. Its demise came from the advancement of technology in the form of the telegraph. The real Pony Express only lasted 18 months, but in that time the riders left a brand on western culture that will last generations.