Last week Friday we shared that the famous Pony Express Riders were going to be riding through our area.

I mentioned during our show that they often ride right past our house, and how excited we all get when we see that cowboy (or cowgirl) wearing a red shirt flying by on horseback. It's a moment that can't help but make you feel more than a little proud of our connection here in Wyoming to Western History.

Photo Credit WyoBride

The Pony Express began in April of 1860 as a way to quickly get the mail and vital messages delivered to the Western US including California. The riders were paid $50 a month and rode between 75-100 miles a shift. On average, it took around 10 days to traverse the entire route and 75 horses were needed to make a one-way trip.

It was the stuff of dreams for little boys at the time (no female riders were allowed), much like children dream of being professional athletes today.

If you were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the riders last week, you can understand why. There is something incredibly adventurous and free about the idea of riding across the vast Western landscape with the sole purpose of keeping people connected.

Photo Credit WyoBride

The Pony Express ended a short 18 months after it began with the completion of a transcontinental telegraph line, but for such a short-lived event it has certainly become a well-known part of Western History.

I was able to speak with Casper native Kindle Flicek, who has ridden for the National Pony Express Associtaion for the last 7 years.

Used With Permission Kindle Flicek

 

I am related to Buffalo Bill Cody, and he was deeply involved in the Pony Express. Doing this ride became a way to connect with my family history. The comradery that comes along with all the volunteers has created a kind of family reunion type atmosphere. This year I was convinced to ride from the start in Sinclair WY and took turns riding until we reached Jeffery City. It was 17 rides, and my horse was saddled for 15 hours straight and I probably rode about 21 miles. It was a glimpse into what the real riders experienced, and gave me a whole new appreciation for their bravery and dedication.

The National Pony Express Association is always looking for more people to participate in this annual event. You can find out more by contacting the Wyoming branch of the NPEA.