Pony Express Reride crossed Bridger Valley Monday

By VIRGINIA GIORGIS Pioneer Editor vgiorgis@bridgervalleypioneer.com
Posted 6/16/23

Pony Express Reride

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Pony Express Reride crossed Bridger Valley Monday


FORT BRIDGER — The Pony Express Reride cruised through Bridger Valley Monday midday.

They stopped at the Fort Bridger Post Office and travelled on East. The reride used to stop at the Fort Bridger State Park as the site was part of the original pony express trail back when the real event went on.

The reride entered Wyoming south of Evanston. Although the conditions were wet and soggy, they were scheduled to cross into Nebraska Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.

For 10 days each June, volunteer riders carry real U.S. mail on horseback across the same route a young William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody rode in 1860, part of a short-lived effort at that time to carry mail from east to west.

The original Pony Express operated for 18 months from April 3, 1860, through Nov. 20, 1861. The operation officially ceased because of the connection of the transcontinental telegraph Oct. 24, 1861.

Until that point, though, riders would carry mail in a mochila, a large leather pouch, through cold, heat, rain, sleet and snow, handing off the mochila to the next rider at a series of way stations set up across the prairie. And today, anyone who wants to can send a souvenir commemorative letter to be carried on the re-ride for $5, or a personal letter for $10. The letters will be sent on to their final destination via the U.S. Postal Service, which will collect the mail from the final rider in St. Joseph on June 17.

The route connected St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, crossing Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada along the way, for a total of over 1,966 miles.

Since 1980, volunteers have reenacted the legendary rides, traveling east one year and west the next.

More than 600 riders are part of this year’s, which takes them along the Pony Express Trail, which was designated a national historic trail in 1992. Each rider takes a short leg, between 1 and 20 miles, depending on terrain, rider ability and trail accessibility, at an average speed of 10 mph.