Back in 1860…. a small group of riders for the Pony Express would make the ten day trek from Missouri to California to deliver letters. Despite lasting less than two years… the legacy of the 1,900 mile route lives on today.
Each year, members from the National Pony Express Association participate in an annual Re-Ride of the original route between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California. Along the route, riders take turns in 1 to 5 mile relays in transporting the mail.
During a stop Thursday afternoon in Morrill County, riders transferred their mail bags and continued heading Westward. 75-year-old Everett Loomis of Bayard shared why he’s been involved with the Re-Ride for the past 13 years. “Oh, I just kind of enjoy the deal. I mean, with people and the other stuff, and of course I’m on horseback an awful lot of the time anyway.”
The route follows the Pony Express National Historic Trail, and this year they started in Missouri, before riding through Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and ending in California. Each year the route switches direction.
Loomis says the key for the rider is having a good horse. “That there is a lot of the deal, and having people understand what you’re doing and how to do it so you don’t hold up anything, you just keep on going.”