Celebrating Wyoming's Pony Express and National Historic Trails

    In the federal government’s official “Pony Express” historic trail publication it states that, “Buffalo Bill Cody never rode for the Pony Express.” Then again, legend says that the longest ride ever undertaken along the Pony Express line is credited to a 14-year old boy named Billy Cody.

    While further investigation can be followed up by a history detectives, the most popular story told is that Cody rode 322 miles, across half of what would become Wyoming and back, in 21 hours. As the story goes, one of the station riders was killed in a drunken row the night before Cody arrived, which forced into the extra duty. On this amazing journey he exhausted 20 horses, and safely delivered the mail!

    The fact is that the Pony Express, a mail by horse and rider route from east and west from St. Joseph’s MO to Sacramento, CA, operated for just eighteen months. Riders on the Pony express would normally horses every ten miles or so and travel 75 miles before being relieved that is with the exception of Cody’s trek. The 150th anniversary celebrating the opening of the Pony Express private mail delivery system, which opened April 3, 1860 will welcome many festive events along the path these riders took, including Casper, WY – home of the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center.

    One of the highlights of the anniversary celebration will be the group of Pony Express enthusiasts who will conduct a re-ride across the entire trail in June. Wyoming's Old West history is a diverse as the landscape, and is a great piece of America History to experience.

    By Leroy Worley

    Getting There:

    To explore more on the Pony Express and National Historic Trails visit www.blm.gov/nhtic, or www.wy.blm.gov/historictrails/.