Photo Credits: MS»
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 ride 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 festivities recently celebrated the opening of the Pony Express private mail delivery system, which started on April 3, 1860. During the celebration there were 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 was the group of Pony Express enthusiasts who will conducted a re-ride across the entire trail in June. Look for more annual events to join throughout the year that honor Wyoming's Old West history, which is as diverse as the landscape, and a great piece of America History to experience.
By Leroy Worley