Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Pony Express Re-ride 2016

Sunday June 19th  One of the reasons I wanted to reach Eagle Mountain on Saturday was that I did not want to miss the 2016 Pony Express Re-ride, which was scheduled to pass through Salt Lake City on Sunday with Mike participating on his grey Arabian. 
The re-ride is a logistical triumph, as every year a relay of riders carry a mochila holding mail over the entire two thousand miles of the Pony Express trail. In each state the ride passes through, the riders are organised into local groups under a ride captain responsible for about fifty to hundred miles of the trail.  They ascertain who rides which section, individual riders generally only riding 1-2 miles at a time, though they may repeat this more than once.
Mike was required to ride two sections of two miles in his local area, one from the other side of Camp Floyd just down the road at around midday.  However he was informed during the morning that the ride was running four hours late, so he relaxed and planned to drive out a little later.
Bad move as he then had a panicky call from the ride captain to ask where he was - the Utah riders had made up loads of time and were almost back on schedule, and Mike's slot had been given to another rider! 
Mike quickly loaded horse and tack into the trailer, we piled into the pick-up and set off for Camp Floyd, reaching it not long before the incoming rider arrived to hand the mochila over to the next rider..
Camp Floyd was a Pony Express station and you can see the Pony Express monument in the background as the outgoing rider trots away.   Then it was on to Mike's first ride section on the Pony Express Parkway at Eagle Mountain.  Mike saddles up his horse...
...before taking over the mochila...

and loping off down the aptly named Pony Express Parkway....


You can see Lehi and Utah Lake in the background. 

It was amazing and rather poignant to think that this same mochila would soon be passing through the hands of so many new friends who had been helping and hosting me over the previous three months.

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