By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A reenactment of the Pony Express will take riders across southern Wyoming later this month as members of the National Pony Express Association from California to Missouri.
The event will bring riders into southern Wyoming on June 21 and they will leave the state on June 23 when they cross the state border into Nebraska, according to the ride tracker. A rider is expected to enter Wyoming around 6:30 a.m. on June 21, hitting areas from Granger to Torrington in the two-day period.
Each June, members of the association recreate the Pony Express in a commemorative re-ride over a 10-day period. Letters are carried in a mochila, or specialized leather bag, over the original trail. The ride began in California on Wednesday.
There is a GPS tracker inside the mochila that “pings” every 10 minutes, allowing people to track the riders in real time.
Participants in the 1,966-mile, eight-state event make sure at least one rider is moving at all hours of the day until the mail is delivered to its destination in St. Joseph, Missouri. Around 1,000 letters are mailed each year and more than 750 riders participate.
The Pony Express only lasted for 18 month, between April 1860 and October 1861, but has had an enduring legacy due to its ties to Old West culture. It was a major innovation in communication, speeding up the time for mail to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to about 10 days.
The Pony Express ended due to bankruptcy when telegraph service was created.
Rumors have circulated that Buffalo Bill was a Pony Express rider, but this has not been confirmed.