July 4, 2014 - Pony Express Rides Again!
Our Pony Express riders have hit the trail today! Hyattville and Ten Sleep, Wyoming, with sponsorship from the Lion's Club, continue the Pony Express tradition on July 4th each year. A number of riders are then sworn in for the day, and begin the relay to carry the mail pouch from Hyattville, Wyoming to Ten Sleep, Wyoming – where the letters will then be handled by the modern USPS. Today started off with a pancake breakfast hosted by Joann Batts and Cis Sylvester at the Hyattville Bar and Café. Donations were made to the Lion's Club for their support in the community and of the Pony Express ride in particular.
Alexa Wood, granddaughter of Kathryn Brody, and Skylar Tharp, daughter of Cal and Amanda Tharp, held a bake sale to compliment the breakfast. The girls spent quite a bit of time baking cakes, cinnamon rolls, cake pops, cupcakes, and brownies - and even found the time to make home-made candles with essential oils! A portion of the proceeds benefit the budding Hyattville Volunteer Fire Department.
The stretch of road that the riders take during this modern ceremony is a gravel 23-mile strip through Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands. After being sworn in, the riders are stationed about every 2 miles down the dirt road to Ten Sleep. Upon reaching Ten Sleep, the riders then participate in Ten Sleep's 4th of July Parade. Kathy Irons, our Postmistress, did the honor of specialty stamping the envelopes and swearing in the riders today.
Alan Fulfer, Lauren Hoover, Jana Fulfer, Nichole Peters, Kristina Rothery, Kasey Baker, Meg Hems, Drew Mahr, Amy Robertson, Katie Jane Angwin, Lizzie Angwin, Janice Jordan, Emma Green, Sam Funk, Rebecca Scott, Kyle Scott, James Scott, Lyle Spence, Christine Lyle, and Dave Greer.
Did you know?....
- During its 18 months of operation, the Pony Express reduced the time for messages to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to about 10 days.
- From April 3, 1860, to October 1861, it became the West's most direct means of east–west communication before the telegraph was established and was vital for tying the new state of California with the rest of the country.
- During a route of 80 to 100 miles, a Pony Express rider would change horses 8 to 10 times.
- The horses were ridden at a fast trot, canter or gallop, around 10 to 15 miles per hour and at times they were driven to full gallop at speeds up to 25 miles per hour.
Dave Greer and Alan Fulfer
Swearing in of the Pony Express Riders
Merle and Eleanor Hamilton
Drawing for the Pony Express Riders Belt Buckle...
...and it goes to Rebecca Scott!