Pony Express riders continue historic tradition

The 33rd annual all-volunteer retracing of the Pony Express route between California and Missouri was making its way through the Panhandle Thursday.

The non-profit National Pony Express Association switches directions on the 10-day nearly 2,000 mile trip each year, with this year's roughly 700 riders starting from St Joseph, Missouri this past Monday and ending at Sacramento, California June 27th .

Riders left the Scotts Bluff National Monument just after noon heading toward the Nebraska-Wyoming state line at Henry. They will then head to Torrington, Fort Laramie, and will end the day at Guernsey around 6:00 Thursday evening.

Each will have a brief stop for changes of riders and horses, giving the public a chance to visit with the participants.

The schedule, reports from the trail, and pictures are available at the National Pony Express Assocation website www.xphomestation.com.

The original Pony Express had 157 stations about 10 miles apart, roughly the distance a horse could travel at a gallop before tiring. Although a legendary part of American folklore, it operated for only 18 months...from April 1860 to October 1861...before it was replaced by the telegraph.

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