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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Pony Express

It's amazing that the Pony Express only lasted for a year and a half. The story and legends always made it seem like a much bigger part of American history. 

Luckily the original Pony Express route ran through Salt Lake City on it's way to Sacramento. There is a lot of local history here and monuments are set up at each of the way station locations. Each rider rode 12 hours a day at full gallop, exchanging horses every 10-12 miles which was about an hour an a half. They rested overnight at the end station, then got onto a new horse and headed back where they came from as soon as the rider from the opposite direction came in at the end of their section.

In it's day this was hard core high desert. Some of it in the Salt Lake City area has become total suburbia but a few miles west and it's open ranch and farm land. What's great is that the people here consider it an important part of their heritage and have preserved most of the route in it's original state. 

It's a bit humbling to cover a day's worth of riding in only a couple of hours on my own trusty steed. No Native Americans were out to attack me so I had a pleasant ride along the way.

My plan is to map out routes like this for future rides. First I'll traverse the route to make sure I know where it goes and then go back another day to record the turns and mileage. I'll convert this into roll charts that I'll post for anyone interested

There is the second half of the Pony Express Trail to the Nevada border to check out. After that the California and Mormon pioneer trails across the desert beckon.

When it gets too hot in the summer I'll migrate up into the Wasatch Mountains to check out the mountain passes and mining towns. 

What could be more fun for a dual sport rider?

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