Riders reenacting the Pony Express galloped through the North Platte area Wednesday on their way from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California. They exchanged a mochila, or leather pouch, at Hall School on State Farm Road.
Over 600 riders are taking turns in relay fashion. The mochila carries commemorative letters that were sold in advance for $5. That was the cost to send a half-ounce letter by the original Pony Express when the private mail service started in April 1860.
By the time the Pony Express ended 18 months later, a letter cost only $1, still expensive by today’s standards. The Pony Express disbanded with in October 1861 with the completion of the transcontinental telegraph across the United States.
Riders in the reenactment go 24 hours a day, following roughly the same route as the Pony Express, across Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California. They expect to ride into Sacramento on June 20, 10 days after the ride began.
The Pony Express reride is conducted every year, and each rider is a member of the National Pony Express Association, said Lyle Gronewold, president of the Nebraska Division of the organization.