The Pony Express only lasted about a year and a half but not because they were unsuccessful. The exchange of horses and riders could carry the mail from St Louis to California in just 10 days. Only one mail bag was lost in that time, and the cost wasn’t prohibitive to use. The problem was simply that the future happened. The birth of the telegraph made 10 days as slow as the wagons before the Express.
Yet the legend of the Express lives on. I am captivated by the grit the riders had to have. The stories of the station keepers, the rugged, desolate places through which the trail passed; they all beg me to wonder if I would have the ability to tough it out.
The pioneering spirit is no different than the pioneers of today. Stretching the possibilities and doing what others never even imagined. Changing the world and pushing it forward. Without the Pony Express, the telegraph would have been delayed at best and seen as not needed at worse. The telegraph opened the door to the train. The train to the car. Etc. Etc. Etc.
There remains not just the memory, but still foundations, and remnants of the Express. Scars upon the land where the trail cut its way remain. A trip to the west desert of Utah makes one feel like the riders are just a moment removed from our present.
For just a small span of time in our history, the Pony Express has etched itself so deeply, I cannot imagine it will ever be forgotten.
And never by me.