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Annual Pony Express Recreation Passes Through Nebraska

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Similar to fine leather goods, the Pony Express was an important part of early western United States culture. Just like fine leather goods have survived to this day in the form of things like leather belts and leather briefcases for men, so too has the Pony Express.

The history and tradition of the Pony Express is kept alive today through the Pony Express National Historic Trail and annual recreation effort put on by hundreds of volunteers and various organizations. According to the Casper Star Tribune and Pony Express Home Station website, the annual replication journey passed through our greta state of Nebraska yesterday and today (June 23).

The Pony Express was a historic mail delivery service that operated only for about 19 months, but it allowed letters to be sent halfway across the country at exceptionally fast rates through a series of horseback riders and relay stations. The route traveled from Sacramento, CA to St. Joseph MO. It is said it helped reduce travel time for letters and packages to be sent from coast to coast in just a matter of 10 days.

The annual recreation journey spans the course of ten days where riders travel approximately 1,900-miles with commemorative letters packed inside traditional leather totes called mochila carry sacks. Fine leather goods were a big part of the development and culture of the American West and continue to be a popular material to this day. In 2007, more than 23 billion square feet of leather was produced. Cowhide tends to be the thickest leather, ranging between 1-ounce and 12-ounce varieties.

The volunteers on the annual Pony Express re-ride come for many reasons from historical interest to adventure and intrigue. For some, it’s all about the horses.

“You do it for the love of horses and the love of the history,” Les Bennington, president of the Wyoming Pony Express Association, just before the exchange at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center.

This year marks the 37th annual re-ride Pony Express event. It started on June 15 in Sacramento and is scheduled to end on June 25 in St. Joseph, MO. For more information on this historical remembrance check out the organization’s site at www.xphomestation.com.

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