"It's been really really a lot of fun to wear the vest and be a part of something that was so important at one time in our history." -Ashley Schilling, Pony Express Volunteer Rider
It's mail time here in Casper. The Pony Express re-ride makes its way through Wyoming as many people gather at the exchange sites to relive some western history. If you think waiting for someone to reply to an email is frustrating, you wouldn't like the Pony Express. But the crowd on hand Tuesday enjoyed seeing the past come to life.
Before texting, emailing, even before the United States Postal Service, people and horses like this were part of the communication process in America. Something one attendee, Jerry Cover finds remarkable.
Cover said, "I can't imagine them riding through the valleys and the hills and rivers."
But the volunteer riders say they're just having a good time.
Ashley Schilling, one of the volunteer riders said, "It's been really really a lot of fun to wear the vest and be a part of something that was so important at one time in our history."
The Pony Express was a huge part of this country's history, but many people don't realize how much it was used.
Schilling said, "That's how our mail got delivered from The Mississippi all the way to the west coast."
The re-ride won't go all the way to The Mississippi, but The Missouri is a fair compromise, considering they left from Sacramento, California. The National Pony Express President said this time delivering mail isn't the motivation for the ride.
Lyle Lander said, "It's a part of our western heritage and history of the united states, so just to keep that alive today and let people know where we came from."
A lesson Cover thinks kids are lucky to learn.
Cover said, "Back when i was growing up we didn't have the opportunity to see things like this."
Lander isn't the only one who thinks this is important.
Schilling said, "We've had people from Gillette, Salt Lake, and a few other areas in Wyoming that have joined us."
Not just Wyoming, riders have come from Utah, Nevada and Kansas. At the end of the day it doesn't matter where they started, all roads lead to Saint Joseph's.
The re-ride route covers an astounding 1,960 miles and requires nearly 600 riders and 10 days time. Casper is a little more than half way, so only about 800 miles left to go.
The re-ride will be working its way through the eastern half of Wyoming for the rest of Tuesday and should reach Nebraska at some point Wednesday.