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Night Rider: Postmaster helps reenact famous Pony Express run

The Pony Express was an ambitious operation to help speed communication to the Frontier and Wild West. Although the commercial venture lasted for just 18 months, the legend continues to this day with tales of wonder and bravery retold through the big screen, books and oral history. [image: Inline image 1] Earlier this month, more than 600 riders reenact the ride with a non-stop gallop from Sacramento, CA to St. Joseph, MO. Guernsey, WY, Postmaster Curt Artery was one of those riders. “I first got interested in the ride because my town, Guernsey, sits on the Oregon Trail and the Pony Express Trail,” he said. Guernsey is home to the famed Register Cliffs, where frontier travelers carved their names into the sandstone rocks. Rutted wagon trails can still be viewed after more than 150 years. “The riders had a real dedication to delivering the mail. They hurried between point A and Point B and that’s the same pride we have,” said Artery. “You’re carrying real mail. You treat it just like you own.” Elana Heer, daughter of Guernsey, WY, Clerk Jane Heer also carried a portion of the route on her own. The 16-year old wasn’t daunted by the challenge of riding alone across the prairie. [image: Inline image 2] She has a four mile run through the pitch black, but with a full moon glistening over the range. Her horse, Coniger, is stomping and yes, “chomping at the bit.” He knows he has a ride ahead of him. “I’m nervous. It comes with the dark. All of your senses are worked up. But you have to trust your horse,” she said. “Pot holes, gopher holes, rattlesnakes, and wire all are threats; you have to stay in the middle in the saddle” She’s the closest in age to many of the original riders, although there weren’t any females in the day. “Riding on the prairie is real nice. You bond with your horse. You feel the energy of the horse.” Artery often thinks about the riders he emulates. “It’s hard to imagine. They were by themselves. Especially at night, all they had was the open prairie and the moon and stars. It’s an eerie feeling to know that somebody before you passed this way. You can imagine what it was like.” [image: Inline image 3] Stephanie Goulart served as the trail captain, overseeing the route and the riders of the run through SE Wyoming, Northern Colorado and into Nebraska. “The Pony Express was really important because that’s how the nation was connected,” she said. But she’s done it enough to know that it’s a lot tougher in real life than the movies. “It was a lot of hardship. It’s wasn’t as dreamy as people imagine. Kayla Foster is also female rider and this is her 11th year on the reenactment. She has the final leg of the Wyoming run and will hand the mail off to the Nebraska chapter. She’s been riding the route since she was 14. She’s most excited to “go fast.” “The mail was the only way of communication. Through this, I’m trying to tell that message to others my age,” she said. [image: Inline image 4] #shortgo #news