April 3, 1860, 7:15 PM. A cannon shot rings out. Johnny Fry, the first Pony Express rider, leaves from St. Joseph, MO. on the horse named Sylph and heads west with the mail safely tucked into his specially made Mochilla saddle. 10 days later, the mail arrives in Sacramento and back in St. Joseph as well. Mail went both ways. Bam!! so begins one of the most fabled events in the US history...The Pony Express.
Freighters and businessmen, Russell, Majors and Waddell form the Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company in early 1860. This turns out to be Pony Express. The idea was to get the mail west of the Mississippi River to the west coasts towns of Sacramento (capitol of California) and to San Francisco. San Francisco had turned out to be a powerhouse of capitalism due to the discovery of gold and the commerce surrounding it. With all of this in play, communication was needed. The telegraph was coming, but until that time, something had to be done. That something was men and horses. View the Pony Express map here
River Pilot, is offering tours of the original Pony Express. We start at the Pony Express stables which is now the national PX museum. We follow the route and learn and play. We visit the actual stations, see the actual houses, barns and alignments as they existed. The tour is the compliment to our Pony Express GPS tour. While we travel the PX, we discuss and view other westbound migratory routes like the Mormon, California and Oregon Trails. Then, if that isn't enough, we eat good food, take side trips and enjoy muscle cars.
October 24, 1861 signals the beginning of the trans continental telegraph line, the future of electronic communcation. It also signals the final day of the Pony Express. The story unwinds, like many do, with Russell, Majors, Waddell going off into history.
The History Channel has information on the PX. Join us to learn the story on your own. The National Pony Express sponsors a re-ride each year with hundreds of riders and horses. See what the horse riders see and imagine yourself on the Pony Express in the early 1860's.
River Pilot has been leading tours for 8 years and is known widely for fun, interesting and quality tours.
Note: The final day in the tour itinerary is the departure day. No activities are planned unless otherwise specifically included at time of booking.
Approximate Total Miles: 2,000
Average Miles Per Day: 150, longest is 260
Riding Conditions: Paved, gentle sweeps, maintained roads, maintained dirt roads
Riding Difficulty: Easy
Exploring Days: Salt Lake City, UT.
Highlights: Kansas City BBQ, Jesse James house, Buffalo Bill Scouts Rest, Scotts Bluff, Oregon Trail, California Trail, Mormon Trail, South Pass City, South Lake Tahoe, Pony Express Official beginning and ending points, USN Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program (TOP GUN), ghost towns
Optional activities: Ride horse, visit Alcatraz prison
Tour Departure: 5 or more
Motorcycle: Harley Davidson - Other make and model motorcycles may incur additional charges.