The Pony Express will ride across the American West once more.
The National Pony Express Association began its annual rerun of mail service on Monday in St. Joseph, Missouri, and will arrive in Sacramento, California, on June 20.
The ride is expected to be at Ibapah in Tooele County at approximately 6:30 a.m. MDT on Monday, June 17, according to NPEA. Additional popular sites to view the riders as they cross Tooele County include 5-mile Pass, Faust, Lookout Pass and Simpson Springs.
Commemorative letters and personal mail will be carried during the rerun by horse and rider relays from the Missouri River to the Sacramento River.
The first rider departed the Patee House in St. Joseph on Monday at 3 p.m. The last rider will ride into the Pony Express Plaza in Old Sacramento at 4:30 p.m. on June 20.
The route will follow the Pony Express National Historic Trail, a component of the National Trails System administered by the National Park Service.
From Missouri, the mail will travel 1,966 miles through Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada before arriving in California.
A total of 600 NPEA riders will be used to complete the course. Each rider — in custom with the Pony Express tradition — will take the Pony Express Oath and receive a Bible prior to riding.
The riders on horseback will ride in 1-5 mile relays carrying a mochila filled with mail fitted over their saddles. A mochila is a leather square with four cantinas, or pockets, sewn in the corners.
The reride ia a 10-day, 24 hour a day event that honors the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company, which was founded by the Missouri-based freighting firm of Russell, Majors, and Waddell.
The Pony Express carried letters and telegrams from April 1860 to November 1861 to prove the Central Route through Salt Lake City and Placerville to be a passable year-round route and win a prospective federal mail contract.
Updates and more information can be found on the NPEA’s website at nationalponyexpress.org.
A GPS unit in the mochila carried by the riders will transmit real-time location of the ride. The GPS information can be found at nationalponyexpress.org/annual-re-ride/follow-the-ride. In addition, the telephone hotline 855-809-8589 will have recorded reports of riders’ locations during the reride.
The website and hotline can be used to determine when the riders will enter Tooele County at 5-mile Pass, which is projected to be sometime Sunday afternoon. The riders are currently scheduled to arrive in Salt Lake City around 10:30 a.m. Sunday.