Hashknife Pony Express
America's longest continuous Pony Express is the Hashknife event that happens every January in Arizona. The route begins in Holbrook and covers over 200 miles, picking up mail at post offices in Heber-Overgaard, Payson, and Fountain Hills. By the time delivery is made to Scottsdale, over 20,000 pieces of mail have traveled via horseback. Since Heber-Overgaard isn't far from my home, hubby and I decided to enjoy some living history. I wrote a letter to myself (photo below) and mailed it at the Heber-Overgaad post office. My letter will receive a special postmark and I'm going to leave it unopened. Perhaps one of my descendant's will open it and say, "That was written by great-great-great grandma." As for myself, I have letters from the late 1800s written by family members to my great-great grandparents that I have framed in special glass so they can be enjoyed for years to come.
This modern day Pony Express has twenty-five riders from every walk of life. I overheard one rider say he is a policeman. Their ages range from young to seasoned. I was interested in how twenty-five men cover 200 miles and was told each man rides approximately one mile before handing off the mail pouch to the next rider. The men have set positions along the route and after finishing a mile, they load their horse onto their trailer, drive to their next location, unload their horse, and wait for the hand off again. It's a lot of work. We followed the riders for about four miles and stopped at their gathering place for lunch. I even got several autographs on the poster I bought (see below).
Since I love Old West history, I had a blast, and hubby, although not a history buff like me, also had fun and took some of the photos below. For anyone interested in this event, click here to go to the Hashknife Pony Express website. I hope this tradition never ends!